Towards a Renewed Foreign Policy and a Limited but More Lethal Military Strategy: Two American National Security Lessons Learned from Defeat in Vietnam, Incompetence in Iraq, and Humiliation in Afghanistan

ASMEA held this webinar January 25th. This discussion was led by ASMEA officers and military veterans Prof. Mark T. Clark and Prof. Joseph M. Skelly.

Prof. Mark T. Clark served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1973-1977. He served on the USS Oklahoma City, CG-5 during Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of Saigon in April/May 1975 and again on the USS Iwo Jima off the coast of Lebanon in July/August 1976 for the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy. Prof. Joseph M. Skelly is a retired U.S. Army officer who served a tour of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004-05. In this webinar, they will reflect upon their personal experiences in Vietnam and in Iraq; link them to the disastrous American withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021; and highlight two American national security lessons learned – the necessity for a leaner foreign policy and the imperative of a limited but meaner military strategy – from ignominious defeat in Indochina, serial incompetence in Iraq, and national humiliation in Afghanistan.

Prof. Clark is President of ASMEA and Professor of Political Science and Director of the National Security Studies program at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). He has written numerous peer-reviewed articles on national security, intelligence assessments, arms control and Soviet foreign policy. Clark received two grants from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to establish CSUSB as an Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence (2006-present), and a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a national model curriculum and an MS in National Cyber Security Studies. He was also awarded a grant as a sub-Primary Investigator with the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity to develop novel solutions to intelligence analysis. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the fields of infantry and intelligence analysis and in the U.S. National Guard for seven years.

Prof. Skelly is secretary/treasurer of ASMEA and professor of history at the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York City. His books include Political Islam from Muhammad to Ahmadinejad and Ideas Matter: Essays in Honor of Conor Cruise O’Brien. He has written for scholarly journals in the United States, Europe, and Israel. His latest academic publication is a chapter titled “Into the Labyrinth: Terrorism, History, and Diplomacy” in the edited volume The Cambridge History of Terrorism (Cambridge University Press, 2021). He served in the U.S. Army Reserve for twenty years and in the U.S. Army National Guard for four years in a range of command and staff positions. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was based in the city of Baquba, located thirty-five miles northeast of Baghdad on the edge of the Sunni Triangle.