FPI Book Discussion: Strategic Failure

Dr. Mark Moyar is a distinguished historian with over a decade inside the US Department of Defense. In his new book,  Strategic Failure: How President Obama's Drone Warfare, Defense Cuts, and Military Amateurism Have Imperiled America, he shows how the downsizing of our armed forces lowers the nation’s defense and puts us at risk. In this stunningly detailed account of US military power in the Obama era, Mark Moyar reveals how the President’s military decisions have led to the international catastrophes of his second term. While our current downward spiral did not grab the attention of the American people until 2014, Moyar finds its roots in Obama’s first-term decisions to shrink the US military and replace large overseas military commitments with “light footprints.”

“Moyar’s effort is distinguished by his measured tone, analytic sobriety and scholarly approach. The author, who has taught at the Marine Corps University and the Joint Special Operations University, is one of our ablest strategic thinkers, and he has a gift for letting the facts speak for themselves—or rather, drop like hammer blows.” (Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2015)

Speaker Biographies

Dr. Mark Moyar is a thought leader in national security, international development, foreign aid, capacity building, and U.S. history. His research has been acclaimed for its innovative insights and its marshaling of evidence against conventional wisdom.  He serves as a consultant, author, speaker, educator, and strategist around the world. Dr. Moyar is a Visiting Scholar at the Foreign Policy Initiative and a member of the Hoover Institution Working Group on the Role of Military History in Contemporary Conflict. From 2004 to 2010, he served as a professor at the U.S. Marine Corps University, where he held the Kim T. Adamson Chair of Insurgency and Terrorism. He has also taught at Texas A&M University, the Ohio State University, Cambridge University, and the Foreign Service Institute, and served as a Senior Fellow at the Joint Special Operations University and the Foreign Policy Research Institute. Dr. Moyar has worked as a consultant for the senior leadership of the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, and the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan. 

One of the nation’s foremost experts on national security affairs, Dr. Moyar is the author of two groundbreaking histories of the Vietnam War: Triumph Forsaken: The Vietnam War, 1954-1965 (Cambridge University Press, 2006), and Phoenix and the Birds of Prey: Counterinsurgency and Counterterrorism in Vietnam (Naval Institute Press, 1997; Bison Books, 2007). He is also the author of “The Era of American Hegemony, 1989-2005,” the final chapter in the four-volume Cambridge History of War (Cambridge University Press, 2012). He holds a B.A. summa cum laude from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Cambridge.

The Honorable Juan C. Zarate is the Chairman and Co-Founder of the Financial Integrity Network, the Senior National Security Analyst for CBS News, and a Visiting Lecturer of Law at the Harvard Law School. Mr. Zarate also serves as the Chairman and Senior Counselor for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF), a Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and a Senior Fellow to the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point.
Mr. Zarate served as the Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Combating Terrorism from 2005 to 2009, and was responsible for developing and implementing the U.S. Government’s counterterrorism strategy and policies related to transnational security threats. Mr. Zarate was the first ever Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes where he led domestic and international efforts to attack terrorist financing, the innovative use of Treasury’s national security-related powers, and the global hunt for Saddam Hussein’s assets.  Mr. Zarate is a former federal prosecutor who served on terrorism prosecution teams prior to 9/11, including the investigation of the USS Cole attack. Mr. Zarate has earned numerous awards for his work, including the Treasury Medal.
Mr. Zarate sits on several boards, including the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (AIF), the Board of Advisors to the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), HSBC’s Financial System Vulnerabilities Committee, America Abroad Media’s (AAM) Board of Advisors, the RANE Network Board, the Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Group, and the Coinbase Board of Advisors.  He is a senior fellow and adviser to several organizations, including the George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
He is the author of Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare (2013), Forging Democracy (1994), and a variety of articles in The New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post, Wall St. Journal, LA Times, the Washington Quarterly and other publications. Mr. Zarate has his own weekly national security program on CBSNews.com called “Flash Points.” He is a graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School and a former Rotary International Fellow (Universidad de Salamanca, Spain).  He has been inducted into the Mater Dei High School Ring of Honor.


Mission Statement

The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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