The Best Defense

The Best Defense

Tales of war: Getting 12 approvals for a relatively minor mission in Afghanistan

 

Here's a striking excerpt from a new book by Michael G. Waltz titled Warrior Diplomat: A Green Beret's Battles from Washington to Afghanistan. In this passage, Waltz is briefing Michael Vickers, a visiting Pentagon official, and himself a former Special Forces soldier. 

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The Best Defense

If I could change one thing (IV): I’d allow service members to move back and forth between active duty and the reserves

 

By Jesse Sloman, Best Defense contest entry

If I could change one thing about the U.S. military personnel system, I would create a pathway for service members to move back and forth between active duty and the reserves throughout their careers. Rather than viewing the active force and the reserves as distinct and separate, the Defense Department (DoD) should adopt a manpower management model described by some leaders as a ‘continuum of service,' in which personnel would shift between statuses while retaining their competitiveness for promotion and retirement benefits.

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The Best Defense

Thoughts on a photograph of a Spitfire: The quiet beauty of operating small craft and working with the environment

 

I suspect there is something about piloting an airplane that is 30 feet long or less that is magic. I've never flown a small plane, but I've kayaked rapids in a 12 foot boat, paddled the Maine coast in an 18 foot sea kayak and sailed the coast alone in a 20 foot sloop, and felt something thrilling and even mystical.

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The Best Defense

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, disillusioned youth and the heavy baggage of war

By Lieutenant Colonel Paul Edgar, U.S. Army (Ret.), Best Defense guest columnist

I was fortunate to be a part of an incredible team that planned and managed operations to find Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl following his disappearance.  When people learn this, they promptly ask about my feelings towards Sergeant Bergdahl, the President, and many others in between.  Usually I avoid answering.  Often I want to reply, "It's a war.  What did you expect?"  Sergeant Bergdahl's buddies have room to criticize.  They worked their assess off to find him.  The rest of us ought to think more broadly. 

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