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Date: Thursday, September 18,  2014

Time: Membership Social at 7:30
Program at 8:00 p.m.

Location: Coastal Georgia Center, 305 Fahm St. (behind the Visitor's Center) Directions and Map
Access: Open to the public and free for members, students and accompanying family members, educators and active military and their dependents. $10.00 charge for non-members.

Dr. Hal Brands


Grand strategy is one of the most commonly used terms in the foreign policy lexicon.  But what is grand strategy?  Why is it so important and so difficult?  And can the United States actually do grand strategy effectively in a complex and changing world?  This talk explores the nature of grand strategy, discusses historical examples of American leaders who have done it well, and looks forward to see what the prospects are for the future of American grand strategy in a difficult geopolitical environment.

Hal Brands joined the faculty at Duke University's Sanford School of Public Policy in July 2010. He is a historian whose research focuses on U.S. foreign policy and grand strategy, Cold War history, Latin American security and diplomacy, and other strategic and military issues. He previously worked at the Institute for Defense Analyses outside of Washington, D.C., and has served as a member of the RAND Corporation Grand Strategy Advisory Board. At Duke, he is an affiliate of the Duke Program in American Grand Strategy and serves on the Executive Board of the Triangle Institute for Security Studies.

Brands is the author of From Berlin to Baghdad: America's Search for Purpose in the Post-Cold War World (University Press of Kentucky, 2008). His second book,Latin America's Cold War (Harvard University Press, September 2010), was adapted from his dissertation, which won the John Addison Porter Prize for Best Dissertation in the Humanities at Yale University and the Mary and Arthur Wright Prize for Best Dissertation in Non-U.S. or European History at Yale. His most recent book is What Good is Grand Strategy? Power and Statecraft in American Foreign Policy from Harry S. Truan to George W. Bush (Cornell University Press, 2014).

Brands earned a PhD, MA and MPhil. in History from Yale University. He received a BA in History and Political Science from Stanford University.

Representative Publications (More Publications)


  1. Hal Brands. What Good is Grand Strategy? Power and Purpose in American Statecraft from Harry S Truman to George W. Bush. Cornell University Press, 2014.
  2. Hal Brands. Latin America's Cold War. Harvard University Press, 2010. (Paperback released in 2012)
  3. Hal Brands. From Berlin to Baghdad: America's Search for Purpose in the Post-Cold War World. University Press of Kentucky, 2008.
  4. Hal Brands, David Palkki. ""Saddam, Israel, and the Bomb: Nuclear Alarmism Justified?"." International Security 36.1 (Summer, 2011).
  5. Hal Brands, David Palkki. "Conspiring Bastards: Saddam Hussein's Strategic View of the United States." Diplomatic History (June, 2012).
  6. Hal Brands. "Third-World Politics in an Age of Global Upheaval: The Latin American Challenge to U.S. and Western Hegemony, 1965-1975."Diplomatic History 32.1 (January, 2008). [pdf]
  7. Hal Brands. "Non-Proliferation and the Dynamics of the Middle Cold War: The Superpowers, the MLF, and the NPT." Cold War History 7 (August, 2007).
  8. Hal Brands. "Progress Unseen: U.S. Arms Control Policy and the Origins of Détente, 1963–1968." Diplomatic History 30 (April, 2006). [pdf]
  9. Hal Brands. Dilemmas of Brazilian Grand Strategy. Strategic Studies Institute, Army War College, September, 2010. [display.cfm]
  10. Hal Brands. Crime, Violence, and the Crisis in Guatemala: A Case Study in the Erosion of the State. Strategic Studies Institute, Army War College, May, 2010. [display.cfm]
  11. Hal Brands. Mexico's Narco-Insurgency and U.S. Counter-Drug Policy. Strategic Studies Institute, Army War College, May, 2009.
  12. Hal Brands. "Reform, Democratization, and Counter-Insurgency: Evaluating the U.S. Experience in Cold War Latin America." Small Wars & Insurgencies 22.2 (Summer, 2011).

Sponsor of this Month’s Program -



Upcoming Programs (Click on the link for more complete information)


Oct. 16, 2014 - The Dark Side of Globalization - Dr. Robert J. Bunker

Oct. 17, 2014 - Panel Discussion:  Ukraine, Past, Present and Future

Nov. 13, 2014 - Dancing With The Devil:  The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes - Dr. Michael Rubin

Dec. 11, 2014 - Russia - Dr. Stephen Blank

Jan. 22, 2015 - Sadanand Dhume

Feb. 12, 2015 - Ambassador Bellamy

March 12, 2015 - Gulfstream Aerospace and The World

April 16, 2015 - Time to Attack Iran - Dr. Mathew Kroenig