I heard yesterday that Hans Binnendijk, one of the pillars of the National Defense University, is quietly leaving out of unhappiness with its decline as an intellectual institution. Word is that Binnendijk, who has worked on Capitol Hill, at the State Department, and at the White House, as well as in academia, is resigning and moving to Johns Hopkins SAIS in three weeks. Part of the problem with the place is that the generals and admirals overseeing the place don't know much about how to run a university, and wouldn't know intellectual firepower from a day-old dud. There's also fear that with a defense budget squeeze looming, big cuts are going to hit the PME world.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.