Meet our Next Speaker

Andrew Cockburn

Monday, March 14, 2016

Topic: How the U.S. came to adopt a strategy of assassination, and why it has failed

CoburnAndrew Myles Cockburn is an English-Irish journalist who has lived in the United States for many years.

Cockburn has written numerous books and articles, principally about national security. His most recent book is entitled Kill Chain: the rise of High-Tech Assassins, about political use of assassination. He has also produced numerous documentary films, principally in partnership with Leslie Cockburn as well as co-producing the 1997 thriller The Peacemaker, starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman, for Dreamworks.

After an early career in British newspapers and television, he moved to the United States in 1979. His film The Red Army, produced for PBS in 1981, was the first in depth report on the serious deficiencies of Soviet military power and won a Peabody Award. In 1982, he published the book The Threat – Inside the Soviet Military Machine (Random House), which examined the same topic in greater depth. He subsequently published many articles on the subject of U.S. and Soviet military power as well as lecturing at numerous military bases, foreign policy forums, and colleges and innumerable television shows. The collapse of the Soviet Union, and subsequent revelation that his analysis of the Soviet military had been correct rendered his subject otiose. He then began covering middle eastern subjects, including the 1991 documentary on the after-effects of the first Gulf war, The War We Left Behind, which he co-produced for PBS with Leslie Cockburn.51AH+Nibz+L._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

In 2009 he and Leslie Cockburn produced American Casino, a feature-length documentary on the Wall Street crash. New Yorker critic David Denby called it “A terrific documentary… Everything is connected: the movie embodies chaos theory for social pessimists.” Apart from his books he has written for National GeographicLos Angeles TimesThe London Review of BooksSmithsonianVanity FairHarper’s MagazineCounterPunchCondé Nast TravelerNew York Times, and the Dungarvan Observer. He is currently Washington Editor of Harper’s Magazine.

In 2007, Cockburn wrote Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy (subtitled An American Disaster in the UK edition). In the New York Times, reviewer Jacob Heilbrunn called it “perceptive and engrossing.” He is also known for writing “21st Century Slaves” for National Geographic. It was a groundbreaking article that shed light on the practice of modern-day slavery.

 

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Upcoming Speakers

  • Monday, March 14, 2016
    Andrew Cockburn
    Topic: How the U.S. came to adopt a strategy of assassination, and why it has failed
  • Monday, April 11, 2016
    John Kiriakou
    Topic: Keeping the government honest: torture, the war on terror, and the role of whistleblowers
  • Monday, May 16, 2016
    Hedrick Smith
    Topic: Reclaiming the American Dream
  • Monday, June 6, 2016
    Oscar Guardiola-Rivera
    Topic: U.S. Foreign Policy in Latin America: What We Have Learned from the Overthrow of Allende
  • Monday, August 22, 2016
    Ambassador Steven Steiner
    Topic: Building Peace Through the Empowerment of Women in Post-Conflict Countries

View all speakers past and present »

Announcements

“The GOP Candidates Know Nothing About Syria” by John Kiriakou (our March speaker)

Posted on Saturday January 2

The GOP Candidates Know Nothing about Syria Published on Thursday, December 31, 2015  by Other Words (Photo: Rick Wilking/Reuters) Like many political animals, I was glued to the latest Republican presidential debate. For the most part, there were no surprises: Donald Trump railed against Muslims, Chris Christie lamented that the NSA can’t intercept Americans’ phone calls and emails as [...]

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“The Theology of American National Security” by Andrew Bacevich (our Jan. 2016 speaker)

Posted on Friday December 4

Reproduced from TomDispatch.com: The Theology of American National Security by Andrew Bacevich In April 2003, with Baghdad occupied by American troops, the top officials of the Bush administration were already dreaming of building bases in Iraq that would be garrisoned more or less in perpetuity. Everyone was too polite to call them “permanent bases,” so [...]

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Climate Change in a Nutshell (from Senator King)

Posted on Thursday December 3

Friends, Thank you for your interest in one of the climate change cards I keep in my pocket. For me, the graphs on the card are the simplest and clearest way to show not only the unprecedented and growing amount of CO2 in our atmosphere, but also its close correlation to global temperatures in the [...]

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Commentary by Past Forum Speaker, Graham Fuller

Posted on Friday October 9

We Hate ‘Em All! October 8, 2015 by Graham E. Fuller We Hate ‘Em All! With the arrival of Russian forces on the scene the Syrian situation has now grown unbearably complicated. Among the totality of players on the scene, Washington hates them all. The US has long detested Asad father and son; for years it has [...]

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Jessica Mathews on Henry Kissinger

Posted on Wednesday May 20

In a March issue of The New York Review of Books, our July speaker, Jessica Mathews dissects the new book by Henry Kissinger: “Almost from the beginning of its history, America has struggled to find a balance in its foreign policy between narrowly promoting its own security and idealistically serving the interests of others; between, as [...]

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Stephen Walt on Arming Ukraine (a really bad idea)

Posted on Thursday February 12

One of our 2013 speakers, Professor Stephen Walt, has a recent article in Foreign Policy about General Breedlove’s dubious plan to send US arms to Ukraine.  Click here for full article.

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A Nuclear Deal With Iran?

Posted on Friday December 12

Excerpts from January speaker Hossein Mousavian’s article entitled Why geopolitical shifts dictate a nuclear deal with Iran: “Although a week of high-level talks between Iran and world powers in Vienna made good progress, negotiators failed to reach an agreement and instead set a new deadline of March 1, 2015, for a framework agreement on Iran’s nuclear program and a [...]

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Gregory Johnson’s Harrowing Escape

Posted on Friday December 5

Gregory Johnson was our Forum speaker last April.  Read his recent BuzzFeed story on My Last Day in Yemen: “Yemen was like a home away from home for me — until the day I was nearly abducted in broad daylight, and narrowly missed suffering a grim fate similar to other journalists drawn to covering, and [...]

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Rania Abouzeid on the Mess in Iraq

Posted on Friday July 11

Read what Rania Abouzeid (our September 22nd speaker) had to say in her June Politico article:  “The Jihad Next Door: The Syrian roots of Iraq’s newest civil war”

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Stephen Walt on His Forum Experience

Posted on Thursday August 9

We often write about our speakers after they appear at the Forum, but Steve Walt is the first one to write about us after speaking.  Click here for his latest Foreign Policy article.

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