February 11, 2020

Grappling With the Costs of Combat

By Ilan Goldenberg and Kayla M. Williams

As a woman serving on the front lines in Iraq, Kayla Williams faced not only the perils of combat, but the ordeals of sexism and harassment. Some of her greatest challenges, however, lay at home—learning to care for a spouse with a traumatic brain injury, overcoming PTSD, and fighting for VA reform. Kayla, now Director of the CNAS Military, Veterans, and Society Program, joins Ilan Goldenberg to discuss her time serving as an Arabic linguist in the U.S. Army and the human costs of armed conflict.

Listen to Season 2 of Stories from the Backchannel.

  • Commentary
    • The New York Times
    • February 12, 2020
    The Iranian Missile Strike Did Far More Damage Than Trump Admits

    Over 100 American soldiers have been treated for traumatic brain injuries following Iran’s missile strike on Al Asad Air Base in western Iraq. The strike came in retaliation f...

    By Loren DeJonge Schulman & Paul Scharre

  • Podcast
    • January 17, 2020
    Stories from the Backchannel: Season Two Trailer

    Now more than ever, Americans are interested in the people working behind the scenes on consequential national security decisions. In Season Two of Stories from the Backchanne...

    By Ilan Goldenberg, Richard Fontaine, Susanna V. Blume, Kayla M. Williams, Price B. Floyd, Kurt Campbell & Kara Frederick

  • Commentary
    • Defense One
    • January 17, 2020
    Sending Troops Back to the Middle East Won’t Stop Iran

    The Trump administration’s decision to kill Qassam Soleimani is the latest in an escalatory “maximum pressure” Iran strategy that is shifting American foreign policy attention...

    By Chris Dougherty & Kaleigh Thomas

  • Commentary
    • CNN
    • January 13, 2020
    Congress has to figure out whether Trump's four embassy claim is real

    The targeted killing of Qasem Soleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, carried with it significant potential to serve as a catalyst for a br...

    By Carrie Cordero

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