"Laws are silent in times of war."

The Long Gray Online

The Long Gray Online

Army Majors Matt Cavanaugh, Nathan Finney, and John McRae discuss ‘Milblogging’ forums that are driving online discussions on military leadership, doctrine, and innovation and providing valuable tools to today’s leaders.

Rethinking the Role of Religion in Counterinsurgency

Rethinking the Role of Religion in Counterinsurgency

With recent cases of religiously motivated violence in Jerusalem, Ottawa, and elsewhere, Jason Klocek finds that policymakers frequently use overwhelming force against insurgents motivated by religion.

American Witnesses of the Nazi Rise to Power

American Witnesses of the Nazi Rise to Power

Andrew Nagorski describes his latest book, Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power, and what lessons that period of history holds for totalitarianism today.

CBRN Robotics: Unmanned Recon and Decon Systems Needed

CBRN Robotics: Unmanned Recon and Decon Systems Needed

CBRN expert Dan Kaszeta argues that the possibilities, capabilities, and advantages of developing unmanned CBRN systems to perform reconnaissance, detection, and decontamination functions should not be ignored.

When Politics and Intelligence Meet

When Politics and Intelligence Meet

Chris Miller explores the ‘politicization’ of intelligence and how and when it may occur in relations between intelligence and policymakers.

Why ‘Military Readiness’ is so Vital

Why ‘Military Readiness’ is so Vital

In light of the sequestration debate, Colonel (Ret.) Eric Jorgensen explains what ‘Military Readiness’ is and why it is so vital to America’s national security.

Network-Centric Warfare Set the Stage for Cyberwar

Network-Centric Warfare Set the Stage for Cyberwar

IT security expert Richard Stiennon explains how the U.S. military’s adoption of Network-centric Warfare (NCW) set the stage for inevitable cyberwarfare in future conflicts between modern states.

A Soldier’s Best Friend

A Soldier’s Best Friend

Foreign Policy Magazine’s Rebecca Frankel discusses her new book, War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love.

The White House Must Change its ISIS Strategy

The White House Must Change its ISIS Strategy

Chris Miller argues the Obama administration’s ISIS strategy is based on false conclusions and is likely to lead to yet another prolonged conflict for America in the Middle East.

President Bush is Still Wrong on Iraq

President Bush is Still Wrong on Iraq

Following a recent article, political revisionists are again arguing ‘Bush was right on WMD.’ Chris Miller recounts the history of how America went to war in Iraq and why President Bush is still wrong.

Ottawa’s Lone Gunman Shows Weakness of ISIS

Ottawa’s Lone Gunman Shows Weakness of ISIS

Jeff Danovich argues that following the Ottawa attack, we should not hand ISIS a victory for their propaganda machine, keeping in mind that the goal of terrorism is to force change in how we live our lives.

Is ‘Restraint’ a Realistic Grand Strategy?

Is ‘Restraint’ a Realistic Grand Strategy?

Reviewing Barry Posen’s new book, Restraint: A New Foundation for U.S. Grand Strategy, Michael Page argues that the ability of the U.S. to extract itself from a leadership role in addressing regional conflicts like Syria appears unlikely.

On Integrity: The Foundation of Leadership

On Integrity: The Foundation of Leadership

Army Major John McRae explains why integrity is the bedrock value of military leadership and how drifting away from it can cause leaders and organizations to lose their moral bearings.

The Case for Arming Rebels

The Case for Arming Rebels

The CIA study commissioned by Obama that found that “arming rebels” is ineffective should be questioned, especially as it pertains to our inaction in Syria, argues Lionel Beehner.

A Trail of UN Malfeasance in Afghanistan

A Trail of UN Malfeasance in Afghanistan

Katrin Park argues that the UN should own up to its failures in Afghanistan’s postwar reconstruction and that unconditional spending has to end.

The F-35 Was Built to Fight ISIS

The F-35 Was Built to Fight ISIS

Jonathan Miller explains why the F-35 is destined to become America’s central combat aircraft and why it should see service over Iraq and Syria in the war with ISIS.

Bing West on Fighting the ‘Forgotten War’ in Afghanistan

Bing West on Fighting the ‘Forgotten War’ in Afghanistan

Bing West talks counterinsurgency policy and his latest book, One Millions Steps, the story of a platoon of U.S. Marines he embedded with as they engaged in one of the most important and deadly battles of the war in Afghanistan.

