At War with General Jack Keane

Monday, April 13, 2009
Retired Gen. Jack Keane on Uncommon Knowledge

During his thirty-seven years in the U.S. Army, Jack Keane earned four stars. Beginning his career as a paratrooper in Vietnam, he rose to command both the 101st Airborne Division and the 18th Airborne Corps. In his final post he served as the Army’s vice chief of staff. General Keane retired from active duty in 2003.

In 2006, General Keane and military historian Frederick Kagan helped develop a new approach to the Iraq war that would become known as “the surge.” How did we arrive at that point in 2006 when the entire war effort in Iraq hung in the balance – why did the war go so badly for so long? General Keane gives an insider’s account of this pivotal time in the Iraq war and of the resistance encountered within the military to that dramatic change in strategy. Keane discusses the lessons to be learned from the Iraq War and how to define and achieve victory in Afghanistan. Finally, he deals with the overall question of the military force structure and the danger of becoming preoccupied with the threat of terrorism and insurgencies and thus risking being unable to confront a conventional power. (37:46 ) Video transcript

Recorded on Wednesday, March 25, 2009