Directory  |  Contact Us  |  Intranet  |  Harvard University

Search this site

1834.0 The Accidental Statesman: General Petraeus and the City of Mosul, Iraq
Abstract:

This case (1834.0 and related epilogue 1834.1 and abridged case 1834.3)  tells the story of Major General David Petraeus and the US Army's 101st Airborne Division in the months following the March 2003 invasion of Iraq, the fall of Baghdad, and collapse of Saddam Hussein's government. Having completed their combat mission, and with just  a few days notice, the 101st is ordered to Mosul, Iraq's third largest city and the capital of Nineveh province.

Their orders were spare - get up to Mosul and Nineveh Province and get things under control. The case details the development and implementation of the 101st strategy to bring stability to Mosul and the surrounding area and provides insight into General David Petraeus and his approach to leadership.

While set in a military organization in wartime, the case is not about military operations. Petraeus and his division, with little notice or preparation, undertake traditionally civilian tasks associated with reconstruction and governance. The case can serve several objectives:

As an example of strategy development in a fluid, high risk environment.  Petraeus is given little guidance, is in an unfamiliar venue, sets ambitious goals and develops a strategy that finds considerable success;

  • To explore how executives adaptively employ their structures and administrative processes in implementing strategy;
  • To explore adaptive leadership and organizational change;
  • To explore how past experience, values, assumptions and beliefs  influence judgment and decision making ( in conjunction with related materials)

Learning Objective:
The case can serve several objectives: As an example of strategy development in a fluid, high risk environment. Petraeus is given little guidance, is in an unfamiliar venue, sets ambitious goals and develops a strategy that finds considerable success; To explore how executives adaptively employ their structures and administrative processes in implementing strategy; To explore adaptive leadership and organizational change; To explore how past experience, values, assumptions and beliefs influence judgment and decision making (in conjunction with related materials)
Date Published: 4/10/2006
Format: PAPER
Pages:
(incl. exhibits)
60
Authors: Kirsten Lundberg
Sponsors: Hannah Riley Bowles
Pete Zimmerman
Curriculum Area:International Global Affairs
Management, Leadership, & Decision Sciences
Policy Area:Decision Sciences
Defense
Environment and Natural Resources
Institutions of Government - Comparative and International
Leadership
National and International Security
Issue/Topics:Crisis Management
Governance
Homeland Security
Military
Nation Building
Sector:Local Government
National Government
Methods:Program Evaluation
Strategic Planning
Continent:Asia
Language:English

Please email comments and suggestions regarding this web site to Case Administration.

Copyright © 2014 President and Fellows of Harvard College