Archive: Wartime Leadership
Staff Sergeant Salvatore A. Giunta represents the potential in all of us to take actions than transcend our self-interest when the moment requires the best from us...
By Michael Useem | December 22, 2010; 05:38 PM ET | Comments (2)
For those of us who in this holiday season hope for peace on Earth, let us renew our commitment to work for a peaceful world. And if we believe that war is not the answer in 2011, let's join those who are standing up for peace. After all, Daniel Ellsberg has been...
By Juana Bordas | December 22, 2010; 05:25 PM ET | Comments (53)
No exceptions, no matter how high your station, no matter how important you are to the organization. When you violate the fundamental rules of the institutional culture...
By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | December 14, 2010; 12:46 PM ET | Comments (1)
As with the Benedict Arnold example, star performers can move up the organization to positions of great responsibility, without a clear understanding of the value of ethical behavior and institutional rules and...
By Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.) | December 13, 2010; 03:08 PM ET | Comments (0)
Remember, back in 2008, when everyone compared Barack Obama to Abraham Lincoln? After he was elected president, Obama himself talked about what he was learning from the 16th president. Fast forward to today: no one is talking about those parallels. Only the most foolish among us would put Obama anywhere near the rarefied stratosphere reserved for our most revered leader.
By Nancy Koehn | December 8, 2010; 01:04 PM ET | Comments (19)
Although 185,000 African Americans served in the Union Army during the conflict, only white troops made up the 200,000-man procession through the capital of our restored nation.
By Col. Charles D. Allen | November 11, 2010; 10:12 AM ET | Comments (0)
To paraphrase, "a day on the Gettysburg battlefield beats any day in the seminar room." Of course for our U.S. Army War College trip, the seminar room was the battlefield. Over the years, I have been privileged to observe several student groups of senior military officers vicariously experience the great national contest of wills that was our American Civil War. It is advantageous for our students that contest came to be realized in central Pennsylvania.
By Col. Charles D. Allen | August 24, 2010; 10:42 AM ET | Comments (14)
In both Iraq and Afghanistan there is a third front -- Washington and interagency politics.
By Robert Goodwin | June 25, 2010; 04:57 PM ET | Comments (0)
General Petraeus must now be VERY clear on the mission and strategy - is it counterinsurgency, is it troop withdrawal by a certain date, is it leaving Afghan leadership with control of their own security?
By Lisa Larson | June 25, 2010; 03:37 PM ET | Comments (0)
In announcing his decision, President Obama underscored two vitally important principles of good management: the mission is always bigger than any one man or woman; and there is a profound difference between debate and division.
By Lisa Caputo | June 25, 2010; 12:36 PM ET | Comments (5)
The Civil War General George McClellan was a true talent, and one might argue his was essential in building the Army of the Potomac. But he had no sense of place, and this got him sacked.
By Col. Charles D. Allen | June 24, 2010; 03:26 PM ET | Comments (6)
Our founding fathers understood that a standing military represented a potential danger to liberty and therefore sought to minimize its power.
By George Reed | June 24, 2010; 12:54 PM ET | Comments (0)
the president's action stems not from his dismissal of McChrystal but his appointment of General David Petraeus.
By D. Michael Lindsay | June 24, 2010; 12:27 PM ET | Comments (10)
Stan was wrong and the president did what he had to do. However, unless and until we address the root cause, we will continue to lack strategic focus on the road to bankruptcy and failure.
By Gen. John Batiste (Ret.) | June 24, 2010; 11:25 AM ET | Comments (64)
In assuming his new position, General Petraeus must show the leadership that McChrystal failed to exhibit.
By Scott DeRue | June 24, 2010; 11:21 AM ET | Comments (0)
Such blatant hostility and disregard for their superiors endangers everyone. When respect for authority is absent more than egos are hurt - lives can be lost.
By Katherine Tyler Scott | June 24, 2010; 11:11 AM ET | Comments (7)
I thought that Gen. McChrystal's career ended with the Tillman investigation, and I was surprised to see his name appear as the new commander in Afghanistan.
By Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.) | June 24, 2010; 11:08 AM ET | Comments (7)
General McChrystal, a career military man and Army Ranger who is known to sleep just four hours, eat just one meal and run seven miles per day, excelled in the Iraq war. Yet something about the ambiguous nature of the Afghan struggle destabilized him.
By Amy Fraher | June 24, 2010; 10:44 AM ET | Comments (4)
Why would a four-star general risk reprimand and dismissal in such an obvious way?
By Michael Maccoby | June 24, 2010; 10:36 AM ET | Comments (2)
The generals must be held just as accountable as the privates. That is why President Obama's reasons were just as important as the result.
By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | June 24, 2010; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (0)
Even tough-minded hombres like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush couldn't bring themselves to boot aides lacking discretion or competence - or both.
By Ken Adelman | June 24, 2010; 07:22 AM ET | Comments (1)
Four-star generals, like CEOs, need to think highly of themselves but when that sense of self leads to a heightened sense of self-importance, hubris sets in.
By John Baldoni | June 24, 2010; 07:18 AM ET | Comments (3)
One need not go far - Iran, North Korea, Iraq in the days of Saddam Hussein -- to see the dangers of military rule.
By Kathryn Kolbert | June 23, 2010; 04:55 PM ET | Comments (1)
General McChrystal should have known what to expect from making his disagreements as public comments
By Barry Posner | June 23, 2010; 04:54 PM ET | Comments (0)
What a tragedy this is to damage a long, distinguished career in a single media interview, and with Rolling Stone, no less!
