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Les Gelb at Kent presents

by Stephen Kaye
Fri Aug 19th, 2016

Les Gelb, whose bio includes Assistant Secretary of State, Director of Policy Planning in the Pentagon and an editor and columnist of the NY Times, talked about strategy in the opening sessions of Kent Presents on Thursday afternoon.  He advocated a centrist position that recognizes US military and economic supremacy, both of which were unquestioned. 

He suggested that we adjust our position to become more “realist.” Putin may be a “bad guy” but he is there and we have to deal with him, not plan for his overthrow.

He advocates having a realist strategy which he suggests is missing from our foreign policy.  If one strategy doesn’t work, try another. He thought common sense might be a good thing. He was for trying it. He did not specify what goals a strategy should serve, but they should be realistic.  He thought we could do better in dealing with Putin but he seemed to support our position in the South China Sea.  Both will be the subject of more detailed sessions later this weekend.