Michael F. Duggan of Realism and Policy tells us how USAF Lt. General Brent Scowcroft, with his moderate realism in foreign affairs, was an inspiration for creating the Realism and Policy blog. He writes (abridged):
Brent Scowcroft died at 95.
You didn’t have to be a Republican to appreciate his form of moderate realism in foreign affairs. He, along with James Baker and the first President Bush masterfully eased the world out of the (first) Cold War during 1989-1991.
Other foreign policy successes were the reunification of Germany, the intervention in Panama, and Desert Storm (in spite of its toxic spawn and the subsequent U.S. military entrenchment in the region, it was a great operational success). The only beginning-to-end mistake of this period the intervention in Somalia in the waning days of the administration, and this seems to have been an unrealistic concession to humanitarianism.
Excommunicated by the Neocons of the George W. Bush Administration, he wrote an article that appeared in the Wall St. Journal on August 15, 2002 making the case not to invade Iraq. This article is a more-than fair sample of his good sense and wisdom. He turned out to be right, and, having not heeded his advice, we are left with haunting counterfactuals of history and a legacy of failure in an already volatile region.
A thoroughly decent man, he took a meeting with me—a nobody—when I was the Supreme Court Fellow in 2011-2012. I just called his office and scheduled an appointment. This man who had advised presidents and oversaw world historical events in momentous times gave me a full hour of his own time. Quiet spoken and unfailingly courteous. A gentleman. A great policy adviser. The world is literally a less sane place without him.
I could write volumes singing the praises of General Scowcroft, but will defer to those who knew him. Suffice it to say that he and his ideas were an inspiration for creating this blog. It is in part a memorial to him and others like him.
About Realism and Policy
Michael F. Duggan holds a doctorate from Georgetown University with a major in American History, a minor in Modern Europe, and a collateral concentration in Western Philosophy. He has taught in the Department of Graduate Liberal Studies at Georgetown, and in New York University’s Washington, D.C. Program and has guest lectured at American University and at Howard University Law School. He was the Supreme Court Fellow for 2011-2012, and cofounded the Liberal Studies Philosophy Roundtable (2007-2013), a discussion group focusing on ethical questions.