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' …

How the Baron Harkonnen Failed at Grand Strategy

Science fiction has seen its fair share of questionable military commanders and strategists. There’s Star Wars' Emperor, and his love of doubling or even tripling down on the whole "floating orb of death" strategy, of course. Darth Vader’s fixation on his wayward son to the exclusion of pretty much anything else springs to mind. And …

The Distress Cycle of American Military Conflicts

Like me, perhaps you've been watching the news from Afghanistan wondering how we got to this point. This piece is absolutely not an analysis of our twenty-year conflict there as I am neither an expert on the nation nor an unbiased onlooker. Instead, I've been thinking about the nature of these types of wars and …

Is Saw Gerrera a Terrorist?

This past week, I had the utter delight of participating, in full Jedi Rey cosplay no less, in the 2021 NavyCon. My last panel was a wonderful mix of fellow science fiction nerds and we talked about the intersection of science fiction and military strategy. (If you missed the panel, the replay can be found …

Paper Tiger: The Myth of Physical Conflict with China and Implications for Land Warfare in the Pacific

China is regarded by many defense and strategy experts as a significant threat to U.S.’s national security and global influence. This sentiment was shared by former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and current Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood. Conversely, China views the U.S. in a similar light. On March 5, 2021, General Xu …

Forget Love in the Time of Cholera, How About Assessment in the Time of COVID-19?

Assessment is how the military determines “the overall effectiveness of employing capabilities during military operations.”. That said, the military does not practice this dark art well. If an objective is clear-cut, measuring its performance is also straightforward. Broader objectives cause problems. This was the challenge in Iraq. It was also at the heart of the …

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