The Best Defense

Does the Air Force Academy have ‘the least educated faculty’ in the country?

Jeff Dyche, who used to teach at the Air Force Academy, asserts so in an article I read yesterday. At the academy, he writes, "Learning for the sake of learning was all but anathema. ...  Combine this attitude with a faculty that may comprise a group of the least educated college instructors in the entire country and you have the basic framework of the US Air Force Academy."

Dyche, who now teaches at James Madison University, adds that at the academy, it seemed to him that academic work "took a back seat of military training, athletics, religiosity and ... 'character building'."

I also didn't know that all faculty members are required to be in their offices at 7:30 am, even if they have no morning classes, and that civilian faculty have to fill out time cards every week.

When I read articles like this I wonder why we still have military academies, if they aren't producing officers any better than those from ROTC and OCS routes. It seems to me that the academies are producing bright but undereducated officers at great expense. As Dyche notes, it costs taxpayers five to ten times more to produce a service academy officer as it does a ROTC officer.

Whitneybee's photostream/Flickr

The Best Defense

Juan Cole finds Libya surprisingly secure

He says fears about it falling apart or into civil war are overblown:

  ... on visits to Benghazi, Misrata and Tripoli, to find that there were no militiamen to be seen, that most things were functioning normally, that there were police at traffic intersections, that there were children's carnivals open till late, families out, that jewelry shops were open till 8 pm, that Arabs and Africans were working side by side, and that people were proud in Benghazi of having demonstrated against calls for decentralizing the country.

As someone who has lived in conflict situations, I take as a very serious gauge of security whether shops are open and how late they stay open. Jewelry shops in particular are easily looted, and the loot is light and easy to fence. But in Tripoli there was loads of gold in rows of jewelry shops, along with clothing stores newly stocked with Italian fashions."