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…

Obama’s Goldilocks Syria Plan

The National Interest September 11, 2013 In a speech to the nation, President Obama warned that if the United States does not launch a punitive strike against Syria, Iran will pursue nuclear weapons, Al Qaeda will try to kill Americans, and bad men will do bad things. Despite “a brutal civil war” in which more…

Smart Wars Don’t Need Selling

The National Interest September 10, 2013 President Obama is pulling out all stops in a thus-far failing bid to convince the American people and their representatives in Congress to back military action in Syria. His secretaries of state and defense have been everywhere talking up the horrors of chemical warfare and the price to be…

No More Baby Steps: DoD Needs a Real Strategic Review

Barry Pavel and James Joyner Defense News September 8, 2013 The United States must fundamentally rethink its defense strategy in light of major changes in both funding and the security challenges we face in the world. The Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review is just beginning. This strategic review must offer the president and Congress a clear-eyed assessment…

Why Obama’s Plan to Strike Syria Makes No Strategic Sense

The Atlantic August 30, 2013 Having backed himself into a corner by declaring a “red line” that has now been crossed, President Obama is by all appearances ramping up for military action in Syria. As best we can tell from the not inconsiderable leaks coming from Washington and elsewhere, the planned strikes would use aerial…

Dempsey to Senators: Can You Handle the Truth on Syria?

RealClearDefense July 24, 2013 Senators John McCain and Carl Levin have demanded answers from General Martin Dempsey on Syria. Can they handle the truth? In open hearings before the Armed Services Committee last Thursday, McCain asked the Joint Chiefs chairman, “Do you believe the continued costs and risks of our inaction in Syria are now…

Enough with the QDR Hype

RealClearDefense July 18, 2013 Writing at the newly-launched Defense One, CNAS vice president Shawn Brimley proclaims, “The next nine months will be the most important period for United States defense strategy since the end of the Cold War.” That’s highly unlikely. First, the bar is rather high. The nine months following the collapse of the Soviet…