The Best Defense

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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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.

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The Best Defense

Anatomy of a crime: Some reflections on the latest killings at Fort Hood

By John T. Kuehn, Ph.D. Best Defense guest columnist

In a 2005 meeting with the faculty at the Command and General Staff College (CSGC), a senior Army mental health professional acknowledged how woefully unprepared the Army mental health personnel and facilities were for the drastic increase in the numbers of people needing help for combat related stress ailments, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). At Fort Leavenworth, for example, there were about three to four counselors and therapists for an army community of several thousands, including nearly 1,400 field grade officers at CGSC -- most of whom had at least one combat deployment in either Iraq or Afghanistan, many more than one. The crisis was clear, the Army was unprepared, DOD was unprepared, but the first step to recovery is acknowledging that one has a problem.

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