The Best Defense

The Best Defense

Why the fine 'Journal of Military History' is the opposite of 'International Security': The tons of interesting facts I learned

Remember how I got all cranky when the mailboat brought International Security to my dock and I was disappointed with how boring and irrelevant it was?

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The Best Defense

Firing of the week: V.P. Biden's son booted from Navy for apparent cocaine use

Apparently cocaine use is incompatible with being a naval officer. The guy is 44 years old. John Schindler comments, "There is something impressively awesome about getting booted from the Navy Reserve on your first drill weekend."

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The Best Defense

Planning to learn: Invest in the future of our military by finding good leaders

By Capt. Justin J. Belford, U.S. Army

Best Defense guest columnist

The idea of flexible planning that incorporates learning is an important concept, and is a break from the predictable doctrine of the past. But in order for it to work, today's military must identify talented leaders, properly incentivize them, and provide them with the resources they need to drive change. Additionally, I would argue that Western militaries must break from the established idea that time equals rank, and focus on promoting its leaders based on their talent and initiative.

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The Best Defense

'Knife Fights': 9 lessons John Nagl has learned from waging modern war

By John Nagl

Best Defense guest columnist

1.    Invading Iraq in 2003 was a mistake. Leaving Iraq in 2011 was a mistake. Not arming the Syrian rebels in 2012 was a mistake. The combination of the three mistakes has gotten us to the mess we're in today.

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The Best Defense

Why are Americans surprised when allies don't always do what we tell them to do?

By John Haas

Best Defense guest columnist

It was, by any standard, a humiliating moment for the United States of America. Intent on getting an agreement with a Middle Eastern nation with which it had a long history and upon which it had lavished much aid and attention, an agreement that should have been a cakewalk, the United States was rebuffed. Despite the fact that the negotiations in question were taking place at a critical time even by Middle Eastern standards, despite the United States' evident urgency in sealing the deal, despite the fact that agreeing to the deal would redound to this Middle Eastern nation's long-term security, and despite the fact that a public rejection would inevitably complicate relations with the United States in the future, America found itself on the receiving end of a mortifying repudiation.

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