Another Afghan War Expert Weighs In, Tet-a-Tet

Tony Cordesman, the resident military èminence grise at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, starts out riffing more optimistically than ex-DIA analyst John McCreary on what the Kabul attack means for Afghanistan. But then he details a daunting laundry list of things going wrong that must be reversed — soon — if …

Afghanistan 2.0

Some old-timers speak of deja vu all over again: just as Afghanistan became the Soviet Union’s Vietnam, it could also become America’s. Tuesday’s complex attack on the U.S. embassy in Kabul — reputed to be a safer place — raises anew questions about the scope of the decade-old U.S. war in Afghanistan, and its chances for success.

Redefining Patriotism: Reflecting on the Past Decade

In an era where yellow “Support the Troops” magnets adorn every other vehicle on the road and where rubber bracelets (color-coded for the cause célèbre) serve more as accessories than symbols of true compassion, I find myself wondering what we have learned as a nation during a decade of war. As the tenth anniversary of 9/11 …

GOP Debate Shows Freedom Fries are Long Gone

The GOP has been demonstrably hawkish for decades. Part of this is philosophical, but acting tough has also been reliable currency in the Republican Party for years.

It’s interesting what 10 years of war will do.

Politicians know which way the wind blows, and America is war-weary — ten-years-of-war weary. They are sick of the …

The Protected Principles of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

On my desk I have a proposed bill ensuring no troop is “pressured to approve of another person’s sexual conduct if that sexual conduct is contrary to the personal principles of the member” with respect to the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

What I should do here is point out what is obviously upsetting about this …

Pentagon Reportedly Planning for “Doomsday” Spending Scenario

Is the White House assuming massive defense cuts next year–much bigger than the cuts already made? Even bigger than the additional reductions contained in the recently passed debt-ceiling legislation?

It sure seems so.

Rumor has it that the Administration’s accounting arm, the Office of Management and Budget, has issued fresh …

The New Greatest Generation

Colleague Joe Klein has a great cover story this week on the flip side of veterans’ joblessness, PTSD and suicide: the exemplary examples being set in fields far removed from the battlefields by vets of our post-9/11 wars. As he notes, it’s currently behind the Time paywall, which means you won’t be able to read it online for awhile. …

The Whack-a-Mole Endgame Begins in Afghanistan

Cap Ferrat, France

President Obama’s surge and de-surge strategy in Afghanistan has landed the United States in a strategic cul-de-sac. As America withdraws troops from remote areas of Afghanistan like the Tangi, Korangar, and Pech Valleys, insurgents are flooding back in to wreak havoc, necessitating US retaliatory raids, …

“Why Can’t NATO Whup Libya?”

As NATO’s war against Libya nears its sixth-month anniversary, there’s one question that keeps churning over and over again in what passes for my mind: why can’t the most powerful military alliance in history topple a third-rate army? I discuss the topic with John Nagl of the Center for a New American Security, Paul Hughes, a …

The Pentagon Budget Battle’s Ratcheting Rhetoric

Glad to see the debt crisis has been resolved in the past two weeks while I was away. It has been plain to anyone paying attention for the past couple of years that military spending – or “security” spending as the Orwellians in the White House are now calling it – has to come down, and by more than the $400 billion President …

A Military Teetering on the “Ragged Edge”

House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee Chairman J. Randy Forbes (R-VA) held a hearing on the state of the military this week. The conclusion is stark: the U.S. military is at a breaking point. Today. Right now.

None of America’s armed forces can meet all of the global demands placed on them by commanders today. Were an …

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