A Force Adrift?

What say you on THIS? Chapter One leads with, “After 13 years of war, troops feel burned out and without a sense of mission. More doubt their leaders and their job security.” There’s a lot of information there. Please do read and lodge your comments.

“They Fired the Wrong Guy”

This just in from Cop-Turned-Bureaucrat, regarding Hagel etc., “Failure of State: They Fired the Wrong Guy”– The firing of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense raises more questions than it answers. Is it correct to blame military failures on the military establishment when the executive has not articulated a foreign policy based upon clear and sustainable national interests?  Is it proper to criticize the Secretary of Defense for discussing foreign policy issues when the Secretary of State has failed to bring forth a coherent foreign policy? The state of play in Washington, not only currently, but over the last decade, […]

Ricks* on Hagel: Why It Went South

Ouch. Not pretty but based on my personal experience (not first-hand, but hearing directly from those who did have first-hand experience, in oblique but unmistakeable terms), also not inaccurate. Spontaneous cheers could be heard in many Pentagon offices as the surprise news of Hagel’s resignation spread. Although Hagel’s predecessors, Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, were hugely popular, few Pentagon wonks developed warm feelings for Hagel. Drawing on conversations from a mix of senior executives and mid-level officials, political appointees and career government servants, hawks and doves, and Republicans and Democrats, this post presents an insider view on why Hagel failed […]

Nomination in for Next SecDef

Ashton Carter. His name is not unfamiliar to those of us who work in the building. What I found most impressive, however, are his credentials from his earlier uniformed service, such as this:   And this–   Holy shit!! Did you see that?? I had to read it again, just to be sure I got it right. I don’t know about you, but there’s a man I’d follow into battle. Just the man we need in times like these.

Administration vs Pentagon

An illuminating article from the WaPo a few days ago. WASHINGTON — On a trip to Afghanistan during President Barack Obama’s first term, Defense Secretary Robert Gates was stunned to find a telephone line at the military’s special operations headquarters that linked directly back to a top White House national security official. “I had them tear it out while I was standing there,” Gates said earlier this month as he recounted his discovery. “I told the commanders, ‘If you get a call from the White House, you tell them to go to hell and call me.’” To Gates, the phone […]

With National Security in near ruins, Obama finally listens to GOP

Buttercup has been fired. This may be the only good news. The POTUS always triples down with anti-war and/or left of left politicians. Is tax-dodger John Kerry next?

A Man worth Following

Yesterday Senator James Webb announced an exploratory bid for the presidency.  I honestly never thought of him as a Candidate for the job.  The reality is that the bench on the Democratic side is extraordinarily slim.  The Republicans have a few guys I’d take a look at.  Many of you might recall him as the combat boot wearing candidate who ran for the Virginia Senate seat.  Although it was in solidarity of his son who was deployed at the time.  Webb, a Marine, is a Combat Veteran of Vietnam who was award for conspicuous gallantry on numerous occasions, an accomplished […]

“Accomplished Nothing” in Afghanistan

So says SIGAR, in the realm of economic development: SIGAR’s chief, John Sopko, told reporters Tuesday, that the agency has opened an “in-depth review” into the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO), a Defense Department unit aimed at developing war zone mining, industrial development and fostering private investments. “We have gotten serious allegations about the management and mismanagement of that agency, as well as a policy question about what they were doing and whether they should have existed,” Sopko said. Not “news” in the strict sense, but still disheartening and damning. I did my time in NTMA/CSTC-A, so […]

When English gets in the way of understanding

Is this Pentagonian, or some weird mutation from Wharton? This is a helpful guide to understanding a boss who’s knowledge is one business article deep. Please feel free to add to this list. 1.     Reach Out – Just say call, speak, email etc. Unless you’re physically going to touch someone. 2.     Take off line – Talk about this later. Alternate: you’re embarrassing  the boss 3.     Shift the goal post – This is just a sports metaphor for saying your goal was out of reach. 4.     Utilize – use! 5.     Elephant in the room – Unless it’s an actual elephant, this […]

HQDA and Congress need to stop

Any time something about race in the military comes up I amped up.  This most recent article about the Army wanting to make the military and really the officer-corps more cosmopolitan gets my dander up.  Why Slater, why would you say that?  Well, when they first hit the nail “they,” and whoever “they” are is the enemy, talk about the percentage of black officers within the Army.  The truth is, you can’t force an all-volunteer force into being something unless you make racial quotas and deny folks that are qualified for folks that are unqualified. That’s how you get things […]