leadership | January 30, 2013

Improving Military Leadership: Andrew Bacevich In The New York Times

In a New York Times opinion piece, Andrew Bacevich argues that Chuck Hagel's confirmation hearings could act as a catalyst to major changes in U.S. National Security policies. Hagel has been nominated by President Obama to be the next U.S. Defense Secretary. Despite controversy over Hagel's stance on Iran and Israel, Bacevich believes these hearings have the potential to spark debate on important issues in the Pentagon, such as military leadership and analyzing past failures to improve upon current practices.

Bacevich says an assessment of American generalship should be discussed. The process by which senior leadership is selected needs to be examined to determine a more effective method of developing officers for these high level ranks. These hearings should not only prompt a conversation about what we expect from our military leaders, but also underscore what we expect from the military as a whole. He says we should be questioning how the military structure has changed, or not changed, since the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are many lessons to be learned from the wars waged in the past, and we should be using those lessons to craft new policies.

Bacevich is a popular speaker on military affairs. He sits on the Council on Foreign Relations and a Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University. In his books—The Limits of Power and Washington Rules—he analyzes the effects of military leadership on conflict outcomes. Bacevich also has experience in combat himself, he served during the Vietnam War, in Germany, and the Persian Gulf. A retired Colonel and military scholar, Bacevich combines first hand experience with academic analysis to offer audiences an uncompromising critique of America's foreign policy and military strategy. He highlights where the nation stands now—and what needs to be altered for the future.

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leadership | January 29, 2013