The GWOT Theme Park Experience

This is brought to you by the author having been subjected to two World War II airborne "experiences" in this year alone, which made them wonder if someone would ever try to encapsulate and commercialize the GWOT experience. This is a work of snark and should not be interpreted seriously. However, if someone does actually …

The Problem of Remembrance

I'm sitting in a mock-up of a Douglas C-47 Skytrain as the airframe rumbles and jerks from the impact of anti-aircraft fire outside. As we can see from looking out the windows, planes catch fire and go down around us. One particularly close explosion scores a hit and smoke seeps from the floor. Across from …

NATO Operations and the Unifying Power of a Common Language

Language is a window to thought. In the Army, we often say that “words have meaning” and they do. But even more so, the manner in which we crystalize thoughts into language colors the thoughts themselves. The goods somewhat assume the shape of the vessel in which they are carried. Learning a language beyond one’s …

The Army Post-GWOT: A Reckoning Ignored

The Army has a problem with self-reflection. And in the wake of the most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, this has never been more evident. I mean, it's not like the Army has any lack of things to reflect upon. Let's take, oh I don't know, the Army post-Vietnam, for example. When the Army …

What’s in a Name: The Problem with “Warfighter”

Back in the late 1990s, when the Army was being all that it could be, the Army began leaning into the concept that soldiers should think of themselves as "warriors" in order to increase the fighting spirit of the force. I've already said my rant, er, I mean, my piece on this, which you can …

American War and American Memory

Collective memory is a fascinating thing. "Never forget." That's a phrase that we often hear associated with things like 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, usually splashed across social media pages on the anniversary of those days. Or maybe there are calls to never forget the sacrifices at Normandy or Bastogne. These national calls for memory tend …

The Day After Kabul

By Garri Benjamin Hendell Everyone in the American military community watched the (most recent) fall of Kabul with their mouths agape. For a generation who grew up in the shadow of Vietnam, to watch another ignominious American retreat was shocking and painful. This was, presumably, an immeasurably worse experience for those that served and lost …

So, About that Next Wave: Planning for the Next War

Forget the enemy: can we overcome ourselves? The new hotness these days is large scale combat operations - or LSCO, for short, just because. Well, I should say, the new hotness other than cyber or Space Force. LSCO is supposed to be all about reorienting the Army to its roots. Back to the good ol' …

Afghanistan Isn’t 1975 South Vietnam, It’s 1948 China

John Q. Bolton We reached in China the exact opposite of what had been our object. – Barbara Tuchman The chaotic 2021 American departure from Afghanistan inevitably invites comparisons to the 1975 fall of South Vietnam. Pictures of helicopters evacuating rooftops evoke feelings of helplessness of an erstwhile partner government collapsing. But before Afghanistan, Iraq, …

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