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General Stanley McChrystal

Former General
United States Army

In this full interview, General Stanley McChrystal unpacks his experience in Iraq, describing the growth of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), dealing with Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and the rise of ISIS (AQI 3.0). He describes how fast-moving organic networks and technology enabled a frightening efficiency in the AQI networks. McChrystal details his experience of how silos and hierarchical processes can reduce agility, and the importance of pursuing a shared consciousness and democratisation of information flows to facilitate more efficient communications. He also shares his reactions to the controversial Rolling Stone article that led to his military resignation.

A retired four-star general, Stanley McChrystal is the former commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan and Joint Special Operations Command.  General McChrystal is the Co-founder of McChrystal Group, LLC, and a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he teaches a course on Leadership in Operation. 

As Chairman of the Aspen Institute’s Franklin Project, General McChrystal is dedicated to promoting national service initiatives among American youths. 

General McChrystal has authored two best-selling New York Times books: My Share of the Task: A Memoir and Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World. The latter is a world-class blueprint for leadership focused on transforming businesses and non-profits, drawn from Stanley’s military experience in Iraq.

General McChrystal resides in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife of 37 years, Annie.