Chuck Spinney

Franklin (Chuck) Spinney retired from the Defense Department in 2003 after a military-civilian career spanning 33 years. The latter 26 of those years were as a staff analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. During this period, he appeared as a witness in many congressional hearings before the Budget, Armed Services, Defense Appropriations and Government Affairs or Reform and Oversight committees of the U.S. House and Senate. He is author of Defense Facts of Life: The Plans/Reality Mismatch (1985). His op-eds and essays have appeared in the TheWall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Challenge, CounterPunch, Proceedings Magazine of the U.S Naval Institute and the Marine Corps Gazette, among other places. His critical plans/reality analysis of the Reagan defense program landed him on the cover of Time Magazine (March 7, 1983). In 2003, his hour long "exit interview" with Bill Moyers on the PBS show NOW won an Emmy Award for being the best news magazine show of 2003. After retiring, Chuck and his wife moved aboard a 12 meter sailboat, crossed the Atlantic in 2005, and since then they have been sailing and living in Mediterranean Sea. Many of Chuck’s reports and essays can be found on his website

Articles from Contributor

Battleland Battleland

The Question of German Power Returns to Europe

Since the middle of the 19th Century, the central questions in European politics have been the closely-connected questions of nationalism and the rise of German power. As my good friend and eminent historian Gabriel Kolko shows in this brilliant essay, the post-war solutions of NATO and the European Union, together with the exigencies …

Battleland Battleland

What’s Next for Pakistan?

Attached is a very important essay analyzing the political aspects of the current crisis with Pakistan, written from the point of view of leftist Pakistani intellectual. For those readers who are unfamiliar with the author, Tariq Ali graduated from Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics, and economics, and was President of the …

Battleland Battleland

Afghan Dunkirk: Exiting Afghanistan UK-Style … or … How the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (MICC) Will Win By Losing

My previous posting, discussed some of the implications of our looming grand-strategic defeat in Afghanistan. Here, we address the narrower logistics question of how to bring our forces home.

The old adage that it is easy to get into Afghanistan but painful to leave is true for many reasons — a big one was just described in the 27

Battleland Battleland

AF-PAK Sitrep: The Good, the Bizarre and the Ugly

It is becoming increasingly clear that the AF-PAK war will end in yet another grand strategic defeat for the United States. To date, President Obama, has been able to distract attention from this issue, but given the stakes in 2012, that dodge is unlikely to last. Get ready for an ugly debate over “who lost the Afghan War.” To those …

Battleland Battleland

The Military Girds for the Battle of the Potomac

Sitrep: Tensions are running high in Versailles on the Potomac as each of the military services girds itself for the real war…the budget war. A battle royal is being joined over how to carve up a Defense pie that will be growing more slowly, or possibly even shrinking slightly in the coming years.

Defense industry lobbyists, like …

Battleland Battleland

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, …

Battleland Battleland

Afghan Sitrep II: Another Grunt Sounds Off

We’re Here Because We’re Here Because We’re Here …

Beaulieu Sur Mer, France

The old German army had a term of art for describing the US strategy in Afghanistan: nicht schwerpunckt, meaning there is no center of effort or unifying idea around which to shape and coordinate the ever-changing kaleidoscope of supporting efforts as well …

Battleland Battleland

The Defense Death Spiral

Why is the Pentagon Underfunded?

The courtiers in the Hall of Mirrors that is Versailles on the Potomac are lining up to give Leon Panetta advice on how to manage the Pentagon in the coming era of budget “constraints.” Most of this wisdom takes the form of platitudes of how important it is to have a strategy and to make the …

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