If President Trump or national security staff want to change the behavior of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Moscow’s Vladimir Putin or Iranian ayatollahs, they best avoid mirrors.

   Rather than viewing their political opponents through the prism of their own images, better they consult history books to understand the culture, history and values that undermine others’ decision making.

   So said Douglas Feith, a former official in the George W. Bush and Reagan administrations, during his talk last week at Ripon College.

   He warned against U.S. leaders adopting a “mirror-imaging fallacy” by determining what a foreign leader will do by looking at themselves in a mirror and saying, “Under similar circumstances, what would I do?”

   A former undersecretary of defense for policy under Bush and a Reagan administration Middle East specialist for the National Security Council, Feith was hosted by the Ripon College International Relations Club and the National Security Studies Program.

   He cautioned that mirror-imaging policy is “at the root of countless dumb errors in the national security field” and risks having disastrous consequences for a nation using false assumptions to avoid war.

   Read the full story in the March 1, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.