Wilson Center Public Policy Scholar Melvyn P. Leffler will review prevailing interpretations and suggest how his current research may refine our understanding of the decision to intervene militarily in Iraq in 2003.

Christian Ostermann, director of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program will chair the event.

Melvyn P. Leffler is a Wilson Center public policy scholar, the Edward R. Stettinius professor of history in the department of history at the University of Virginia (UVA), and a faculty associate at UVA's Miller Center of Public Affairs.

Leffler has served as the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UVA and as president of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations. Formerly, he has been a fellow at the Norwegian Nobel Institute and the United States Institute of Peace. Leffler served in the office of the Secretary of Defense during the Carter Administration, where he worked on arms control and contingency planning as a fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations.

In 1993 Leffler won the Bancroft Prize for A Preponderance of Power: National Security, the Truman Administration and the Cold War and, in 2008, won the George Louis Beer Prize for his book, For the Soul of Mankind: the United States, the Soviet Union, and the Cold War. Among his other books are Specter of Communism: The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1917–1953; The Elusive Quest: America's Pursuit of European Stability and French Security, 1919–1933; and To Lead the World: American Strategy After the Bush Doctrine. Leffler is also the author of several articles and essays seeking to put contemporary developments after 9/11 in historical perspective.