WHAT WENT WRONG IN AFGHANISTAN: A PRIMER

Two weeks ago we released a podcast episode featuring Larry Goodson sharing his thoughts on what the future holds beyond Afghanistan. This week Larry is back with Thomas Johnson sharing thoughts on how we got here in the first place with regards to Afghanistan. Both of these middle east experts have the necessary experience in the region to take a complicated problem and break it down into component failures that have spanned decades and multiple administrations and commanders. They provide a ten point explanation of the decisions and failures that have led the world to the present day situation. It’s a terrific primer and reminder that gets past the finger pointing and posturing dominating the news cycle and social media. And it’s a great starting point in the necessary process that is the after action analysis that now must begin.

VALUES, INTERESTS, AND LEADERSHIP BEYOND AFGHANISTAN

You can’t turn on your computer or phone at the moment without hearing a podcast or seeing an article with someone’s opinion about what went wrong in Afghanistan. The editorial team at WAR ROOM decided that if we were to enter the fray we needed to interview someone that truly had the bona fides to speak intelligently about the long term strategic view of Afghanistan. A BETTER PEACE welcomes Larry Goodson to the virtual studio. Larry is the Professor of Middle East Studies at the U.S. Army War College, and is one of the most knowledgeable people in the United States on the culture, the people, and the problems in Afghanistan and the nations that surround it. He joins podcast editor Ron Granieri to discuss why the situation has unfolded as it has and what might lie ahead for the region and the United States.

TRANSCRIPT: https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/wp-content/uploads/21-128-VALUES-INTERESTS-AND-LEADERSHIP-BEYOND-AFGHANISTAN-Transcript.pdf

THE KURDISH LESSON

Abandoning an ally or proxy because they no longer serve your interest may be good strategy, but it does carry a cost.   U.S. President Donald Trump has been intent upon withdrawing American troops from Syria for at least the last 18 months, based on repeated public pronouncements to that effect (for example, in April […]

FIVE ENDURING BARRIERS TO PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

The region has already experienced twenty-two conflicts in the early years of the 21st century, and its future promises far more. For over a century, world leaders have issued calls for peace in the Middle East , but usually without success. The region has already experienced twenty-two conflicts in the early years of the 21st […]

KAUTILYA, THE ARTHASHASTRA, AND ANCIENT REALISM — GREAT STRATEGISTS (EPISODE 3)

In this third episode of War Room’s special series on Great Strategists, Larry Goodson presents the writings of Kautilya, who is lesser known to military audiences that Clausewitz or Sun Tzu. As counsel to a young emporer in 4th century BCE India, Kautilya developed and published the earliest known works explaining the international relations philosophy known today as realism. ‘Conquer or be conquered’ and ‘the friend of my enemy is my enemy’ are among the teachings originating from the Arthashastra, a collection of 14 books that covered matters of both military and civilian governance.