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Exploring Leadership in the News with Steven Pearlstein and Raju Narisetti


The Afghanistan Challenge

Things in Afghanistan are not going well. Is that because the situation requires a different kind of military leadership, as suggested by the Pentagon's decision to install a new commanding general? Or is it because political leaders have been unable to articulate credible goals and a credible strategy? What would you do?

Posted by Ben Bradlee and Steve Pearlstein on August 24, 2009 11:52 AM

Troops Without Uniforms

Nation building is not our military's strength. Now is the time for our people -- and corporations -- to contribute to Afghanistan's rebuilding.

Posted by Robert Goodwin, on August 28, 2009 12:10 PM

Flawed Leadership in Washington

It is too late to repair the harm done to the Army by the mishandled removal of General David McKiernan, but the resulting debate may be a useful part of developing an effective strategy in Afghanistan.

Posted by Gen. Monty Meigs (Ret.), on August 26, 2009 11:51 AM

New Strategy, New Leader

It is possible Gn. McKiernan was the best-available leader under the old, NATO-focused strategy in Afghanistan, but the game has changed.

Posted by Col. Charles D. Allen, on August 25, 2009 1:19 PM

'Nation-Building' Dreams

With our focus on "good governance" and economic development, the fundamental question remains: How critical are the governance and development goals to our anti-Taliban efforts in Afghanistan---and how realistic?

Posted by Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr., on August 25, 2009 11:09 AM
Yash Gupta

Time for Plain Talk

We can't have a repeat of the mistakes made in Vietnam and Iraq, when our leaders were unable or unwilling to fully explain why we got in and how we would get out.

Posted by Yash Gupta, on August 25, 2009 11:06 AM

No Victory on the Cheap

We learned in Iraq that we cannot fight a successful war at half speed; only with the surge did we see our way to at least a quasi-victory. And that is the only way out in Afghanistan.

Posted by Slade Gorton, on August 25, 2009 11:02 AM

A Necessary Question

It will take a courageous leader to decide against escalating the war in Afghanistan.

Posted by Kurt Schmoke, on August 25, 2009 10:56 AM

Mission Creep

The war has shifted from destroying al-Qaeda to fighting the Taliban, and we are becoming bogged down in what is essentially a complex of tribal wars.

Posted by Michael Maccoby, on August 25, 2009 10:46 AM

'What's the Point?'

Until and unless the leaders in the Obama Administration answer the question, 'What's the point?' the American people will not understand why sacrifices are being made on the ground and military leaders will be unable to mount an effective military campaign.

Posted by Alan M. Webber, on August 24, 2009 12:40 PM

Breaking Every Rule

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, dating back to their very beginnings, are case studies on how not to wage war.

Posted by Gen. John Batiste (Ret.), on August 24, 2009 12:34 PM
Bill Shore

History's Against Us

The issue for the U.S. has less to do with military strategy and military leadership than with the problematic nature of waging a war half way around the world on terrain we may never be able to really secure.

Posted by Bill Shore, on August 24, 2009 12:22 PM
Howard Gardner

Reduce Our Commitment

President Obama made a huge mistake in taking on Afghanistan as "his" war.

Posted by Howard Gardner, on August 24, 2009 12:13 PM

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jgluke: The goal was to remove Al Qaeda and its supporting Afghan government. This opportunity was lost when Rumsfield, with his nose bent out of sh...

icurhuman2: Historically Afghanistan has been at war for centuries due to its strategic location as a hub between the East and West. It has been invaded...

barbnc: Where were all these opinions when Bush started the war in the first place? People who questioned or did not support the war were completel...

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