Military Adaptive Leadership: Overcome or Overcompensate?

Military Adaptive Leadership: Overcome or Overcompensate?

Army Major John McRae argues that the military must take a balanced approach to the concept of “adaptive leadership,” understanding there is still a need for more traditional and technical leadership forms. Applying the right form at the right time is crucial to the force in war and in peace.

Can Drones Help Us Clear ISIS-Controlled Cities?

Can Drones Help Us Clear ISIS-Controlled Cities?

Peter Storey discusses lessons learned in Iraq and elsewhere for airpower in urban warfare and how UAVs help mitigate its challenges, an issue relevant to today’s war with ISIS.

To Defeat ISIS, Change the Balance on the Ground

To Defeat ISIS, Change the Balance on the Ground

General (Ret.) Mohammed al-Samarae says that for the U.S. to successfully and decisively defeat ISIS, it must change the balance of power and momentum on the ground, something it cannot achieve with airstrikes alone.

Paul Staniland on How to Fix Counterinsurgency

Paul Staniland on How to Fix Counterinsurgency

Paul Staniland, author of Networks of Rebellion, discusses the organization of insurgencies, ways to fix COIN and fight ISIS, as well as recent accusations against IR scholars for not being policy-relevant.

On Food, Wine, and War

On Food, Wine, and War

Lionel Beehner explores whether good cuisine correlates with perpetual conflict in the world’s hotspots.

Limp into Iraq, Limp Out: Time to Revive the ‘Powell Doctrine’?

Limp into Iraq, Limp Out: Time to Revive the ‘Powell Doctrine’?

Chris Miller argues that the ‘No boots’ mentality and ‘economy of force’ have led to deeply unpopular and indecisive wars since 9/11, strategies President Obama seems determined to follow against ISIS. It’s time to bring back the Powell Doctrine.

Asymmetric Warfare Goes Both Ways

Asymmetric Warfare Goes Both Ways

Eric Jorgensen on how to take asymmetric advantage of the full range of U.S instruments of national power in a way that overwhelms our adversaries.

Leo Strauss: Teacher, Philosopher, ‘Man of Peace’?

Leo Strauss: Teacher, Philosopher, ‘Man of Peace’?

Robert Howse reexamines Leo Strauss in his own works and lectures and finds a ‘Man of Peace’ with a balanced philosophy as to use of force, not the ‘warmonger’ or intellectual forefather Bush-era Neoconservatives adopted him as.

Can a Divided UN Help us Fight Terrorism?

Can a Divided UN Help us Fight Terrorism?

Katrin Park believes that rather than establish a new UN counterterrorism body, existing structures should be made fit for that purpose. Getting members to agree on how to counter terror is yet another matter.

Is COIN No Longer Relevant?

Is COIN No Longer Relevant?

Does the closing of a COIN institution at Ft. Leavenworth signal the end of the Bush-era doctrine? Whitney Kassel assesses what it means for our approach to future conflict.

The Necessary Hypocrisy of Torture

The Necessary Hypocrisy of Torture

Avner Mandelman says hypocrisy is necessary for a civilized society and there’s a need for some “necessary evil” to be performed if society is to survive. That goes for torture as well.

Send Development Aid to North Africa, Not Drones

Send Development Aid to North Africa, Not Drones

UN expert Katrin Park argues that swarming the impoverished northwest corner of Africa with $5 billion of counterterrorism assistance will not solve the region’s security threats.

Time for another ‘Sunni Awakening’ in Iraq

Time for another ‘Sunni Awakening’ in Iraq

Gen. (Ret.) Mohammed al-Samarae argues that a new ‘Sunni Awakening’ would help push ISIS out of Iraq, but U.S. needs to press Baghdad to grant the Sunnis meaningful gains–something the Maliki government refused to do.

With Russia, Eyeball to Eyeball Again

With Russia, Eyeball to Eyeball Again

Chris Miller argues Vladimir Putin is following Khrushchev’s “surface tension” strategy in Ukraine, bringing Washington and Moscow “eyeball to eyeball” again. But so far, the West is doing the blinking.

A Witness to Britain’s War Crimes in Kenya

A Witness to Britain’s War Crimes in Kenya

Huw Bennett, author of ‘Fighting the Mau Mau’, talks about the British COIN experience in 1950s Kenya and being called as a historian and expert witness in the landmark legal case brought by Mau Mau victims against the UK government.

