The Best Defense

The Best Defense

The future of war (no. 26): Where are the professional military voices in New America's project on the future of war?

By Maj. Matt Cavanaugh, U.S. Army Best Defense Future of War essay contest entry

Though New America is doing great service by leading some much-needed public discussion, its "Future of War" project is seriously flawed. It's not who New America selected for the team. The named panel includes two superstars from the world of academia, law, and policy, plus an innovative technology thinker, and two journalists who likely have spent more time in interesting combat zones than the vast majority of military officers currently in uniform.

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The Best Defense

Welcome to Spartanburg!: The dangers of this growing American military obsession

By Jim Gourley Best Defense culture correspondent

There are 25 Spartan-branded obstacle course races in the United States. Microsoft's Halo game series, whose protagonist is the last member of an elite group of futuristic super-soldiers known as Spartans, is a multi-billion dollar franchise. Recently named one of the "hot 100" companies by Internet Retailer and profiled in the Army Times, Ranger Up apparel company made approximately $4 million last year on sales of over 300,000 t-shirts. Sixteen of their 150 designs feature images of Spartan warriors. They're so popular they've been grouped into their own sub-category on the company's website, which leads off with the sales pitch: "Let's face it. When it comes to the definition of the warrior ethos, it is hard to top the Spartans."

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