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 …

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 …