The National Security Roundtable

cordially invites its MEMBERS to a Cocktail Reception, Briefing & Discussion with

Richard Perle

Former Assistant Secretary of Defense;
Former Chairman of the Defense Policy Board; and
Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

"Bush to Obama: Forward to the Past?"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM

The Harmonie Club
4 East 60th Street
New York, NY


Described as someone who “has put his stamp on almost every decisive event in international affairs over the past three decades”, Richard Perle served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy in the Reagan administration (1981-87), and as a member and later Chairman of the Defense Policy Board (1987-2004). He began his public career as a Senate staffer for the legendary Democratic Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson of Washington State, and quickly became known “as something of a pit bull in the corridors of Congress, considered a gentlemanly but consummate infighter wielding a velvet shiv, who could kill softly by employing his virtues of patience and curiosity... He used every weapon in his arsenal to sway public opinion and move Jackson's Senate colleagues away from the Kissinger State Department embrace of the status quo” (Alan Weisman in "Prince of Darkness"). Together with Scoop Jackson, Perle fought many critical battles, which resulted in many historical victories.

One such battle was the so-called Jackson-Vanik amendment, an amendment drafted by Perle to the 1972 International Grain Agreement (the "Russian Wheat Deal"). Despite fierce opposition from Nixon administration officials (e.g. Henry Kissinger, Brent Scowcroft, etc.), the Jackson-Vanik amendment passed, making for the first time by law a trade agreement contingent upon the fundamental human right of people to emigrate (and opening the door for Soviet Jewry emigration).

A leading authority on national security, arms proliferation and defense, and regional conflicts, Perle is currently a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he directed AEI's commission on Future Defenses. He is a frequent contributor to such major publications as The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Daily Telegraph (London), Jerusalem Post and numerous others; and guest commentator on radio and television on matters of security and foreign policy. Perle is also co-author of the book “An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror" (Random House; December 2003) and author of the political novel “Hard Line” (Random House; June 1992).