Barack Obama has been taking foreign policy advice from Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s. At first glance, this may seem an odd choice for the anti-war presidential candidate—after all, back then Brzezinski was known as the hawk’s hawk, supporting plans to arm the Afghan mujahedin against the Soviet invaders in 1979-80 and urging President Carter to take decisive action to protect the Shah in Iran when his position came under threat.
But almost 30 years later, Brzezinski has become one of President Bush’s harshest foreign policy critics, speaking out particularly forcefully against the war in Iraq. In the new issue of Prospect, he talks to Jonathan Power about American foreign policy, the urgency of ensuring a swift exit from Iraq, and why it is that the US always seems to get it wrong with Iran.
Our website also features a second Power interview, with Georgi Arbatov, who in the 1980s became known in the west as one of the Soviet Union’s foreign policy mouthpieces. Power describes the background to the two interviews here.