Most Americans are relieved that the international intervention in Afghanistan is winding down more than a decade after 9/11. Can the absence of clear cut victory despite a considerable investment of blood and treasure be attributed to Afghanistan’s reputation as the “graveyard of empires?” Meanwhile, Afghans have suffered 34 years of instability and war. How do they feel about the departure of foreign troops?  Are they prepared to assume their own defense?    Despite differences in scale, are there clear parallels with the experience of the US in Vietnam nearly 50 years ago?  What lessons have we learned from the handling of these these conflicts?  Finally, will  historians judge the Afghan intervention to have been a success or failure?

The Speakers

Todd Greentreeformer political/military advisor US forces in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Angola and Afghanistan
Todd Greentree’s experience with irregular warfare extends from El Salvador and Nicaragua to Angola and Afghanistan where he twice served as political/military advisor to US forces in Regional Commands East and South. As a US Foreign Service Officer he was assigned to conflict countries in Latin America, the South Pacific, South Asia and Africa as well as service in Washington, DC. He is the author of Crossroads of Intervention: Insurgency and Counterinsurgency Lessons from Central America, Praeger Security International, March 30, 2008 as well as articles on irregular warfare in various publications. Crossroads of Intervention is available in hard and paperback editions on Amazon. Greentree is a Research Associate with the Oxford University Changing Character of War Programme and teaches at the Naval Post-Graduate School, Monterey, California. He has been a professor of strategy and policy at the US Naval War College and taught strategic studies and international politics at the University of New Mexico.


St. John’s College, Junior Commons Room. On June 15, 2012, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm

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The Visitors Parking Lot is on your left as you enter campus. A few handicapped parking spaces are located at the Visitor’s Circle right in front of the fishpond area and below the Peterson Student Center. A few more are located behind the Peterson Center as follows. Just before the Visitor’s Circle, look for the fork in the road where you would normally drive to the left to get to the Visitors’ Parking Circle just below the Peterson Center. Instead, turn right and follow the drive up to the other parking area. There are two or three handicapped parking spaces on the left. Please note that this parking lot is not open to the public, but handicapped folks are allowed to park in the designated spaces.