In Today's "Moment of Truth," Saurabh and Jake sit down with Will Ruger, a veteran of the Afghanistan War and Vice President for Research and Policy at the Charles Koch Institute, to discuss the end of America's 20 year war in Afghanistan, fallout from the Taliban takeover, and what can be learned from another failed attempt at nation building.
Note: This episode was filmed Tuesday, August 24.
William Ruger serves as Vice President for Research and Policy at the Charles Koch Institute. He was previously an Associate Professor (with tenure) in the Department of Political Science at Texas State University and an adjunct Assistant Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas-Austin.
Ruger is a veteran of the Afghanistan War and was awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign medal with campaign star, and the Non-Article 5 NATO Service Medal, among other decorations. He remains an officer in the U.S. Navy (Reserve Component). Ruger was nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and was appointed by the president to the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board in 2020.
Ruger earned his Ph.D. in Politics from Brandeis University and an A.B. from the College of William and Mary. His scholarship has appeared in a number of academic journals including International Studies Quarterly, Civil Wars, and Armed Forces and Society. His most recent scholarship examines the relationship between military service, combat experience, and civic participation. Ruger is the author of the biography Milton Friedman and co-author of two books on state politics, including Freedom in the 50 States (now in its 5th edition). He has taught courses on U.S. foreign policy, security studies, international relations theory, counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, ethics and international relations, civil-military relations, and American politics.
Ruger has written op-eds for numerous outlets such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, and has been interviewed frequently for television and radio, appearing on Fox News, MSNBC, and CNN. He serves on several non-profit boards, including the Center for the National Interest, the John Quincy Adams Society, and the Advisory Board of the Policing Project at the New York University School of Law. He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ruger resides in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, Jennifer, and their two sons.
He can be found on Twitter @WillRuger.