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Failed Interventions and Lessons Unlearned: Vietnam to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria

March 7, 2018, 11:30 AM


In this presentation we will discuss the history and the successes or failures of some of America’s foreign interventions. Since the end of WWII the United States has intervened in more than 70 countries, sometimes overtly militarily (Korea, Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan), clandestinely (USSR, Chile) or with the use of proxies (Afghanistan in the 1980s, Syria today). Many of these interventions have had the stated aim of deterring the spread of Communism but in so doing they propped up brutal authoritarian regimes (Nicaragua, Guatemala), and in at least one case led to the assassination of a democratically elected leader (Chile). Today many are accusing Russia of intervening in the 2016 presidential election. When, and how, is foreign intervention wise, necessary — or reckless?

Our presenter, Nick B. Mills, is a global strategic communication consultant with many years of experience as a teacher, trainer, adviser, spoken-word presentation coach, public relations counsel, broadcaster, and professional storyteller.  Mr. Mills taught broadcast and print journalism for 26 years at Boston University, managed educational programs for Boston University in London, Oxford University, and Washington, D.C.; and managed programs at B.U. for visiting Portuguese journalists.

Mr. Mills served with the 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad, Iraq in 2007 as an adviser in the Division Public Affairs Office; in 1992, after the first Gulf War, he recruited and trained Iraqi Kurds in visual journalism, in northern Iraq. In 2004 Mr. Mills served as a trainer and adviser in the press office of President Hamid Karzai in Kabul, Afghanistan; his experiences in the presidential palace in Kabul led to his collaboration with President Karzai to produce a book, Karzai: The Failing American Intervention and the Struggle for Afghanistan.

Lunch is $12, payable at the door and includes a sandwich and salad buffet. Please register with your lunch request by Friday, March 2, by emailing or by calling 621-3532. Lunch begins at 11:30, the speech at 12:00.

Please note: registrants who request lunch are responsible for the lunch fees. If your plans change and you are unable to attend, please notify us so that lunch orders can be adjusted.


March 7, 2018
11:30 AM


Michael Klahr Center, University of Maine, Augusta
46 University Drive
Augusta, ME United States
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