Why is General McChrystal teaching an off-the-record course at Yale?

Charles Dharapak/AP

In 1951, American conservative William F. Buckley published God and Man at Yale. In his book, Buckley slammed Yale's faculty for turning American liberal ideology into a religion and force-feeding it to Yale's unsuspecting student body.

By the late 1960s, the left-leaning ideological mindset that Buckley criticized no doubt encouraged the widespread opposition at Yale to the Vietnam Conflict --opposition that turned out to be justified by the facts on the ground in Vietnam. During those days, any notion that an American four-star general involved in the Vietnam debacle, someone like General William C. Westmoreland, should teach a course on leadership at Yale would have been dismissed out of hand as utterly ridiculous.
 
Fast-forward to 2012 and reality has been turned on its head. 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 Grand Strategy Program, 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.
 
Read more at The Atlantic.
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