BELFAST, Maine — Join Bob Rackmales for a discussion titled “ From the Cold War to Post-9/11: Scowcroft and Eagleburger at the Camden Conference” 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 1, at the Belfast Free Library. The event is free and open to all.
On Feb. 20, 1988, the inaugural Camden Conference opened with an address by Brent Scowcroft, the only person to serve two different U.S. presidents as national security adviser. It closed with an address by Lawrence Eagleburger, the only career Foreign Service officer ever to serve as secretary of state. At the time of their joint appearance at the Camden Conference, both men were temporarily outside of government, holding senior positions in Kissinger Associates, the international consulting firm which had been founded by Henry Kissinger six years earlier.
Scowcroft returned to the Camden Conference in 2009 as keynote speaker, and this year spoke at the memorial service for Eagleburger in June, along with Kissinger, James Baker, Robert Gates and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
From the perspective of today, both Scowcroft’s and Eagleburger’s Camden Conference speeches contain insights that have proved remarkably durable, and other judgments that have not stood the test of time. The discussion will focus on attempting to separate the wheat from the chaff, and explore the extent to which the two men were able to define, at a time when the Cold War was nearing its end, what would succeed it — in Eagleburger’s words, “the foreign policy problems the United States will face into the next century.”
Copies of the texts of the two addresses are available at the main circulation desk at the library, or online by following the links from the community events page at http://www.camdenconference.org/community-events/.
Bob Rackmales, a retired Foreign Service officer, is a member of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, the Camden Conference Advisory Council and Community Events Committee, and the board of trustees of the Belfast Senior College.
His presentation is offered as a free community event in anticipation of the 25th annual Camden Conference: ”The U.S. in a 21st Century World: Do we have what it takes?” set for Feb. 17-19.