After President Obama outlines his strategy Wednesday for winding down the 10-year war in Afghanistan – including the rate of US troop withdrawals – it will be the duty of three men, all new in their roles, to get it done. It will be a tough job, and there is likely to be plenty of second-guessing not only about the strategy itself, but also their handling of it, from Congress, pundits, and ex-military types. Here are some clues into what priorities these three defense leaders might set and a look at the particular skills each brings to the task of managing America’s longest war.
As talks about Iran’s nuclear program began today in Kazakhstan, it's worth noting the success of ongoing, respectful collaboration between American and Iranian scientists and public-health experts. Such exchanges can cut through the deepest political and media rhetoric.