Gen. Anthony Zinni to Deliver Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture Jan. 29.

Gen. Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret.), will deliver a public lecture, “Iraq: Failures, Realities and the Future,” at Duke University on Monday, Jan. 29.

In delivering the 2007 Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture, Zinni is expected to draw on his extensive military experience to take a critical look at current U.S. policy in Iraq. His most recent book, “The Battle for Peace” (2006), analyzes America’s current global position and challenges the U.S. emphasis on unilateral action. The lecture begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Terry Sanford Institute for Public Policy and is free and open to the public.

Zinni has served in more than 70 countries. During a diplomatic and Armed Forces career spanning four decades, Zinni worked his way up from young lieutenant in Vietnam to four-star general with a reputation for candor.

“General Zinni is a force of nature, a Marine’s Marine, and very smart,” said Bruce Kuniholm, director of the Sanford Institute. “He also has an absolute commitment to men in the field and a real understanding, not only of military strategy, but of the responsibilities of those who formulate strategy. He’s a very clear, straightforward thinker who doesn’t mince words.”

From 1997 to 2000, Zinni was commander-in-chief of the U.S. Central Command, overseeing U.S. military activity in the Arab Gulf and Central Asia. After retiring from the Marines in 2002, President Bush appointed him as the U.S. Special Envoy to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. During that time, Zinni became concerned with the policy the administration was taking on Iraq. In the months immediately prior to the war, he concluded that U.S. government leaders were ill-prepared to launch a military campaign in the Middle East.

In “Battle Ready,” his 2004 memoir co-authored by Tom Clancy, Zinni speaks out against the Bush administration’s management of the war in Iraq, criticizing government leaders for a lack of planning and flawed strategy.

The Terry Sanford Distinguished Lecture was endowed by a gift to the university from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust in honor of the late Terry Sanford, who served as North Carolina governor and U.S. senator, and as Duke president for 16 years. Sanford also founded the Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. Previous lecturers include U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres, Costa Rican President Oscar Arias and former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.