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The World According to Charles Hill
BY EDWARD N. EISEN
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Charles Hill L’60 is an astute observer of world events. From the war on terrorism to whether the U.N. should be abolished, Charles Hill has an opinion. But be assured that his studied analysis is unlike anything you see that dominates the chatter on cable TV these days.

At 68, Charles Hill is a life-long academic, a hands-on expert on international political affairs, a career foreign service officer. He earned his stripes as a China- and Vietnam-watcher, a speechwriter for Henry Kissinger and later as Secretary of State George Shultz’s right-hand man.

Today he teaches a course at Yale where students learn to be generalists — not specialists — to see the connections between big ideas and big events. He’s writing his fourth book on "grand strategy" based on a more expansive view of world affairs in history. It is a view that informed the educations of American leaders in the early 20th century.

New York Times columnist David Brooks, who once taught at Yale, characterizes Hill as a "Renaissance man" who applies the classics of literature — Homer, Virgil, Dante and more — to solve the problems that envelop today’s world. In response to a wide range of questions on world affairs, Hill had this to say about:

The War on Terror

"… There is an international system of states that began to develop after the Thirty Years War and the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. Every major war in the intervening centuries has been a war to overturn this system. We are in such a war now — or on the edge of one --in the sense of a true world war. What is going on in the Middle East is a civil war between the Islamists who aim to destroy the state in the region and turn it against the system, and those regimes that are and want to be both Muslim and states in the system. If the former win, we will have to fight a true world war. We are, however, succeeding..."
 
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