In the winter of 2001, I co-edited a book called Islam and Central Asia: An Enduring
Legacy or an Emerging Threat? Though more than two decades have passed since that
book was researched and published, I have no doubt, based on what I know of the region, that the fall of Afghanistan and America’s bungled departure from that country will have significant geopolitical repercussions for decades to come. How the United States manages this closing chapter will be watched carefully around the world and will define the international community’s assessment of America’s core values and reliability as an ally. Our adversaries and competitors will also watch for the new fault lines in America’s global role.
This matter, however, is more than an issue of international relations. The horrific scenes of chaos at the airport in Kabul, as US planes left Afghanistan, along with the domestic assault on the United States Capitol on January 6, are already etched in the American mind. Both events have been a shock to our self-understanding and image, leading nearly everyone to agree that our country is at a turning point. This defining moment comes at a time when the effectiveness and morality of our leaders are called into question, and we are seemingly without a strategy that could unite this country and prepare it adequately for the new era now underway.
During these long months since I last wrote you, I thought often of commenting on these and other developments. There has never been a shortage of topics. But it seemed to me that the only way to make such observations coherent would be to write regularly rather than episodically. So, if I was silent during this time it was because I had to think about whether I was willing to commit myself to developing this website. Over the months, with considerable encouragement from readers of How Ike Led, I finally decided to put new energy behind it to bring together reflections from the past and the present—always with an eye to the future.
By the end of September susaneisenhower.com will have a new face, as well as a design which I hope you will find more user friendly. You should also be hearing from me regularly through “Dear Friends” updates—weekly messages of anecdotal observations on cultural, political, economic, human interest, national and international developments. They will be items that catch my interest and offer a way to think about the ups and downs of today’s stories. The website will also have a photo gallery of “Earlier Times.”
In addition to these regular posts, there will be a subscription structure that will enable the interested reader to have access to deeper insights and stories on leadership and strategy for the “long haul.” This subscription is where you will find The Longer View, my essays and interviews that will unpack the principles behind sustainable strategy and leadership. I hope eventually to invite others to contribute as well.
In addition, subscribers will have access to the full extent of the blog archives and other archival material. Interviews, essays, earlier blogs, current audio and video content will be made available on a periodic basis.
For those of you who have been faithful readers of my blog and those of you who are
newcomers to my website, I hope to inspire optimism where it is justified and practical steps toward problem-solving, when such issues and trends pose the greatest challenges to our families, our country, and the world.
Realizing this vision may be a tall order, but I hope these plans for susaneisenhower.com will prompt you to share this journey with me.