The Best Defense

The Best Defense

5 things the Army does during drawdowns

I mean, besides get smaller.

The new issue of Parameters has a good article by Major Jason Warren summarizing the lessons of past drawdowns. I think the five lessons are basically right, but I don't see much evidence that today's Army is following number four. And I worry that the last lesson may be misleading in today's environment. We've only had three drawdowns since becoming a major power, and one of them (post-World War II) was really bad while another of them (post-Gulf War) was done very complacently, with the result that the U.S. Army went into Iraq in 2003 unprepared for what it faced.

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The Best Defense

Navy Lt. Kessler: Col. Anderson is wrong to call on General Dempsey to resign

By Lt. Mike Kessler, U.S. Navy Best Defense guest columnist

It is unfortunate to read another call from the officer ranks for threats of resignation to be used by flag and general officers to influence national policy. At its best, it represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the oft-cited "dereliction of duty"; at its worst, it brandishes pockets of willingness among the officer corps to compromise the principles of our oath.

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The Best Defense

The boobs on Fox News

Over the weekend, I saw this terrific open letter to Fox News, signed by a variety of veterans.

Reading it made me wonder about how quick the Foxmen were to make an offensive and disrespectful joke, and what purposes it might serve. 

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The Best Defense

Is it time for General Dempsey to resign?

By Col. Gary Anderson, USMC (Ret.)

Best Defense guest columnist

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, knows that the Obama strategy for dealing with the self-proclaimed Islamic State is doomed to fail as currently structured; he has done as much to speculate in public that it will have to be altered. Without American combat troops on the ground to physically clear the cities and towns that the forces of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi have occupied, we are in for a long and frustrating open-ended conflict that the American people will quickly tire of. Dempsey is too good a tactician not to know differently; having served with him briefly on a fact-finding tour for the deputy secretary of defense in Iraq in 2003, I found him to be one of the best commanders in the field. If he slaps his four stars on the table and tells the president to find somebody else to pitch the next inning, it will make a real difference. 

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