MANCHESTER -- The 100th anniversary of the start of World War I will be in 2014. It was a war that the participating countries stumbled into and expected to last less than four months. Instead it lasted over four years and resulted in over 16 million deaths and almost 20 million wounded and missing. Empires fell.

The map of Europe was very different after the war. How did Europe stumble into this war? Green Mountain Academy for Lifelong Learning presents "Stumbling into War - Lessons from World War I" on Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Hunter Seminar Room at Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester.

The speaker, Derek Boothby, will first look at the historical lessons of World War I and then bring things to the present where today we find ourselves with two recent wars, in Iraq and in Afghanistan, with upheaval in Egypt, Libya and Yemen, with an ongoing savage civil war in Syria, and then the possibility of military action in Iran if diplomacy fails. All the military actions of the past 15 years have had unforeseen consequences.

As the 100th anniversary of World War I approaches, people would do well to remind themselves of how nations can, if they are not careful, stumble into war. This talk will also explore any lessons applicable to the situation between the USA and China in the 21st century.

Boothby served in the United Nations for over 20 years, during which time he specialized in arms control issues. He was Deputy Director of Operations for weapons inspections in Iraq immediately after the first Gulf War, served on the personal staff of Cyrus Vance in his efforts to stop the war in Bosnia, was second-in-command of a 7,000 strong peace operation in Croatia, was Director of the Europe Division in the Department of Political Affairs, and Chairman of the UN Iraq Operational Group. His work has given him a deep understanding of foreign policy issues and international affairs. Admission to this presentation is $15 per person or $20 for two. Those interested may register in advance by visiting greenmtnacademy.org or call 867-0111.