Wartime Decision Making

Frederick W. Kagan and Eric S. Edelman

Tikvah Fund | 2014

Tikvah was privileged to host two wise and experienced foreign-policy professionals for the Advanced Institute, “War and Human Nature.” Frederick Kagan is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a historian and strategist best known for his role in crafting the Iraq Surge. Eric Edelman was the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy from 2005 to 2009 after a long career in the foreign service and White House foreign policy team. As part of “War and Human Nature,” Kagan interviewed Edelman on the subject of statesmanship in wartime. They covered the psychology of leadership, the “human element” in Pentagon decision-making, how to negotiate the bureaucracy, what crises do to leaders, the styles of Defense Secretaries Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates, and the strategic thinking behind the Iraq Surge. Together, Edelman and Kagan offer an insider’s look. The event was filmed on June 19, 2014.

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