“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 […]

Rational Thinking about Ferguson

Ever since it happened it just rang true for me.  Every time a black man is shot/killed in an incident involving a white LEO, agitators make it about race.  However, every time a white man gets shot/killed by a black cop it quite rarely ends with agitators making it about race. To take Michael Brown’s life in separate incidences is only think about snapshots.  The reality is, that day Michael Brown committed one crime.  And based on evidence from the coroner, committed another when he got into an altercation with Brian Wilson.  I will readily admit that Darren Wilson did […]

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.

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 […]

I miss SAC

Warfare is deadly serious business. The Air Force is neither deadly nor serious about business. The world can’t wait for our Air Force to grow up or for Buttercup to learn to spell “You’re Fired.” Reduce the Air Force to the Civil Air Patrol and let’s get with securing the United States of America.

Book Review of George Marshall: A Biography

Not sure if I shall bother reading this new biography of George Marshall, but here is a review of it in the New Republic.  Concluding paragraph says a lot about George Marshall the man: For a military man, Marshall’s heroism was peculiar. It did not arise from his conduct on the battlefield. It arose from his modesty, including “a modest daily schedule that often ended at three or four o’clock in the afternoon” and his avoidance “of lucrative corporate board memberships so commonly available to retired high military officers in our more avaricious times.” Most importantly, Marshall’s modesty flowed from […]

The Burden of War

Falleth not upon the Soldier, or Marine, or Sailor, or Airman.  But on the people who sent him to that beach without water.  Here‘s an interesting article by Sebastian Junger who has spent much of his journalistic career embedded among Soldiers to tell their story. The Soldier. . .is a tool.  When you hammer a nail as you build a bed frame, what take responsibility for it?  The hammer?  I would say no.  It must be the person hammering the nail.  To that effect, the Soldier is a tool, he should not bear the majority of the pain or blame […]

There is more to strategy than bombs

In an earlier post on the philosophy of grand strategy, there were five elements to strategy presented for your consideration. [The] five elements that when synchronized to achieve unity of effort creates grand strategy. These five elements are Diplomacy (external but also internal to the US population), Industry, Military, Economy and Will (DIME-W). President of the United States Obama stated he has no strategy for protecting America from ISIS. The latest statement from the POTUS describes his goal as making ISIS “manageable,” like ISIS is just a perm gone bad. The way ISIS is being handled brings to mind an […]

(BTW, Fournier is No Sort of Conservative)

Again from the good offices of MDL, this from Defense One– “The Summer of  Obama’s Caution and America’s Discontent.” An excerpt, emphasis mine: He tries to manage the world as he hopes it will be, rather than lead the world as it is. Yes, foreign policy is hard. These issues are both historic and existential. The American public is fickle. Congress is all but useless. And our allies in Europe are loathe to lead—or even to pay a fair price for fighting threats closer to their borders than our own. But that’s why only one person gets to be president of […]