Often dubbed the “five sided puzzle palace”, the Pentagon didn’t earn the nickname because it’s an easy place to navigate — both physically and organizationally. Uniformed members need time to adapt to their new assignments in the building, but they have a common language, shared experiences and tribes they can lean on. Imagine the experience of a civilian entering the maze as a new staff-member returning to the Pentagon from a D.C. think tank. What would you tell them to aid their success? Cathal O’Connor has some experience in the Pentagon and he’s here to offer some advice. Geared towards that civilian staff-member there is plenty of great information for anyone that is heading to serve in the corridors of the United States Department of Defense.
If the western world truly seeks victory in Afghanistan there needs to be a better understanding of what that victory looks like. The ongoing peace talks with the Taliban are a necessary first step. And a wide look at history over many conflicts reveals that western nations have succeeded in the past at reaching political solutions through similar negotiations, patience, and international cooperation. WAR ROOM welcomes Tom Spahr to examine why a U.S. military exit from Afghanistan in May 2021, or shortly thereafter, is not feasible. He predicts getting to an acceptable agreement with the Taliban will take years, if not decades, and political and military leaders should plan for the long haul.
How do action officers (or anyone below the executive level) get their principal’s priorities on a final list of recommendations for the Secretary of Defense’s approval? Faithfully, even forcefully, presenting the message is not enough. You can learn a lot about an institution by listening to its arguments. Not so long ago, a disagreement in […]