Soldier-Scholar (Pick One): Anti-Intellectualism in the American Military

War on the Rocks August 25, 2020 Crossing the Great Plains on an expedition to Utah in the 1850s, Maj. Charles A. May searched the wagons in an effort to reduce unnecessary baggage. When he reached the wagons of the light artillery battery, Capt. Henry J. Hunt proudly pointed out the box containing the battery…

May Madness: Competitive Wargaming in a Pandemic

What starts with the enemy sinking three of your amphibious assault ships, and ends with a toddler interrupting the outbrief to a three-star general? A successful wargame in the age of COVID-19.

Does the Military Really Need More Strategists?

War on the Rocks November 8, 2018 Former National War College dean and retired Brig. Gen. Paula Thornhill should be commended for kicking off a vigorous round of debate on professional military education institutions in July. Many of my objections to her argument have been ably expressed by others, notably my Marine Corps University colleague Tammy Schultz as well…

Who Suffers the Most from Government Shutdowns?

The National Interest January 23, 2018 he federal government shutdown of 2018—or, at least, the first one—ended with only one workday missed. To the extent ordinary citizens noticed at all, they likely think it was no big deal. This is especially true with regards to the impact on the U.S. military, who they’ve been steadily…

Professional Military Education and the Rigor Problem

War on The Rocks March 15, 2016 In “Rigor in Joint Professional Military Education,” Nick Murray argues that Congress and the Pentagon have done a poor job defining what it is they want the staff and war colleges to do and, especially, in holding their feet to the fire. This has led, he claims, to…

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…

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.…

The Military and the Shutdown: Assessing the Damage

The National Interest October 22, 2013 With the government back in business, it’s worth reflecting on the toll the sixteen-day shutdown inflicted on the nation’s defense. While most of the media attention went to relative trivialities like service-academy sports and the closure of war memorials, we wasted enormous resources that could otherwise have gone toward…