Guest: Dr. Aaron O’Connell is an Associate Professor of History at UT Austin and Director of Research at the Clements Center for National Security. He is a military historian who focuses on military strategy and culture. His first book was entitled, Underdogs: The Making of the Modern Marine Corps. His second book was a collection of essays entitled Our Latest Longest War: Losing Hearts & Minds in Afghanistan. Dr. O’Connell served for 26 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, with the current rank of colonel. He served as a Special Advisor to General David Petraeus in Afghanistan. Later, he served as a Special Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he wrote on issues of terrorism and strategy. Dr. O’Connell also served in the Obama Administration as Director of Defense Policy & Strategy on the National Security Council Staff.
Jeremi and Zachary along with their guest, Aaron O’Connell discuss America’s longest war, the Afghanistan War, and the implications within our proposed withdrawal on the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Zachary sets the scene with his poem titled “When a War Lasts 20 Years”.
About This is Democracy
The future of democracy is uncertain, but we are committed to its urgent renewal today. This podcast will draw on historical knowledge to inspire a contemporary democratic renaissance. The past offers hope for the present and the future, if only we can escape the negativity of our current moment — and each show will offer a serious way to do that! This podcast will bring together thoughtful voices from different generations to help make sense of current challenges and propose positive steps forward. Our goal is to advance democratic change, one show at a time. Dr. Jeremi Suri, a renowned scholar of democracy, will host the podcast and moderate discussions.