Carte Blanche Foreign Policy: the Curse of the All-Volunteer Force

A few weeks back, I was asked to speak to some high school students about the U.S. Army in the post-Vietnam time period. At first I had no idea what I was going to say. How would I get high schoolers fired up about the demise of the Active Defense doctrine and the rise of …

Impenetrable Terrain – Isn’t

There's one of those old pithy military sayings that is so old that it has been attributed to everyone and no one: "Friendly fire - isn't." I'd like to paraphrase that regarding military terrain: "Impenetrable terrain - isn't." Terrain is one of those features of military history and analysis that I feel never gets its …

All Things Old are New Again The U.S. Army and the Changing Operating Environment

This post first appeared on the blog Point of Decision. It is no secret that the U.S. Army is in a time of change and disruption. It is desperately seeking to emerge from an era unprecedented in Army history: fourteen uninterrupted years of direct conflict in a counter-insurgency (COIN) environment in two theaters, with mobilizations …

If U.S. Wars were Arrested Development Characters

Let's be honest, we all watch far too much television. In the old days, when our ancestors had no electricity and far too many brain cells, they occupied their time by reading silly things like the Iliad and other such classics. Because of this, they were able to associate current events with Classical literature, forming …