Will Southern Europe once again lead Europe and the world to a World War? The Greek financial crisis coupled with the flood of refugees fleeing the Middle East to Southern Europe, to include Greece is pitting Northern Europe (the Europe North of the Alps) against Southern Europe (those countries South of the Alps and Pyrenees and lying along the Mediterranean). While at this point it is economic warfare, when will it become more? Greece is an Orthodox country it has more in common with Orthodox Russia and the Orthodox Slavs than it does with Protestant and Roman Catholic Europe. Will […]

You Gonna Fight Over Those Islands?

One of the consistent principles of U.S. foreign policy, one of our age-old national interests is freedom of the seas. We have gone to war over it in the past. This post stems from a link reader (and my fellow Marine) R. M. Hollander gave us in a comment to a previous post. China means to assert dominance over vast swathes of international waters, at the expense of its smaller and weaker neighbors, many of whom are our allies, and to the detriment of free commerce across the ocean. Now, I believe China also wants to create in the South […]

Reining in Executive War Powers

It may not come as a surprise that one of my two (2) U.S. Senators, Tim Kaine, is not I say again NOT one of my favorite political figures. (The other one isn’t anything to write home about, either.) Yet, I’ll gladly state that the man is on to something here– “A Virginia Senator’s Lonely Quest to Rein in Executive War Powers.” Tim Kaine, former Richmond mayor, former governor, and former national chairman of the Democratic party, represents the distressingly small minority of legislators interested in crafting an authorization for use of military force (AUMF). This is easier vowed than […]

Dystopian drama

10 things you should know about Memorial Day. The L.A. Times notes the growing division between people who live in America and the people who make up our military. Does anyone know of a military so similarly remote from society, and without a superior virture ethic, that didn’t just take over?       “Do-overs don’t happen in real life,” said Gregory Diacogiannis, 30, who served as an army sniper in Baghdad trying to spot militants laying roadside bombs and chased high-value targets in the city of Baqouba. “I have trouble with the question itself just because it lends itself to […]

Goldwater-Nichols, an answer: What is law?

Thank you readers for your patience. Posting has been light due to a recent change of venue back to DC. Fortunately there is expiration date on this trip. I am taking far too much humor in watching these young, under-30 GS-15s go on a thunder-run in the mad belief they can drink old men under the table. Fortunately, after three drinks water resembles vodka, especially when you ask the bartender to put an olive in it. Maybe after their turn at Goldman-Sachs and a lobbying group, or their 25th birthday they’ll sort it out. But I digress. This is the third in a […]

Iran Seizes Container Ship?

Are we going to do anything about this? A nation devoted to its sovereignty, attached to its interests, mindful of its obligations, and with a decent respect for civilized behavior would have an answer. An answer swift and sure. Who guarantees freedom of the seas? We do. And if not us, then who? Chaos at home, chaos abroad. Where are the statesmen? Ugly, ugly, and getting better no time soon.

News and views

Russia rolled out a new tank named the Armata, whose red carpet premier is the Victory Day parade in Moscow. Western leaders decided to snub Russia’s celebration of Victory Day over Russia’s seizure of the Crimea and military adventurism and blackmail. Given Obama’s “Dream Team” of National Security advisors, will America stumble into war with Russia? Meanwhile, back in America, an uproar over Cadets wearing heels at another staged rally. I suppose some would rather have seen them in Michael Kors or Givenchy, but Cadets don’t make that much money. At least the shoes are a bright, offensive shade of Artillery Red! […]

Heard From Today: John Noonan VMI ’03

Well now! They may have been mocked at the time, but the views Mitt Romney articulated on the campaign trail in 2012 about foreign affairs are now considered not just clear-sighted but clairvoyant. He said that the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq was a mistake; that Vladimir Putin was a major threat; and that radical Islam was on the ascent. Romney detailed many of these ideas in a wide-ranging address on foreign policy at the Virginia Military Institute. That speech was crafted in part by John Noonan, who was recently tapped to be Jeb Bush’s national-security adviser. Sounds like a sharp […]

Goldwater-Nichols, an answer: the Roles for Organizations

The is the second in a series of responses to Townie’s post “More Thoughts on Goldwater-Nichols 1986.” Earlier, I posted a response concerning the questions on the roles of people. Before we begin this response, let’s recap the definition of role: “Role” is the discrete responsibility that can only be performed by the person assigned that role. If you have to get the kids to football practice, your role is “Driver.” Organizations have roles that are equally discrete. An infantry company (Army or Marine) has the role of destroying the enemy through dismounted firepower and movement (maneuver). That’s it. An infantry […]

Goldwater-Nichols, an answer: the Roles for People

This is the first in a series of posts answering Townie’s excellent post “More Thoughts on Goldwater-Nichols 1986.” Looking at the list of Townie’s questions, they can be broken down into three areas: What is the proper roles for people? What are the proper roles for organizations? Are the legal authorities correct for this new era? This post will look at the first question by examing three of Townie’s questions: As currently defined, is the role of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff too broad, narrow, or just right (see 10 USC 153)? Upon assuming the role of the Chairman […]