In Defense of Crazy Talk: Why Bradford’s West Point Article is Worth Talking About

War on The Rocks September 10, 2015 The dust has now settled after William C. Bradford, a newly hired West Point law professor, made headlines for a controversial essay published in the little-read student-run National Security Law Journal. The Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman reported that Bradford was denied tenure a decade ago from the Indiana University School of Law for wildly misrepresenting…

The Inter-Service Wars are Looking Like Calvinball

War on The Rocks August 26, 2015 In an iconic installment of “Calvin & Hobbes,” the beloved comic strip by Bill Watterson, little Calvin and his stuffed tiger Hobbes are playing baseball. Calvin gets a hit and rounds the bases to home, but Hobbes cries foul. “You didn’t touch all the bases!” he tells Calvin. Calvin protests…

America’s Military Needs a New Retirement Plan

The National Interest June 16, 2015 After half a decade of study, the Pentagon has proposed to Congress a radical overhaul of the military retirement system. The new plan addresses the unfairness of a system in which most who serve in uniform earn nothing toward their future retirement but makes serving a full career less attractive. More…

Yes, ‘Veterans Should Pay Taxes Like Everyone Else’ – and We Do

Christian Science Monitor, March 17, 2015 Alec MacGillis argues for Slate that “Veterans Should Pay Taxes Like Everyone Else.” As a veteran who has paid taxes just like everyone else for the 23 years since separating from the military, I’d say we do and agree that we should. Apparently, though, “A growing number of states have moved to, or are considering,…

Tom Cotton’s Open Letter to Iran was Hardly ‘Mutiny’

Christian Science Monitor March 16, 2015 WaPo’s Jonathan Capeheart found a retired general to pile onto the criticisms against Sen. Tom Cotton’s open letter: The open letter to the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran signed by 47 senators and instigated by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) was a stunning breach of protocol. One so outrageous that my former…

National Security Strategy to National Defense Strategy

RealClearDefense February 11, 2015 President Obama released the first National Security Strategy in five years last Friday. As I’ve argued elsewhere, it’s more a wish list than a strategy. That’s a shame because Obama has articulated a much more nuanced view of national security in various speeches and interviews and this was a missed opportunity to…

Is Obama Real(ist) Confused?

War on The Rocks February 11, 2015 The Obama administration’s updated National Security Strategy (NSS), released Friday morning, has been widely panned by defense analysts, including yours truly, as a wish list lacking in strategy, being overly focused on placating the U.S. domestic audience, and “really just a PR exercise.” (To be sure, others are more positive,…

The Domestic Side of National Security

The Hill February 10, 2015 The Obama administration has released its long-awaited update to the “National Security Strategy.” While ostensibly a report to Congress on the president’s priorities for safeguarding U.S. interests globally, around which to base funding and procurement discussions, a fair amount of the domestic political agenda inevitably creeps in. This go-around, though,…

Hagel’s Fate Was Sealed Long Ago

The National Interest November 26, 2014 To the surprise of many, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel resigned his post Monday, apparently under heavy pressure. According to some accounts, this development has been brewing for weeks. In reality, it was presaged nearly two years ago in the former Army sergeant and Nebraska Senator’s farcical confirmation hearings before his one-time…

Senator Walsh’s Unrepresentative Black Mark on Professional Military Education

RealClearDefense July 26, 2014 Not unreasonably, Tufts University professor and Washington Post columnist Dan Drezner has some things to say about Montana Senator John Walsh’s plagiarized masters paper at the Army War College. As his headline puts it, “On what academic planet does a 14 page paper merit John Walsh an M.A.?” Actually, it’s a bit complicated.…