Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War, believed that the acme of leadership consists in figuring out how to subdue the enemy with the least amount of fighting. America’s Founders understood this and practiced it with astonishing success. For it to work, however, a people must possess both the ability and the willingness to use all available instruments of power in peace as much as in war.
In The Art of Peace, Juliana Geran Pilon argues that U.S. foreign policy has increasingly neglected the instruments of civilian power and become overly dependent on lethal solutions to conflict. The steep rise in unconventional conflict has increased the need for diplomatic and other non-hardpower tools of statecraft. The United States can no longer afford to sit on the proverbial three-legged national security stool – military, diplomacy, and development – where one leg is a lot longer than either of the other two, almost forgetting altogether the fourth leg – information, especially public diplomacy and strategic communication. According to Dr. Pilon, the U.S. isn’t so much becoming militarized as decivilianized. Sun Tzu viewed self-knowledge as important as knowledge of one’s enemy: “if you know neither yourself nor the enemy, you will succumb in every battle.” Alarmingly, the U.S. is deficient on both counts.
Juliana Geran Pilon, Senior Fellow at the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization, earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago. She has authored five books previously; published over two hundred articles and reviews on international affairs, human rights, literature, and philosophy; and appeared frequently on radio and television. She has taught at several colleges and universities including the National Defense University and George Washington University. In the 1990s, she was first Director and later Vice President for Programs at the International Foundation for Election Systems, and she has also held post-doctoral fellowships in international relations at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and at the Institute of Humane Studies.
More About the Speakers
Juliana Geran Pilon
Author of The Art of Peace: Engaging a Complex World
with commentary from
Colonel Michael R. Eastman
Executive Officer to the Commanding Officer of the Army Cyber Command
Helle C. Dale
Senior Fellow for Public Diplomacy