The Best Defense

The Best Defense

The New York Times op-ed page owes our vets a large and immediate apology

By Jesse Sloman Best Defense guest columnist

Kathleen Belew's New York Times op-ed "Veterans and White Supremacy" has generated a fierce response for its attempt to connect military service with membership in white supremacist groups. I hope that Dr. Belew and the Times editorial staff don't dismiss the palpable anger they've prompted in the veteran community as a knee-jerk reaction to an unflattering portrayal. Instead, alongside a sense of collective outrage at being subjected to tired and ill-informed stereotyping, most of the criticism I've read has been sober, thoughtful, well-informed, and centered around the op-ed's analytical flaws and inadequate research.

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The Best Defense

The case for adding 74 sailors of the USS Frank E. Evans to the Vietnam Memorial

By Maj. Cameron Gallagher, U.S. Army Best Defense guest columnist

In the early morning of June 3, 1969, the USS Frank E. Evans was engaged in "Operation Sea Spirit" with more than 40 ships of the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization. During the exercise, the Evans collided with HMAS Melbourne, an Australian carrier that ripped the American destroyer in two, killing 74 sailors.

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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.

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