"Assessing Progress in Afghanistan" briefing with Gen. Jack Keane (USA, Ret.) and Maj. Fernando Lujan (USA)

Assessing Progress in Afghanistan

Wednesday, February 22

Speakers:        General Jack Keane
                        Former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army

                        Major Fernando Luján
                        Council on Foreign Relations
                        Army Special Forces

Moderator:       Rachel Hoff
                        Foreign Policy Initiative

- Download a transcript of this briefing in PDF format

Speaker Biographies

General Jack Keane is a retired four-star general and the former acting chief of staff and vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army. He is currently a senior partner at SCP Partners, president of GSI, LLC, and a director of MetLife, General Dynamics, and MacAndrews & Forbes. He is a member of the Secretary of Defense’s Policy Board, the George C. Marshall Foundation, the Center for Strategy and Budget Assessment, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Smith Richardson Foundation, chairman of the Institute for the Study of War, chairman of the Knollwood Foundation, a trustee at Fordham University, and an advisor to two foundations assisting our veterans: Welcome Back Veterans and American Corporate Partners. General Keane completed 37 years in public service in December 2003, culminating as acting chief of staff and vice chief of staff of the U.S. Army.  As the chief operating officer of the Army for 4½ years, he directed one million, five hundred thousand soldiers and civilians in 120 countries, with an annual operating budget of $110 billion. General Keane was in the Pentagon on 9/11 and provided oversight and support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He serves as a national security analyst for Fox News and speaks throughout the nation on national security and leadership. Since 2004, General Keane conducted frequent trips to Iraq for senior defense officials having completed multiple visits during the surge period. He played a key role in recommending the surge strategy in Iraq and is featured in many articles and a number of books to include Bob Woodward’s The War Within and Tom Ricks’ The Gamble. Still active in national security, Gen. Keane continues to advise senior government officials on national security and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He recently completed an assessment for General Petraeus in Afghanistan. General Keane is a career paratrooper, a combat veteran of Vietnam, decorated for valor, who spent much of his military life in operational commands where his units were employed in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and Kosovo.  He commanded the famed 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and the legendary 18th Airborne Corps, the Army’s largest war fighting organization. General Keane graduated from Fordham University with a B.S. in Accounting and an M.A. in Philosophy from Western Kentucky University. He is a graduate of the Army War College and the Command and General Staff College.

Major Fernando Luján is a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs fellow and an Army Special Forces officer currently serving in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Hands program. He was recently selected to be the leader of a new pilot program called the Afghan COIN Advisory and Assistance Team (A-CAAT), a combined team of specially-selected Afghan officers, civilians, and language-capable U.S. military officers who assist commanders at all levels in conducting full-spectrum counterinsurgency operations. Prior to being selected for his current position, Major Luján served as an assistant professor of politics, policy, and strategy at the U.S. Military Academy and an associate of the West Point Combating Terrorism Center. From 2003 to 2006, he conducted counterinsurgency and counterterrorism missions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, and the Tri-Border as the commander of a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha. Beyond his military work, Major Luján has served as a part-time fellow to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, where he assisted with investigations involving the relationships between multinational corporations and illegal armed groups in Colombia. He is also an active leader within The Mission Continues, a non-profit organization that gives wounded warriors the opportunity to continue their lives in public service after leaving the military. Major Luján holds a B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and an M.P.P. from Harvard University. He is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Rachel Hoff has served as the Foreign Policy Initiative’s director of government relations and outreach since 2009. Before joining FPI, she worked on Capitol Hill as legislative assistant and research analyst for Congressman Mac Thornberry (TX-13). Prior to that, Ms. Hoff worked at the American Enterprise Institute, conducting research with several prominent foreign policy experts on issues in the Middle East, democracy promotion, anti-terrorism strategies, and weapons nonproliferation. During the 2008 election cycle, she worked at the National Republican Congressional Committee. Ms. Hoff holds a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from Tufts University.

Mission Statement

The Foreign Policy Initiative seeks to promote an active U.S. foreign policy committed to robust support for democratic allies, human rights, a strong American military equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and strengthening America’s global economic competitiveness.
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