Spirit of America CEO Jim Hake and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marty Sherwin recently came together in Aspen for a Fireside Chat hosted by the Institute. The duo discussed US humanitarian and stability efforts, Spirit of America’s experiences with the Iraq and Afghan wars, and the challenges of reforming large bureaucracies.
Spirit of America launched in 2003 by sending 10 tons of school and medical supplies, as well as several tons of frisbees, with Marines going to Iraq, to help initiate interaction between the soldiers and children. "The idea behind what we're doing," said Hake, "is to bring the American people and the American private sector down to support the humanitarian work of American troops on the ground." In partnership with Spirit of America, the US military has pioneered a new 'soft power' approach to helping the US prevent conflict, counter extremism, and improve America’s position in the world. Hake explained, "Our young officers have an extraordinary responsibility – they have an enormous influence on war and peace… We're sending material goods to American troops to help win the hearts and minds of the people in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Click below to watch the entire chat: