News & Insights

  • Reset

From 300,000 to a Few Hundred: What Happened to Afghanistan’s Army

August 18, 2021

President Joe Biden told the American people on July 8 that the U.S. and its partners in Afghanistan had “trained and equipped nearly 300,000 current serving members of the military”…

Many Facets Contributed to the Taliban’s Takeover of Afghanistan

August 16, 2021

NPR’s A Martínez talks with former U.S. CENTCOM Commander Gen. Joseph Votel about the military failures that led to the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan. The Taliban’s blitz offensive…

View of an urban section of a city in Afghanistan

The Painful Lessons of Afghanistan

August 15, 2021

The Cipher Brief: Did you ever envision that the U.S. would pull out so quickly or completely leaving the Afghan military on its own without U.S. air support?   General Votel:…

Taliban Sweep in Afghanistan Follows Years of US Miscalculations

August 14, 2021

President Biden’s top advisers concede they were stunned by the rapid collapse of the Afghan army in the face of an aggressive, well-planned offensive by the Taliban that now threatens…

US Deserves Big Share of Blame for Afghanistan Military Disaster

August 12, 2021

As one provincial capital after another has fallen to the Taliban, the message from Washington to the Afghans facing the onslaught has been that their survival is in their own…

Episode 4: Dr. Suzet McKinney, Principal and Director of Life Sciences, Sterling Bay

August 11, 2021

General Votel interviews BENS Chicago member Dr. Suzet McKinney, Principal and Director of Life Sciences for commercial real estate developer Sterling Bay. In this role, McKinney helps create urban campus…

The Future of US Cooperation with Pakistan

August 1, 2021

The United States and Pakistan have had a complex and often disappointing “love-hate” relationship since 1947 — one severely tested during the 20-year U.S.-led intervention in Afghanistan. We believe the…

Episode 3: Nate Morris, Founder and CEO of Rubicon

July 31, 2021

General Votel speaks with Nate Morris, founder and CEO of Rubicon, a software company focused on waste and recycling. The conversation highlights the innovative approach Morris and his company have…

Episode 2: Raj Shah, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Resilience

June 30, 2021

General Votel interviews California member Raj Shah, the Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Resilience, which provides insurance and tools to help mid-market companies manage cybersecurity threats and recovery. The conversation…