Why a War of Attrition Favors Us, Not ISIS

Why a War of Attrition Favors Us, Not ISIS

Col. S. Clinton Hinote argues that by occupying territory and grabbing the world’s attention ISIS has also made itself vulnerable to attack, something the U.S. and its partners should take advantage of now.

It Takes A Massacre to Save a Village

It Takes A Massacre to Save a Village

Lionel Beehner ponders the inconsistent and indifferent reaction of the American public to massacres, genocide, and mass violence in places like Syria and Iraq and closer to home in Newtown, Aurora, and inner-city Chicago.

For Refugees in Turkey, A Tipping Point Looms

For Refugees in Turkey, A Tipping Point Looms

Known for its hospitality, Turkey opened its borders to all Syrians fleeing the fighting. Now the refugee crisis may be hitting a tipping point, writes Melissa Harrison.

In Iraq, A Faustian Bargain Awaits

In Iraq, A Faustian Bargain Awaits

Christian Cooper believes America should broker a deal with Iran to confront ISIS and ease the transition of Iraq into three autonomous regions, rather than await a violent disintegration.

For the Future Force, More is Not Always Better

For the Future Force, More is Not Always Better

Former U.S. Air Force strategic planner Eric Jorgensen argues that for the U.S. military, more is not always better, and decisions should be based on what we need, not on what we want.

For Russia, Death by a Thousand Aid Convoys

For Russia, Death by a Thousand Aid Convoys

As Russia rolls out aid convoys and the same R2P rhetoric it did before its 2008 invasion of Georgia, Lionel Beehner warns that the West must be clear in its support for Kiev.

Is Extremist Hip Hop Helping ISIS?

Is Extremist Hip Hop Helping ISIS?

Upon news that the ISIS slayer of James Foley may be a British hip hop DJ, Hisham Aidi writes that European hip hop is not new to jihadism.

How to Found a New Iraq From Embers of War

How to Found a New Iraq From Embers of War

Kevin Russell writes that Iraq’s leaders, like Lincoln after the American Civil War, will need military progress and de-escalation to create space for political action.

Let Iran and ISIS Fight It Out

Let Iran and ISIS Fight It Out

To avoid nuclear proliferation in the region, the United States should stay out of Iraq and let Iran’s proxies and ISIS fight it out, argues Lt Col. Paul Darling.

Military Force Structure Math–the American Way

Military Force Structure Math–the American Way

There are many ways to restructure our armed forces to match current budgetary conditions. Finding the right balance between risks and benefits poses challenges for policymakers, writes Eric Jorgensen.

Why ISIS is More Dangerous than Al-Qaeda

Why ISIS is More Dangerous than Al-Qaeda

Unlike al-Qaeda, ISIS has a true sanctuary in the heart of the Arab world. That is why the U.S. is right to intervene in Iraq, writes Colonel Clint Hinote.

Time to Retire GWOT Mindset in Africa

Time to Retire GWOT Mindset in Africa

In Africa, America is again in search of amorphous monsters to slay. But this GWOT mindset has not made us, or Africans, any safer, writes Thomas Lansner.

What the Air Force Can Learn from FedEx

What the Air Force Can Learn from FedEx

To reform the Air Force amid budget constraints, it needs to look more like Corporate America. FedEx offers a nice model, writes Eric Jorgensen.

Joshua Rovner on Iraq and the Politics of Intelligence

Joshua Rovner on Iraq and the Politics of Intelligence

Joshua Rovner of Southern Methodist University talks about his book, Fixing the Facts, on the intelligence-policy relationship and “politicization” of intelligence during the Iraq War and throughout U.S. history.

The Future of America’s All-Volunteer Force

The Future of America’s All-Volunteer Force

Lieutenant Colonel Paul Darling argues that the U.S. military must rethink its dated benefits system and how it attracts troops and structures their benefits in order to meet the nation’s fiscal challenges today.

Prelude to Another Russian Missile Crisis

Prelude to Another Russian Missile Crisis

As the world finds itself concerned with Russian missiles once again, Chris Miller revisits SNIE 85-3-62, the crucial–and wrong–U.S. intelligence estimate that Nikita Khrushchev would not place nuclear missiles on Cuba.

