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Retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general Anthony C. Zinni has three suggestions for America's next president: Get to know and truly understand the world as it is; devise a strategic design for engaging in that world; and rebuild diplomatic relationships with the world's nations while restructuring government at home.
Zinni, a former commander in chief of U.S. Central Command, gave his first public talk, billed as "The New World Order," as a Frank H.T. Rhodes Class of 1956 Professor in Kennedy Hall's Call Auditorium April 15.
In a swift and personalized summation of recent history, from the collapse of the Soviet Union to the final year of the Bush administration, Zinni discussed globalization, the emergence of non-state entities and movements -- both good and bad -- the rise of the information age, climate change, global diasporas and the advent of failed states in a hostile environment. This 12-minute tour de force brought him to the meat of his presentation -- making sense of the comprehensive change the world has undergone since 1989. The post-Cold War "peace dividend" never panned out, said Zinni, and "the new world order" is emerging as complex and volatile, requiring a nuanced understanding.