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.
14 thoughts on “America at a Turning Point”
Thank you Susan for re-entering the public domain to provide scholarly insight and constructive commentary at a pivotal time in both US and world history. Your focus on the critical tenets of effective leadership and sound policy; both domestic and foreign, will hopefully engender careful contemplation here in the United States of America about how best to embrace today’s tipping point as an opportunity to advance in the best interest of all mankind. May those entrusted with political power learn from the lessons of the past and thoughtfully apply that knowledge for the betterment of all mankind. History tells us time and again that the day a society fails to adapt to inevitable change while steadfastly maintaining the basic principles of human decency is the first day on the path to its demise. The stakes have never been higher.
I read this email with a smile on my face “looking “ at you and again grateful for our friendship.
Our very best wishes to you and your blog.
Susan, thank you. Since entering the US Navy nuclear power program, I have been more and inspired by a speech “Atoms for Peace” given on December 8, 1953 at the United Nations. Today, we are capable (technically) in every respect to share “Soft Power” under the nexus of agriculture, water and energy for the environment with micro nuclear reactor technology from America. Richard McPherson
I am very grateful to you for doing this. I look forward to sharing this journey with you.
What a wonderful surprise. It’s great for all of us to hear from you again. Your wisdom and overview here, is an absolute necessity in these extremely trying days. I never thought in my lifetime, that we would encounter so many vastly compounded and complex, horrors.
Thank you, as always, for being WHO You are Susan. God Bless and STAY SAFE
Thank you Susan for your insights and thought leadership. You have been missed and I look forward to reading, sharing, re-tweeting and liking your posts. My best to you and your family. Warmly, Sally
Thank you for engaging with readers and taking on the project you describe here. I received a copy of “How Ike Led” for Christmas and have since purchased more than a dozen copies to pass along to friends, neighbors and colleagues. I look forward to reading more. I sincerely believe that voices like yours will give us a much needed sense of hope as we navigate the chaos and uncertainty before us as a nation.
You appear to be assuming &/or presupposing that America’s once inherent quality of ‘MERITOCRACY’ still exists;
Under the guise of such, ‘the cream (reflexively) rising to the top (of whatever)’ was once considered a veritable automatic.
Current day force-fed mores have created a departure from this time worn corollary, AND only the bravest of public spokespersons—usually from a non-political sphere—dare to disrupt the status quo within this realm (@ a ‘3rd rail’/’10 ft. pole’ kind of thing)!
PS Many prescience & respectable thinkers are NOT fully convinced of the environmental efficacy of both:
* solar panels, &
* electric vehicles
Due to (a.) unforeseen strain on natural resources to create, (b.) unforeseen strain on environment once life expectancy creates need to dispose of massive car batteries, & (c.) present inability to fully understand how to safely/fully/permanently extinguish electric vehicle auto fires.
Sadly, GO-GO GREEN narratives more often than not, sidestep these ‘inconvenient truths’ so as to, yes, force-feed & saddle working poor/lower middle class with higher energy costs.
Susan, Glad you’re back! We the People need your clarity.
I LOVE SAYING THAT NAME AGAIN! YOUR INSIGHTS ARE WELL CONSTRUCTED. WHAT HAS SURPRISED ME IN THE LAST 5 YEARS HAS BEEN THE LARGE NUMBER OF INTELLIGENT AMERICANS WHO HAVE SUBSCRIBED TO UTTER LIES IN THE QUEST FOR MONEY AND POWER. TO SEE THE GOP DESCEND INTO FASCISM AND STUPIDITY IS VERY DISAPPOINTING. THE NEW SLIGHTLY WATERED DOWN NAZI/TALIBAN PARTY OF AMERICA. DEMS ARE FAR FROM PERFECT BUT AT LEAST BELIEVE IN AMERICAN DEMOCRACY…..
Thrilled Susan that you are back – I shall subscribe as soon as that is possible. And I agreed with what you say (which helps!) I have just finished my book for Lyons Press on Churchill and your grandfather – if only Churchill had taken his advice throughout 1941-1955 the world would have been a far better place! What a tragedy for the world that it has no one like Ike to lead its counsels….
Susan, it’s so wonderful to hear your thoughts again. I always look forward to your insights and wisdom. Yes this nation is at a turning point and we are lacking leadership at many levels. What a shock to see and experience the divisiveness being created in our country.
I am grateful for you, your leadership and the conversations we had at the Gettysburg Leadership Experience. I enjoy your book, How Ike Led and share it with friends and family, younger and less informed of ugly history repeating itself in
our country. We need your voice and those of others who command respect and knowledge to tell a different story than what we are hearing in the media.
Best to you Susan. Cindy
Our teetering world needs all the help it can get. Thank you for deciding to get back in the fray in such a thoughtful way.