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Speaker – Derek Leebaert

The British Empire remained a superpower at least until 1957. But the re-
elected Eisenhower administration then proclaimed ‘a declaration of
independence’ from British authority. The years in between are freighted with
myths: Britain’s ‘withdrawal from the Mediterranean’; the influence of George
Kennan’s view of Britain within the U.S. government; and Britain and the
beginning of the war in Vietnam. Knowing what actually occurred is vital to
understanding questions of Britain and the United States in the postwar era,
in Middle East destabilization, in the history of the rise and decline of
superpowers—and, not least, Brexit.

Derek Leebaert’s books include Magic and Mayhem: The Delusions of American
Foreign Policy from Korea to Afghanistan (2010); To Dare and to Conquer:
Special Operations and the Destiny of Nations from Achilles to Al Qaeda
(2006); and The Fifty-Year Wound: How America’s Cold War Victory Shapes Our
World (2002). He is a former Smithsonian Fellow; a founding editor of
International Security, and a founder of the National Museum of the U.S. Army.
He is a partner in the global management consulting firm MAP AG (Zurich).

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