During President Reagan’s two administrations, Elliott Abrams held three senior State Department positions, as Assistant Secretary of State for, first, International Organization Affairs, then Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, and finally Inter-American Affairs. In the last two of these posts, Abrams was at the center of the ideological battles of the Cold War’s endgame; and the fact that the history of the late eighties and early nineties wholly vindicated his analysis of world politics did little to assuage the venom of Mr. Abrams’s enemies, who did not take kindly to the revelation that he had been comprehensively right, and they comprehensively wrong, about the central moral and strategic questions of U.S. foreign policy. But, as someone once said somewhere, there are gentler callings than high public office in these United States.
Mr. Abrams, a graduate of Harvard College, the London School of Economics, and the Harvard Law School, is now a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute, under whose auspices he recently published a study entitled Security and Sacrifice: Isolation, Intervention, and American Foreign Policy. We talked about his book, and his views on the current scene, in a conversation at the Center’s offices in late May.
George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. and holds EPPC’s William E. Simon Chair in Catholic Studies.