Getting Rid of Generals Won’t Save Much Money, But It’s Still a Good Idea

The National Interest July 4, 2016 Proposed reforms to the U.S. military command structure designed to save money likely won’t save enough to matter. They could, however, be a good idea anyway. Six years ago, then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced plans to, among other things, shut down Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) and move to cut at…

America’s Massive Decline in Gun Violence

Christian Science Monitor December 4, 2015 This week’s mass shooting in San Bernandino, which killed 14 innocents and wounded another 21, seems sadly routine. We’ve had so many of these incidents in recent years that they flow together. And yet, as Max Ehrenfreund notes at the Washington Post, we’ve actually had a “massive decline” in gun violence over…

This is Why Civilianizing Military Justice Can Work

James Weirick and James Joyner War on The Rocks October 16, 2015 Gen. Charles Dunlap makes a number of compelling rebuttals to our argument for civilianizing felony prosecution in the military to remove the unlawful command influence Catch-22. Nonetheless, our central thesis remains unchanged: Military commanders have two jobs — sending the message that sexual assault will not be tolerated…

Why Congress is AWOL on National Security Policy

Christian Science Monitor February 6, 2015 Matt Bennett and Mieke Eoyang, both former Washington staffers, explore “Why Congress is AWOL on national security policymaking today.” Contrasting Rep. Ron Dellums’s two-decade-long campaign to end apartheid in South Africa, they argue that today’s members lack the staying power to exert major influence. The American public, with its fleeting…

Neoconservatives, the Iraq Debate and Ad Hominem Attacks

The National Interest June 27, 2014 The stunning success of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham has renewed American interest in a country where we fought almost continuously for over two decades before pulling the plug in December 2011. Suddenly, old debates have begun again and new ones have arisen as to “who lost Iraq”…

The U.S. Military’s Ethics Crisis

The National Interest February 13, 2014 Military officers behaving badly have been making headlines. But, rather than a sign of widespread corruption, the fact that they’re being caught and disciplined is an indication of how seriously the profession takes its ethical responsibilities. From massive cheating scandals with Air Force and Navy nuclear officers and Army National Guard recruiters to generals and admirals abusing…

Preparing for the Next War

The New Individualist April 2007 “Perhaps there is no great point in recalling all the tragic and idiotic blunders, all the false optimism, all the unrealism of the first phases of the war, but it is not possible to appreciate fully the heroism of the Security Forces unless the stupidities of some of those in…

How About a Commission to End Commissions?

TCS Daily December 4, 2006 Washington is eagerly awaiting the report from the Iraq Study Group, headed by former Bush 41 Secretary of State James Baker and Democratic Congressman Lee Hamilton, to point the way out of the war in Iraq. Sure, there are tens of thousands of years of professional military experience at the…

I Know You Are But What Am I

TCS Daily September 19, 2006 The Senate race in my home state of Virginia between incumbent Republican George Allen and his Democratic opponent, former Reagan Navy Secretary James Webb, has gotten ugly even by the rather low standards of American politics. Unless you’ve been vacationing on Mars (or at least not reading the blogs or…

‘Real Power Is Something You Take’

TCS Daily January 11, 2006 The controversy over President Bush’s ordering the NSA to monitor phone conversations without a warrant is the latest in a long line of fights over executive authority during wartime. Congress has been increasingly frustrated at being cut out of the decision loop in matters ranging from the conduct of the…