Military History

Unending War

Greg Jaffe had a spot-on piece in the Washington Post‘s Labor Day edition discussing the U.S. government’s notion that permanent war is now the American way of life. He captures the all-but-paranoid notion that foreign enemies are forever plotting ways to end the American way of life, as we know it.

But while that is the view of …

General Donn Starry, 1925-2011

Donn Starry, 86, who helped rewrite Army plans for waging war a generation ago, died August 26 of cancer in Canton, Ohio. Many in the military cite him as a key architect responsible for rebuilding the U.S. Army following the Vietnam War. Starry helped draft and implement the Army’s so-called AirLand Battle conventional war-fighting …

Afghanistan? Check. Iraq? Check. Iran? Checking…

Nice to know Air Force Lieut. Colonel Leif Eckholm is keeping busy in his job inside the inner sanctum of American military power: the strategic plans and policy directorate for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Perhaps that’s why he has just written

Invading Iran: Lessons from Iraq

…those who forget the past and all…

Here’s …

A Final Salute for (Insert Nickname Here)

There’s going to be plenty of Petraeus pageantry and partying all around Pentagon property Wednesday. That’s because Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is hosting a no-holds barred retirement ceremony for Army General David Petraeus after 37 years in uniform. “I’ve been privileged to command organizations that …

Globalization at the Barrel of a Gun

That phrase, with its powerful imagery, was often tossed at me following the publication of my 2004 book, The Pentagon’s New Map. In it, I argued that globalization’s expansion was, and would continue to be, the primary cause of unrest and conflict in the world, as connectivity – in all its forms – extended itself into the …

The “Yellow Parallel, um Peril” (With That Red One)

Make no mistake about it: China remains the U.S.’s No. 1 foe — with a bullet. In its annual kabuki dance Wednesday, the Pentagon issued its latest version of its assessment of China’s military might, mandated by Congress. The 84-page report focused like a laser on what the Pentagon sees as China’s push for naval and air power in the …

Some Good Chopper News: Shootdowns at 15% of Vietnam’s Rate

The fact that the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan claimed Wednesday morning that the U.S. has killed those responsible for downing the CH-47 Chinook — killing 38, including 22 Navy SEALs — last weekend is good news, relatively speaking. “At approximately midnight on 8 August coalition forces killed the Taliban insurgents …

Navy Grounds Cutting Call Signs

The Navy has punished a pair of officers who commanded an outfit that joked about assigning call signs like “Romo’s Bitch” and “Fagmeister” to their administrative officer during a 2009 call sign review board. It’s a sign of changing times in the Navy, which for decades has struggled with letting women into its inner sanctums, how …

General John Shalikashvili, 1936-2011

When Army General John Shalikashvili’s became chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1993, even his staff didn’t know how to say his name. “I’m saying it the way the other people on my staff are saying it: shah-lee-KASH-villy, with the emphasis on the KASH,” said Maj. Nino Fabiano, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs. “But let me …

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