A look at World War III

U.S. and Chinese warships battle at sea, firing everything from cannons to cruise missiles to lasers. Stealthy Russian and American fighter jets dogfight in the air, with robotic drones flying as their wingmen. Hackers in Shanghai and Silicon Valley duel in digital playgrounds. And fights in outer space decide who wins below on Earth. Are theses scenes from a novel or what could actually take place in the real world the day after tomorrow? The answer is both. This opening paragraph from an article at Time.com, really a teaser to sell the new book “Ghost Fleet: A Novel of the […]

Information Is Subversive

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. [emphasis added by author] Information is subversive. Information undermines the castle walls that secure tyrants. For this reason, on six of the seven continents tyrants went to great and horrible lengths to keep information away from their subjects. In America, suppression of the press began under the satraps of the British kings, and ended with […]

Smedley Butler and War Is A Racket

Over at Tom Rick’s Best Defense is an excellent piece that is an Ode to Smedley Butler who wrote War is a Racket.

Douglas MacGregor: Make the Army even smaller!

Col (R) MacGregor is arguing that the Army needs to get smaller.  Supposedly members of congress are listening.  One thing I don’t agree with is the dismantling of the Brigade Combat team.  That transformation that took place under Rumsfeld although done very painfully is a good thing.  Brigades are self-sustaining.  The negative with that in the last decade of war you have not seen Division headquarters actually have to maneuver the entire formation.  But what is even more fun is that MacGregor wants to eliminate divisions and make small formations of “Battle Groups,”  the description sounds like a BCT to […]

“They got away with murder”

Women like Petri, according to the historian Wendy Lower’s new book Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields, “were not marginal sociopaths,” but ordinary German citizens. These women were raised in the shadow of World War I, and their primary education consisted of ideological indoctrination. The League of German Girls were taught to reject makeup and cultivate their beauty outdoors, to seek a dewy glow from marching drills and sharpshooting. In school, Petri no doubt received the Third Reich’s pamphlet on finding a husband, a process that began by asking, “What is your racial background?” They were trained […]

Holiday Reading List

What books are in your holiday reading list this year? For me, there are three books:   Capability Maturity Model Institute for Development, version 1.3: because I’m a geek and it scares away small children at whichever gate I’m flying out of. Gotta get one’s geek on if one is fond of being left alone.   Imager’s Battalion, by L.E. Modessitt, Jr: because the longer I’m around computer science, the more I believe it’s all magic. So, a book about magic and combat and damsels in distress is the perfect antidote after getting my holiday geek on.   And lastly, Empire of […]

America 3.0: A Future

James C. Bennett and Michael J. Lotus present a potential future of a fundamentally transformed United States of America. From the fragmented communities dominated by land-owners and farmers (America 1.0) through the post-Civil War urbanization and industrialization (America 2.0) to America 3.0: [T]he liberal-progressive or “Blue State” social model has reached its natural limits. Even as it continues to try to expand, it is now dying out before our eyes. We are now living in the closing years of the 20th Century “legacy state.” Even so, it has taken the shock of the current Great Recession to make people see the need […]

“Dead” October

Tom Clancy, novelist, has reportedly assumed room temperature. I, like so many others, enjoyed his work. Until, that is, I met him; realized what a tool he was; vowed never to read another of his books. A vow that I kept. Still, we’re sorry that he passed before his time. RIP to him.

Food For Thought: Reflections on Counter-Insurgency

As I was checking my email, I looked at my linkedIn discussions, a title hooked me in from the US Army Armor and Cavalry group. The discussion is about the “Myth of the Savior Generals” and  the adoption of counter-insurgency tactics and how General Petraeus became that savior.  As you dig deeper into the review of COL Gian Gentile’s book on his use of Counter-Insurgency doctrine: Then-Lt. Col. Gentile referred to FM 3-24 as a “superb piece of doctrinal writing”, and felt that its middle chapters were particularly useful for commanders in Iraq.  However, he heaped scorn upon a section of the […]

Ricks in Leesburg at the George C. Marshall House

Having just finished, and been deeply impressed by The Generals, I was glad that “Wang” tossed this our way about T. Ricks’ upcoming tour: Sunday, Feb. 24 — George Marshall house, Leesburg, Va. I pass it all the time but have never visited it. Might be a good excuse to go. (Within walking distance are two of my favorite haunts, here and here.)