DoD’s next challenge: managing the fall of our military welfare state

Summary: The military is often described as a test tube for American social science, running experiments such as integration of race, sex, and gender in its relatively controlled society. But the largest social science experiment in the military -- perhaps the largest in US history -- is DoD's socialism. We close our eyes, preferring not … Continue reading DoD’s next challenge: managing the fall of our military welfare state

The US military’s #1 challenge in the 21st century: recruiting a few good people

Summary: The US military faces many problems in the 21st century, but perhaps none more serious than the need to recruit sufficient numbers of the high quality people it needs. They face two kinds of difficulties. This post discusses not just the small problems that get all the attention, but also the large but seldom … Continue reading The US military’s #1 challenge in the 21st century: recruiting a few good people

Martin van Creveld: learning to say “no” to war

Summary:  In his fourth post about the real revolution in military affairs, the evolution of western armies into pussycats, Martin van Creveld looks at the increasing number of men who refused to fight -- first for religious reasons, later often for ethical reasons -- and the State's increasingly willingness to accommodate them.   Pussycats IV: … Continue reading Martin van Creveld: learning to say “no” to war

How did the US Army’s leadership problem grow so bad?

Summary:  The US spends $600 billion on the US military (narrowly defined; almost a trillion broadly), yet repeatedly fails to defeat our poorly trained and equipped foes. In this chapter of our series asking "why", Don Vandergriff points to ways the Army selects and promotes officers (its problems are usually about people; seldom about hardware).  … Continue reading How did the US Army’s leadership problem grow so bad?

As we start a new war, have we learned from our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Summary: As we start a new war, will we remember the lessons of our last wars? Most importantly, will we continue to run like hamsters on the wheel? We kill our foes, and nearby citizens. As infidel foreign invaders, the locals consider our actions illegitimate. The insurgents gain support and members. So we ratchet up … Continue reading As we start a new war, have we learned from our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?