Foreign Policy Blogs

Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen, Jr. on Defense


Hosted by Sarwar Kashmeri, the Foreign Policy Association’s Great Decisions podcast series will headline issues together with the leaders whose decisions today will mold the foreign policy of tomorrow. Each podcast will deal with a different Great Decisions topic in the 2014 series, a list of which can be found here.

Our first podcast will focus on the Great Decisions topic “Defense” with Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen, Jr., the 59th Superintendent at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point. Prior to his appointment at West Point, Lt. Gen. Caslen served as the Chief of the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq. Lt. Gen. Caslen discusses:

  • Why the U.S. has struggled, despite having the largest defense budget in the world, in combatting non-traditional threats from states and non-state actors with extremely limited resources.
  • How the world’s foremost military academy needs to and can adapt to deal new and ever-changing threats.
  • What it takes to fight against extremist ideologies, whether in Afghanistan, Pakistan or beyond.


Lieutenant General Robert L. Caslen, Jr. became the 59th Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point on July 17, 2013.

Lieutenant General Caslen graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1975. He earned master’s degrees from Long Island University and Kansas State University.

Previous to this assignment, Lt. Gen. Caslen served as the Chief of the Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq.

He also served as the commander of the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, KS., the command that oversees the Command and General Staff College and 17 other schools, centers, and training programs located throughout the United States and as commanding general of the 25th Infantry Division (Light) and commanding general of the Multi-National Division-North during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A comprehensive list of his assignments can be found in his full biography at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Sarwar Kashmeri is a Fellow of the Foreign Policy Association, and an Adjunct professor at Norwich University.