The Best Defense

The Best Defense

10 reasons why you shouldn't vote for a vet

By Jim Gourley Best Defense regular columnist

Maryland Attorney General and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Douglas Gansler committed a campaign faux pas this week when he intoned that his opponent, Lieutenant Governor and Iraq war veteran Anthony Brown, was not as prepared to do a "real job." The situation is full of peculiarities. Fox News jumped all over the opportunity to support the military, and slam a Democrat at the same time, but they misconstrued Gansler's "real job" remark to mean the job of governor when he was really talking about healthcare reform.* Fox completely glossed over that aspect, because Gansler is a Democrat criticizing a Democrat for mismanagement of a healthcare rollout. Gansler also blew the matter of Brown's military service as a campaign issue out of proportion more than Fox. So it goes with curious cases of veterans in American political campaigns.

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The Best Defense

Sherman (X): Never judge a battle by what you first encounter in the rear

General Sherman on coming to the scene of a battle:

"I never saw the rear of an army engaged in battle but I feared that some calamity had happened at the front -- the apparent confusion, broken wagons, crippled horses, men lying about dead and maimed, parties hastening to and fro in seeming disorder, and a general apprehension of something dreadful about to ensue; all these signs, however, lessened as I neared the front, and there the contrast was complete -- perfect order, men and horses full of confidence."

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The Best Defense

The future of war (no. 26): Where are the professional military voices in New America's project on the future of war?

By Maj. Matt Cavanaugh, U.S. Army Best Defense Future of War essay contest entry

Though New America is doing great service by leading some much-needed public discussion, its "Future of War" project is seriously flawed. It's not who New America selected for the team. The named panel includes two superstars from the world of academia, law, and policy, plus an innovative technology thinker, and two journalists who likely have spent more time in interesting combat zones than the vast majority of military officers currently in uniform.

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