May 28, 2014

In VA crisis, a general’s deliberate style clashes with impatience of young veterans

Featuring Phillip Carter

Source: The Washington Post

Journalist Greg Jaffe

In other wars, in other eras, Eric K. Shinseki might have been an ideal fit to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs through a crisis. He’s run some of Washington’s biggest and most complex bureaucracies. He knows what it’s like to fight back from life-changing war wounds, having lost half a foot to a land mine in Vietnam. He prefers to stay out of politics and work on problems quietly and in the background.

“He’s not a political infighter. That’s absolutely not him,” said retired Army Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, a long-time mentor. “If you asked him to define the perfect public servant, it would be a quiet professional.”

The question facing President Obama as he seeks to contain yet another widening VA scandal is whether quiet and resolute professionalism still works in an age of noisy disputation.

Read the full article at The Washington Post.


  • Phillip Carter

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Military, Veterans, and Society Program

    Phillip Carter was the former Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security. His research focused on issu...