Please join us on Sunday, March 12 At 3 pm Eastern Time (US) for a Casual Conversation on Zoom, the topic being President Biden’s foreign policy, with classmate Professor Mark Sheetz '69 as our guest.  If you are viewing this information in the email sent to you, it will not have attached either of the two pdfs authored by Mark that he has offered in connection with the discussion.  IF you want to read his two essays—and neither are in any way required reading for meaningful participation in the Casual Conversation—you have THREE OPTIONS, all three of which are easy.
Option A: Download the pdfs using these links:

Strategies pdf:

Globalization pdf:

Option B: Go to our Class website, , and click on Stay Connected.  A drop-down menu will appear.  Click on Casual Conversations and go to the announcement for THIS Casual Conversation.  At first glance, it will appear that the announcement is the same as the one you received in the amil.  But, don’t be deceived!  Linked as pdfs are the two essays: “Exit Strategies” and “Hegemony and Globalization.”
Option C:  Go to , find Mark’s entry, and both pdfs are there.
(If you are reading this on the Class website, i.e., Option B,  CONGRATULATIONS: the two pdfs are linked.)
Mark has also offered two writings that he did not author.  The first is the “Melian Dialogue” by Thucydides.  Don’t worry: it is not in the original Greek, and a translation is available online, courtesy of Wellesley College: .
One final reading is suggested by Mark:  Patrick Porter’s essay “Why America’s Grand Strategy Has Not Changed,” published in International Security (Spring 2018), a peer-reviewed journal.   This is what Mark writes as to how to find this piece: “It is available to alumni on the Dartmouth College library website, but not through the JUSTOR link, rather through Project MUSE.  They will have to find the journal ‘International Security’ (not all that easy) and then go through its index to the Spring 2018 issue.”
AGAIN, none of this reading is required, there will be no test, and the only things you must do is let me know that you want to join the conversation, and then, on March 12 at 3 pm Eastern time, click on the Join Zoom link.
Now that we have taken care of the available readings, we turn to Mark himself, and to his description of the topic for the discussion.
First, this is Mark’s cv:

Prof. Sheetz has been teaching international politics for twenty-five years. He has taught at Williams College, Dartmouth College, Boston College, and Wesleyan University.  His course offerings include Introduction to International Politics, International Security and American foreign policy.  He also teaches courses in US-European relations, the Cold War and Politics in the Nuclear Age.  Prof. Sheetz received a Ph.D and M.Phil in political science from Columbia University, an M.A. in international relations from the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, and an A.B. in government from Dartmouth College.  He was a Fellow in National Security Affairs at the Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University, a Fellow in International Security Affairs at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, and a John M. Olin Fellow in International Security Studies at Yale University.  Prof. Sheetz was a Fulbright Scholar and Chair of Security Studies at the College of Europe.  He has lectured at Yale University, MIT, the University of Helsinki, Finland, the University of Wuhan, China, the NATO Defense College in Rome, the Ecole Royale Militaire in Brussels, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, the Ecole Supérieure de Guerre in Tunis, and the Committee on National Security Policy of the Swiss parliament in Bern.  His scholarly articles on American foreign policy, European politics, and international relations theory have appeared in journals such as International Security, Security Studies, Foreign Policy, H-Diplo, and the Journal of Cold War Studies.  Prof. Sheetz is currently working on a book manuscript examining the origins of European integration through the prism of Franco-German relations.    
Second, this is Mark’s description of the Casual Conversation:


What is President Biden’s foreign policy?  Where does it come from?  What should we make of it?  Pres. Biden has stated that the war in Ukraine is not just a regional conflict, but part of a global struggle of democracies against autocracies, of the “East” against the “West.”  Is this true?  And if not, why would he describe it as such?  What, in fact, is the US national interest in Ukraine and is it either strategic or vital?  If not, is it worth the risk of general war and a $100 billion of economic and military assistance?  The Russian economy before the war was no larger than that of Italy, and it is considerably smaller than that now.  But the United States and its allies have imposed economic sanctions “unlike anything the world has ever seen.”  Does this amount to overkill?  And if so, why impose such a policy?
Elsewhere in Europe, Pres. Biden is anxious to reassure NATO allies that the United States is “back” and to reverse the doubts about American commitment provoked by the policy of his predecessor.  What are the consequences of this policy for the future of European security?  In the Middle East, Biden aims to reverse Trump policy on two of the most significant items in the agenda, Iran’s nuclear program and the Palestinian issue.  Is this policy wise or quixotic?  And in Asia, Biden is pursuing a containment strategy against China, including ever expanding economic sanctions, and warns that the US is committed to the military defense of Taiwan.  What are American interests in Asia and does such a policy promote them?

Finally, the rules of (the Class of 1969) engagement: Let me know if you want to join us for Mark’s Casual Conversation by emailing me at by the close of business on the Friday before, March 10.
Arthur Fergenson

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