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Lessons in American Leadership: Reflections on the Marshall Plan - 60 Years Later

Recorded on April 23, 2008

Location: The Heritage Foundation's Lehrman Auditorium

The Marshall Plan is widely considered one of America's greatest foreign policy achievements of the past century.  By providing massive financial aid to war-torn European governments through the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Plan was instrumental in both reviving Western Europe's ravaged economies and instilling the will amongst America's political allies to defeat communism at the polls.  The success of the Marshall Plan, however, subsequently created the perception among many policymakers and government officials that quick and dramatic successes could be achieved outside of Western Europe through a mass infusion of capital. 

Is the Marshall Plan still a realistic, useful model for postwar reconstruction and stabilization today and in the future?  Can George Marshall's successful experiment serve as forerunner of other favorable outcomes for policymakers, an inspiration to other experiments tailored to new conditions?  Are the principles, values, methods, and practices around which the Marshall Plan was once constructed still relevant?  How might they benefit the process of contemporary decision making?  Join us as Dr. Barry Machado reflects on the limitations of the Marshall Plan and as well as the lessons learned that might remain applicable today.