White House infighting can be a bad thing. But when advisers refuse to disagree with the president, an administration can be at risk of groupthink. The history of the U.S. presidency has shown that this can lead to disaster. We now see how fear of disagreement with President Biden doomed the decision-making process for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The problem of groupthink was evident during the Vietnam War, when Lyndon B. Johnson was mostly intolerant of differing opinions on Vietnam.
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It isn’t too late for the Biden administration to rethink its internal process to make sure it can handle internal disagreements productively. An early administration failure can provide an opportunity to recalibrate and potentially avoid worse failures in the future.
Full text available through The Wall Street Journal.