Miller Center

American Forum - Rules of Engagement

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The Miller Center is a nonpartisan institute that seeks to provide critical insights for the nation’s governance challenges.

Raffi Khatchadourian, Pete Hegseth
November 6, 2009
11:00AM - 12:00PM (EST)

Raffi Khatchadourian
Raffi Khatchadourian

Pete Hegseth
Pete Hegseth

Did Colonel Michael Dane Steele, as General Peter Chiarelli, the Army’s Vice Chief of Staff believes, set the conditions for a massacre by cultivating reckless aggressiveness in his soldiers, and by interpreting the rules of engagement in a way that made the killing of noncombatants likely? RAFFI KHATCHADOURIAN, a staff writer for the New Yorker, interviews PETE HEGSETH, a Princeton graduate and former platoon leader under Steele, about “The Kill Company: Did a colonel’s fiery rhetoric set the conditions for a massacre?” published in the July 6, 2009 issue of his magazine. This Forum is part of an ongoing series on the state of the U.S. military.

This event is part of…

State of the U.S. Military:

During 2009-2010 the Miller Center conducted a special forum series on the state of the U.S. military. The U.S. military is being stretched to confront multiple challenges in the Mid East region following years of engagement in Iraq and increasing troop commitments in Afghanistan. In particular, the military faces a formidable task as conditions in Afghanistan deteriorate and as the security situation in Pakistan continues to complicate the landscape. President Obama's commitment to withdraw troops from Iraq by 2011 raises important political and strategic considerations. Add to this equation the possible need for a military response to rising tensions with Iran and North Korea. Together, these factors create a complex scenario for the U.S. administration and its military leaders and present an opportune time to examine the state and health of our military.

This forum series builds upon a groundbreaking study conducted by Foreign Policy magazine and the Center for a New American Security. Based on over 3,000 surveys of current and former military officers, the study reveals that over 60% feel that the military is weaker today than it was five years ago. The weakness primarily stems from the pace of troop deployments for the war on terror. The Miller Center forum series builds upon this study and examines the following issues:

  1. U.S. military strength, leadership, and strategy
  2. Status of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan
  3. The politics of war
  4. Sentiment within the ranks
  5. Military resources

Click to download a full PDF of the report from the series.

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