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 …

5 Ways the Military is an Absurdist Organization

Most people think of the military as a no-nonsense place, where everyone is filled with rigid discipline and chock-full of common sense. And while that might be the image that we often like to have portrayed of ourselves, there's a lot more that goes on that would definitely elicit a few, "WTFs" if they were …

How “Scrubs” Characters are Basically Your Military Unit

Sure, at first glance, you wouldn't think that a TV show about a doctors, nurses, and a crazy janitor at teaching hospital would have anything to do with the military. However, both the military and the medical professions have a lot in common: life and death decisions, long periods of boredom punctuated with brief moments …

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. …

Russian Military to Occupy Baltics to Prevent COVID-19 Infections

Author's Note: This is a satirical article meant to highlight the absurdity of Russia’s reportedly low COVID-19 infection rate and it’s continued use of hybrid warfare in conflicts with its neighbors. After a frenzied 24 hours of military activity, President Vladimir Putin announced that the Russian military has sent assistance to the Baltic countries of …

A Fantastical Council of War

The Lord Intelligencer was first on the schedule.  After the Crown Prince sat down and nodded to him, he rose and walked to the map on the wall.  He smoothed his blue robes and cleared his throat. ‘Highness, my Lords and Ladies, colleagues.  As you all are aware, our long term planning has been organized …

Want to build a combat focused culture in your unit? Start with your language

Guest post by LTC Scotty M. Autin Let’s do a test.  Close your eyes and tell me what you think about when you hear the words “dreams”, “creativity”, “fantasy”, “smiles”, “magic”, and “generation”.  Odds are, you probably thought about some variation of Disney. If so, then you’re a product of Disney’s brilliant brand language strategy. …

Finding Space – Chapter Five

Energy blasts arced across the sky, blue hints against the permanent dark yellow. Someone was apparently fighting someone. Ian was laying on his back, gazing upwards. He briefly shut his eyes, yearning for some blessed relief from the ever-present light. Space is supposed to be dark he argued to himself. They'd moved far more than …