I wasn't really up for a visit to the LBJ Ranch, because I decided against writing a book on the Vietnam War and I have small admiration for the man. But my wife talked me into it, so after listening to music in Luckenbach we headed northeast to the Pedernales Valley.
There is a wonderful portfolio of photographs by Chase Steely in the first edition of the new magazine, the Pass in Review. He is a soldier who just decided to take photographs while deployed to Afghanistan, and he clearly has an eye for it. One limitation of his work, he told the magazine, was that, "I didn't get many action pictures because when stuff was going down I was either on the radio or shooting so I wasn't taking photos."
It's firing season in the Navy again. With the captain of the USS Germantown, the charge was poor command climate, lack of confidence in his judgment and leadership, especially in relationship to his handling of a sexual assault investigation. The ship's command master chief walked the plank last month.
The future of war (essay no. 15): We will lose it because we are an aging empire wedded to an outmoded style of war
By Adrian Bonenberger Best Defense future of war entrant
We've already fought the war-after-next, and lost. Called "The Millennium Challenge 2002," it was a simulated war game designed to showcase a high-tech, integrated U.S. Navy's ability to crush smaller, less sophisticated foes (widely assumed to be Iran) in the Strait of Hormuz. What happened instead was a simulated disaster: Overwhelmed by hundreds of small groups operating according to pre-established, decentralized directives and empowered to think for themselves, the U.S. side quickly lost an entire aircraft carrier support group, as well as numerous aircraft. The notional enemies used basic radar, primitive cruise missiles, rockets, motorcycle couriers, and strategic initiative to achieve total surprise, following up their initial advantage with another wave of de facto missiles -- explosives-laden motorboats that were too numerous and speedy for the lumbering Navy ships to engage effectively.
What a week for JAGs: Two specializing in dealing with sexual assault issues are being investigated for sexual assault or battery. Plus the BG Sinclair case explodes in several different directions. At some point you need to wonder about the decisions being made by senior leaders.