Over at Tom Rick’s Best Defense is an excellent piece that is an Ode to Smedley Butler who wrote War is a Racket.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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.)
I read tonight that Sir John Keegan has passed away at age 78. His obit from the Telegraph. I had the opportunity to meet him in 1989 in London where he gave a lecture to a group of American Officers visiting the UK and later Normandy. A spell binding lecturer, he was truly a man who enjoyed what he did. His death, as that of his Sandhurst Colleague leaves a void in the company of Military Historians. May he rest in peace.
From the Early Bird; a book review by Tom Donnelly of U.S. Civil-Military Relations After 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain, by Mackubin Thomas Owens (Continuum, 224 pp., $22.95) found on page 51 of 2 May 11 edition of the National Review. Donnelly, asserts the author raises three points which need to be considered in the context of Civil Military Relations: Three chief characteristics make our current volunteers different from the revered citizen-soldier ideal. First, military service is too often institutionally regarded as a kind of self-actualization therapy. Think of the “Army of One” commercials: They pictured not a “band of […]