Archive for May, 2011

May 31, 2011

Missing the Point of the Joint Chiefs’ Kabuki Dance

Adm. Mullen and Gen. Dempsey. Courtesy Dept of Defense

Obama’s re-shuffling of his national security team, in particular, the new picks for chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, makes for great theater: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing but the superficial musings of military analysts facing print deadlines. For example, after the expected platitudes to Petraeus as “the most successful general the U.S. has produced in decades,” and praising the ‘diplomatic experience’ of Adm. James Stavridis, Max Boot of Commentary allows that Gen. Martin Dempsey is an excellent choice for Chairman because of his intellect and combat experience.

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May 30, 2011

To America’s Veterans, past and present, who through their valor handed us down a free land.

 

May 26, 2011

Obama: Narcissus Unbound

The Daily Caller‘s description of post bin Laden White House celebrations as “Obama Administration takes victory lap in clown car,” cannot be improved upon. In the rush to capitalize on a P.R. boon, the administration’s amateurishness was on full display, with the narrative changing constantly to suit the president’s re-election prospects. And when it comes to grabbing credit, no one does it better than Obama. Despite years of intelligence work and detailed operational planning and preparation that went into the raid, the president’s speech to the nation was riddled with the personal pronoun. Wait… that’s every speech. Sorry.

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May 26, 2011

New Joint Chief: Congrats to Gen. Dempsey

I’ve been critical of Gen. Dempsey for his devotion to doctrine, which I believe a poor approach to the complexities of non-linear dynamics and future uncertainty. However, good luck to a patriot and good man.

His elevation to chairman of the Joint Chiefs, just a few months after being named Army chief of staff, came as a surprise to many. Some speculated it was the Army’s turn, the last soldier who held the post being Gen. Hugh Shelton back in 2001. The frontrunner for chairman, Marine Gen. James Cartwright, was derailed because of allegations of sexual misconduct, despite being cleared by the Pentagon inspector general.

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May 25, 2011

“Read Different”

T. X. Hammes

Armed Forces Journal, despite its committment to “Ideas. Vision. Leadership,” is usually a cliché ridden, institution-speak compilation of repackaged doctrine and processes passed off as new and inventive thinking. No surprise once you look at the magazine’s readership of field and flag grade officers as well people in government and corporate defense.

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May 24, 2011

McChrystal’s Network: It takes a Sea Change

It Takes a Network,” General Stanley A. McChrystal’s uneven and idiosyncratic essay on his tactical and operational challenges in Iraq and Afghanistan, shows how an adaptive enemy using 21st century technology changed his thinking about the “new front line of modern warfare.” McChrystal correctly identifies the characteristics of an emerging threat and details his adaptation to that threat. Unfortunately, he misses an opportunity to show how the institutional Army, and its obsession with doctrine and process, puts Army creativity in a headlock when facing new, non-linear phenomenon.wpid-48441166-2011-05-22-12-10.jpg

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