Put Down Clausewitz, Pick Up Pratchett 

Step aside Clausewitz, a new thinker has entered the professional military education (PME) ring – Sir Terry Pratchett.  Military theory and history are the bedrock of PME. They should remain so. However, popular fiction, even books which at first blush have very little to do with the military, can contain very useful insights for leaders. …

Mean Hegemons

The common perception of the 2004 film Mean Girls is a memorable teen comedy. This is wholly incorrect. Mean Girls is a primer on the risks of an unrestrainedly realist approach to hegemonic transition, and a stirring endorsement of multilateral arbitration.  The story begins when Cady Heron, previously home-schooled, arrived at North Shore High School. …

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory on Wakanda

By Matthew Ader Captain Roger’s performance at the Battle of Wakanda has been widely and rightly panned. But nothing has been said about the profound failures of his enemy, the Thanosians. Despite every possible advantage in manpower, materiel, and circumstance, they still failed. All students of the military art should examine how they so masterfully …

Marvel-ling at the Pentagon: Force Design in the MCU

Captain Marvel Co-Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Flack give remarks during a screening of ÒCaptain MarvelÓ in Washington, D.C., March 7, 2019. The screening was held to highlight Air Force collaboration with Disney and the inspiration behind the main characterÕs warrior ethos: Òhigher, further, faster.Ó (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank) This …

The Wakandan Civil War: A Profile in State Reconstruction

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) .Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018 By Matthew Ader In 2016, there was a coup d’état in Wakanda. Using a combination of foreign training and racialist rhetoric, Erik Stevens overthrew the T’Challa administration. Although his regime was destroyed a few …

Military Lessons Learned from the Battle of Wakanda

By Matthew Ader The world is blessed that Steve Rogers never made it past captain. The Battle of Wakanda in Avengers: Infinity War is a master class in how not to use an infantry battalion. However, from his failure, we can extract some fundamental lessons: STAY MOBILE To set the stage – Captain Rogers and …