The Best Defense

ARMOR magazine on getting back to real soldiering: An article on 'HTESWAKAF'

The January-March issue of ARMOR magazine offers an article provocatively titled "How to Eat Steak with a Knife and Fork! A Return to the Core Competencies That Make Our Maneuver Force Indomitable."

Let's call it "HTESWAKAF" for short.

I am all for being competent. But I also am for winning our wars. I worry that we are not trying to do both. In other words, is the new emphasis on "core competencies" a way of turning away from the lessons of the last 12 years of our wars? Like, what if the enemy isn't serving steak?

Overall, I am a bit puzzled by such a focus on tactical abilities, because I think our biggest flaws in the post-9/11 wars have been strategic, with generals neither able to recognize the nature of their conflicts or to adjust to them. Yet I see little work being done there. And one lesson of Iraq 2003-06 was that good tactics won't fix bad strategy.

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The Best Defense

Are Iraqi Sunni insurgents fleeing Syria?

I was surprised to see that Izzat al-Douri, a top Baathist leader, is being hunted around Tikrit. He was supposed to have fled to Syria long ago.

If so, what does that mean about the war in Syria? It seems to me to be an encouraging sign.

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