Miller Center

American Forum - Strategic Challenges in the Middle East

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

John P. Abizaid
October 5, 2009
11:00AM - 12:00PM (EDT)

John P. Abizaid
John P. Abizaid

JOHN P. ABIZAID is a retired General in the U.S. Army and former Commander of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), covering much of the Middle East. Abizaid succeeded General Tommy Franks in July 2003 and covered the war in Iraq until the spring of 2007 when he retired from the military.  A Distinguished Fellow at Dartmouth College and Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, he also works with Stanford’s Preventative Defense Project and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. In 2007, he was named Distinguished Chair of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. 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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