For Nearly two decades America has been in war with Afghanistan. The Common Good was joined by Ret. Colonel Chris Kolenda, the man who pioneered a new approach to counterinsurgency, led soldiers in successful battles against the Taliban and was later hand picked by the US government to be involved in early talks with the Taliban. We covered the impact of the war, how it can be ended, and recent events with our military that have made headlines. Moderated by former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.

Watch the video below:https://www.youtube.com/embed/o3khjW8zDmc?wmode=opaque&enablejsapi=1


Ret. Colonel Christopher Kolenda recently served as the Senior Advisor on Afghanistan and Pakistan to Under Secretary of Defense Michèle Flournoy, and three 4* Generals in Afghanistan. He was decorated with the Department of Defense’s highest civilian award for his work on strategy. In 2007-08, he commanded an 800-solider task force in Kunar and Nuristan provinces where he pioneered an innovative approach to counterinsurgency in one of the most violent areas of the country. His unit is the only one in the history of the war to have motivated a large insurgent group to stop fighting and join the government. His advice has been adopted by three Secretaries of Defense and the President of the United States. He was selected to be the Secretary of Defense’s representative in exploratory talks with the Taliban from 2010-2013. He is the only American to have fought the Taliban in combat and engaged them in high-level diplomacy.

He is the founder of the Strategic Leaders Academy, which helps nonprofits and small businesses maximize their impact by developing their Leadership, Culture, and Strategy. He is the editor and coauthor of Leadership: The Warrior’s Art, which has appeared on the professional reading lists of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. His most recent book, The Counterinsurgency Challenge, maps the journey of a leader in a difficult and dangerous conflict.


Secretary Jeh Johnson was appointed by President Obama on December 23, 2013, following confirmation by the U.S. Senate by a vote of 78-16.  Between 2013 and 2017 he served as Secretary of Homeland Security. Previously, Secretary Johnson was appointed by President Obama to be General Counsel of the Department of Defense from 2009 through 2012. In that position, Johnson was one of the legal architects for the U.S. military’s counter terrorism mission during President Obama’s first term.

In 2010, Johnson co-authored a 250-page report that paved the way for the repeal by Congress of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law that prohibited gays from serving openly in the U.S. military. From October 1998 to January 2001, Johnson served in the Clinton Administration as General Counsel of the Department of the Air Force. From 1989 through 1991, Secretary Johnson was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he prosecuted public corruption cases.

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