Melvin Laird and the Foundation of the Post-Vietnam Military – the seventh volume in the Secretaries of Defense Historical Series – examines former Congressman Melvin Laird’s efforts to reconstitute the Department of Defense during the last years of the Vietnam War. The new Secretary quickly staked out positions that challenged the President – especially on the Defense budget and the pace of the Vietnam troop withdrawals.
Laird acted to mitigate the adverse effects of the Vietnam War on the department and to prepare the nation’s armed forces for the future. Throughout Laird’s service as Secretary, he sought to carry out policies that the nation could afford, to keep the nation’s defenses strong, and to weigh the political costs of defense policies. Join us for a fascinating discussion on the historical and future implications of Melvin Laird’s leadership.
Richard A. Hunt obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania following military service in North Carolina and Vietnam. He served at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, first in the Vietnam history branch and then as chief of the Center’s oral history program. He is the author of Pacification: The American Struggle for Vietnam’s Hearts and Minds and other books, articles, and reviews on the war in Vietnam.
More About the Speakers
Richard Hunt, Ph.D.
James Jay Carafano, Ph.D.
Vice President for the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy, and the E. W. Richardson Fellow