By Bill George | June 23, 2010; 04:42 PM ET | Comments (2)
They could not back off the beach--there wasn't even a plan for withdrawal. The only thing left to do was to get the troops moving directly up the bluffs, right into the teeth of the German fire.
By Ed Ruggero | June 4, 2010; 05:11 AM ET | Comments (24)
Since only a tiny minority of our population has served in the military, for many of us one of the few connections to the military we have are memorials to those who sacrificed for our cause.
By John Baldoni | May 28, 2010; 10:22 AM ET | Comments (16)
A morning spent caring for a frozen dove with a foreign military officer reminds me that we do have something special in America--probably more than we deserve and something that we should hope for others to experience.
By Col. Charles D. Allen | May 10, 2010; 04:24 PM ET | Comments (4)
Success does not depend on one person, but whatever the U.S. achieves in Iraq could have been accomplished without Gen. David Petraeus's leadership.
By Col. Michael E. Haith (Ret.) | February 23, 2010; 02:44 PM ET | Comments (36)
The U.S. has had a bad habit of betting on the wrong horse, whether in the Philippines or Panama or Iran. Even Saddam Hussein was once our friend.
By Yash Gupta | December 7, 2009; 02:14 PM ET | Comments (0)
My experience at the National Military Academy of Afghanistan showed me leadership development is already happening, but that it may take a generation to accomplish.
By Lt. Col. Todd Henshaw (Ret.) | December 3, 2009; 02:34 AM ET | Comments (2)
Succeeding in Afghanistan is not a matter of teaching leadership to Afghanis. Rather, we need to find and support the right leaders with the right followers.
By Michael Maccoby | December 2, 2009; 02:15 PM ET | Comments (0)
Our U.S. military has many years of experience in training the forces of other nations.
By Col. Charles D. Allen | December 2, 2009; 01:52 PM ET | Comments (0)
For progress to occur, an expanded culture of leadership must become pervasive throughout Afghanistan.
By Ed O'Malley | December 2, 2009; 10:59 AM ET | Comments (0)
Ultimately, motivation and leadership are grounded in culture: Why do we think we can change the complex Afghan culture when our "outsider" attempts to influence it have, to date, been unsuccessful?
By Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. | December 2, 2009; 10:36 AM ET | Comments (5)
Considering that little success has been achieved through working with expatriate and Westernized Afghanis, U.S. leaders should consider capitalizing upon entrenched Afghan power structures.
By Coro Fellows | December 1, 2009; 12:54 PM ET | Comments (3)
Who will risk their survival and that of their family in siding with an outsider who promises much but whose intent is clearly to leave on his schedule? Developing leaders requires that we build relationships of trust and depth.
By Gen. Monty Meigs (Ret.) | December 1, 2009; 12:07 PM ET | Comments (1)
It is critical for the reconstruction of a war-ravaged nation to not only focus on leaders in government, but also leaders in business and civic society, including women.
By Angel Cabrera | December 1, 2009; 06:29 AM ET | Comments (0)
We can and must engage in leadership development of Afghan leaders, and this will be the most difficult effort of our involvement in Afghanistan.
By Col. Michael E. Haith (Ret.) | December 1, 2009; 05:18 AM ET | Comments (11)
In Afghanistan, there may be more ways to fail than succeed, and in this complex situation, it's tempting -- and wrong -- to reduce the issue to "Obama vs. McChrystal."
By Ed Ruggero | October 19, 2009; 05:43 AM ET | Comments (12)
If President Obama is reconsidering our policy in Afghanistan, that is the essential act of a leader -- not an "about face."
By Warren Bennis | September 24, 2009; 06:15 AM ET | Comments (39)
A Pakistan destabilized from Afghanistan and its own Tribal Areas presents an unacceptable strategic prospect.
By Gen. Monty Meigs (Ret.) | September 24, 2009; 06:01 AM ET | Comments (17)
I believe victory is still possible in Afghanistan--but it will require brutal honesty and a renewal of support for our mission there.
By Robert Goodwin | September 23, 2009; 12:42 PM ET | Comments (8)
The U.S .did not lose its friends in Asia by leaving Vietnam, where we were supporting, as now in Afghanistan, a corrupt government against an insurgency with deep roots in the country.
By Michael Maccoby | September 22, 2009; 01:11 PM ET | Comments (33)
Making the right decisions and executing them -- whether an about face or full steam ahead -- always require listening, planning, then leading.
By Andy Stern | September 22, 2009; 06:36 AM ET | Comments (1)
If a policy is not working and will not work, a president, like a CEO, must act decisively, explain his decision clearly and move on. Few have ever been willing to do so.
By Slade Gorton | September 22, 2009; 06:32 AM ET | Comments (1)
Once the decision has been made to execute an about face, any leader needs to communicate, communicate, communicate.
By Beth A. Brooke | September 22, 2009; 06:28 AM ET | Comments (2)
A good leader must explain with patience and clarity the reasons for the change, as the public will not follow an uncertain leader.
By Mickey Edwards | September 22, 2009; 06:14 AM ET | Comments (1)
Obama could do the nation, indeed the world, a favor if he could convert such a major change in course into a learning experience.
By Howard Gardner | September 22, 2009; 05:58 AM ET | Comments (1)