Gian Gentile: Why Is General McChrystal Teaching an Off-the-Record Course at Yale?
Gian Gentile is a serving army colonel, a former Iraq War commander, and an associate professor of history at West Point.
...Enter retired four-star Army General Stanley McChrystal. McChrystal, who formerly led special operations forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and later became a senior American commander in Afghanistan, now teaches a class at Yale's Jackson Institute for Global Affairs*, where he integrates his military experience with his studies on leadership. In the New York Times, McCyrstal is quoted as saying "the only reason I'm here to teach," compared with "somebody who's got a Ph.D., is because I've been through it."
McChrystal must have been through something ominous because, according to Elisabeth Bumiller's Times article, Yale University imposes restrictions on students who sit in McChrystal's classes, demanding that they take notes on an "off the record" basis -- i.e., not for attribution.
Yale's extraordinary act seems drastically out of place with notions of academic and intellectual freedom. At the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where I teach history, intellectual freedom is fiercely encouraged and protected....
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