The Best Defense

Another vote for the Army as the nation's primary service in coming decades

Not the Navy Department, nor the Air Force, say these authors. Rather, they contend:

The argument that the military must retain the ability to "fight and win the Nation's wars" when shaping operations are resourced as lesser included capabilities is incongruous with current national security strategy aspirations. And it is not realistic to expect the whole-of-government engagement capability to increase given the current fiscal environment. The argument to limit resource expenditures, however, is compelling in light of U.S. fiscal circumstances. Faced with a volatile operating environment, austere resources, and an ambiguous group of adversaries, the Nation must strive for dynamic equilibrium as it adapts the joint force to win conflicts, manage security environments, and shape civil order within constrained resources. The new security culture must embrace the military's "shape" and "win" roles. Shaping operations are primarily landpower centric because they are conducted in the human domain among the people. The Army must and will carry the burden of successfully executing shaping operations in support of America's foreign policy security goals.

ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images

The Best Defense

What not to do when seeing a big ship in your path while entering the Persian Gulf

A couple of things struck me from this audio from the bridge of the minutes leading up to the USS Porter's collision with a Japanese tanker back in 2012. First, it sounds like no one is in charge. Second, when the skipper asks someone a question, it is taken as an order. Third, I wonder why during four minutes there is no attempt to contact the other ship in ways besides the horn -- say, radio, flashing lights, and flares.

"Bridge communications were atrocious," commented retired Navy Capt. John Byron after listening to the audio. "A good skipper wants a quiet bridge and a good OOD insists on it."

Speaking of the Navy, here is a good story about the difficult decisions facing an F-18 pilot after a refueling mishap.

U.S. Navy