The Best Defense

Has American strategy been undercut by the American lack of a tragic sense?

Yes, avers Col. Isiah Wilson III.

In a thorny but interesting essay in the new issue of Parameters, Col. Wilson writes that "One dimension of our tragic flaw is this taste for happy endings itself."

He also writes that "the United States' focus on force led it in many cases to compromise its own core ideals with greater effectiveness than any enemy could have done."

His conclusion: "A renewed American grand strategy would acknowledge the nation's tragic flaw: its pride in its force and technology."

The Best Defense

Two Army sites: 'Landpower' stinks, but Benning's maneuver self-study is sharp

This Army War College website, no matter how well-intentioned, reminds me of the assignments my kids got in 5th grade to design a website on one of their favorite subjects, like Elmo of Sesame Street. But their websites were better, and also that was 15 or more years ago. I am not much of an Internet aesthetics guy myself, but I can see this site just driving 19-year-olds toward the Marines.

On the other hand, someone down at Fort Malcolm X (the base formerly known as Fort Benning) has been doing good work producing this site. It has reading lists, articles, links to doctrine, even movie recommendations. Just a first-class production. If you want to understand the infantry, or small-unit action, or leadership, or a bunch of other subjects, this would be a great place to begin. Even experts will see new things here, like a monograph on the Kindwiller raid.

U.S. Army