Ambassador Douglas Lute | August 25, 2021
Professor Feaver welcomed Ambassador Doug Lute, former Ambassador to NATO, to discuss the Biden Administration’s Afghan strategy.
Summary by Emma Dries:
Ambassador Douglas Lute is the former United States Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council. After retiring from the Army after 35 years, Ambassador Lute served a total of six years in the White House in both the Bush and Obama administrations. He served as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor to coordinate the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan under Bush, and then was retained by President Obama as a senior White House official.
Ambassador Lute and Dr. Peter Feaver began the event by discussing the current state of Afghanistan and the Biden administration’s decision to pull out of the country. Ambassador Lute highlighted how entering Afghanistan was necessary after Al-Qaeda’s attack on the United States on 9/11, but how it may have been in our best interest to pull out after Osama Bin Laden’s assassination. The rapid fall of Afghanistan’s government and security forces demonstrated how even after two decades of U.S. involvement in the country, the United States’ work to build a legitimate democracy was not feasibly met by their Afghani counterparts.
In the questions section, students asked who was to blame for our current situation in Afghanistan, and Ambassador Lute highlighted how this war has spanned three administrations over two decades. While mistakes were made throughout every administration, it was ultimately necessary for the United States to become involved in Afghanistan after 9/11.