The Best Defense

The Best Defense

Thoughts on a photograph of a Spitfire: The quiet beauty of operating small craft and working with the environment

 

I suspect there is something about piloting an airplane that is 30 feet long or less that is magic. I've never flown a small plane, but I've kayaked rapids in a 12 foot boat, paddled the Maine coast in an 18 foot sea kayak and sailed the coast alone in a 20 foot sloop, and felt something thrilling and even mystical.

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The Best Defense

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, disillusioned youth and the heavy baggage of war

By Lieutenant Colonel Paul Edgar, U.S. Army (Ret.), Best Defense guest columnist

I was fortunate to be a part of an incredible team that planned and managed operations to find Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl following his disappearance.  When people learn this, they promptly ask about my feelings towards Sergeant Bergdahl, the President, and many others in between.  Usually I avoid answering.  Often I want to reply, "It's a war.  What did you expect?"  Sergeant Bergdahl's buddies have room to criticize.  They worked their assess off to find him.  The rest of us ought to think more broadly. 

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The Best Defense

Phil Klay's 'Redeployment': Probably the best book I've read on the Iraq War

If you served in Iraq, or want understand what it was like for many people, you owe it to yourself to read Phil Klay's book Redeployment. I bought the book months ago but really didn't feel like revisiting the war. Recently I finally picked it up, and was amazed at how good it is. It also just won the National Book Award for fiction. Pretty good for a Marine!

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The Best Defense

First person refugee: Can a video game teach military personnel empathy? (Vol. 3)

By Jim Gourley

Best Defense video games critic

Telling the same old war story can also wear out the game makers themselves. That was Pawel Miechowski's sentiment when he pitched the idea for This War of Mine to his company 11 Bit Studios. In the game, you play as a civilian trapped inside a besieged city, forced to scavenge for food and supplies to keep your group alive. Miechowski got the idea for This War of Mine after reading a newspaper story recounting a Bosnian man's tale of survival during the war there in the 1990s.

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