A Cure For America’s ‘Iraq Syndrome’

A Cure For America’s ‘Iraq Syndrome’

When it comes to the use of force, America cannot let bad decisions in Iraq stand in the way of decisionmaking in Syria, Ukraine and other conflicts today, especially if it wants to tackle obstacles in the larger strategic environment and pivot to the East.

Ahron Bregman on Gaza, Israel, and Palestine

Ahron Bregman on Gaza, Israel, and Palestine

Ahron Bregman talks about his latest book, Cursed Victory, on the history of conflict in Israel, Palestine, Gaza and the occupied territories, drawing on high-level sources and interviews revealed for the first time.

Germany-U.S. Spy Scandal: Typewriters & Intelligence

Germany-U.S. Spy Scandal: Typewriters & Intelligence

Chris Miller on the latest German-American spying scandal and why Berlin and Moscow considering going back to paper shuffling and typewriters to counter electronic intelligence gathering may not be as crazy as it sounds.

Getting Behind ‘Hybrid’ Warfare

Getting Behind ‘Hybrid’ Warfare

For today’s superpowers, strength in the art of hybrid warfare is found not on the front lines but on the fringe of international law and the grey regions of international policy, writes Jordan Bravin.

Revisiting COIN Strategies in Vietnam

Revisiting COIN Strategies in Vietnam

Chris Miller investigates which COIN strategies worked in Vietnam and why, providing valuable lessons for U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Kristan Stoddart on U.S.-NATO Nuclear Policy

Kristan Stoddart on U.S.-NATO Nuclear Policy

In an interview on his detailed new book, The Sword and the Shield, Kristan Stoddart talks about the U.S., Britain, and NATO nuclear policy and cooperation and how cyberwarfare may be the new Cold War.

Cold War Lessons for Counterintelligence Today

Cold War Lessons for Counterintelligence Today

Following Edward Snowden’s NSA disclosures and renewed clashes between Washington and Berlin over espionage, Chris Miller discusses Cold War lessons in counterintelligence still applicable to national security challenges today.

The ‘Hot’ War in Cold War Southeast Asia

The ‘Hot’ War in Cold War Southeast Asia

The dominant narrative of the Cold War focuses on the conflict in the West between Washington and Moscow, forgetting about the lessons learned in the “hot” war in Southeast Asia. These lessons are worth another look, argues Chris Miller.

Ian Morris on Why War Is ‘Sometimes Good’

Ian Morris on Why War Is ‘Sometimes Good’

In his provocative new book, War! What is It Good For?, Ian Morris discusses the Hobbesian role of the leviathan in reducing violence and why war is “sometimes good.”

‘The Troubles

‘The Troubles': COIN Tactics Against the IRA

John Wood argues looking at the “criminalization” of IRA terrorist violence during The Troubles may shed new light on COIN tactics in ethnic and sectarian conflicts in the 21st century.

The Myth of Obama’s Realism

The Myth of Obama’s Realism

Why do polls show Obama’s approval on foreign policy at record lows? Hint: It’s not because he is a realist, Lionel Beehner explains.

Why Urban Warfare Studies Still Matter

Why Urban Warfare Studies Still Matter

Peter Storey makes the case that the rise and fall of urban warfare studies should not mean we turn away from the literature, especially given that our planet is becoming more urbanized.

Two Views of Intelligence

Two Views of Intelligence

Chris Miller breaks down two philosophical approaches to intelligence analysis, but finds that the practice is still “informed guesswork.”

Just Killers, Moral Injuries

Just Killers, Moral Injuries

Robert Emmet Meagher writes that “just war” doctrine explains our inability to comprehend moral injury and to make sense of our military “heroes” marching off to take their own lives.

The Fading Memory of War in Congress

The Fading Memory of War in Congress

As the last of our World War II veterans leave Congress, the risk of losing the memory and lessons learned during a time of unparalleled global warfare is both present and real, argues Jordan Bravin.

Russia’s Fair Energy Friends

Russia’s Fair Energy Friends

For Russia, energy policy equals foreign policy. But the few pliant friends Russia has, writes Zoran Tihomirovic, could turn their back on Moscow if its energy becomes too expensive, financially or politically.

Moral Injury and Military Suicide

Moral Injury and Military Suicide

The second of a two-part feature, Lt. Col. Douglas A. Pryer examines the effects of moral injury on military culture and military suicide.

Moral Injury and the American Soldier

Moral Injury and the American Soldier

Lt. Col. Douglas A. Pryer, looking back at classical literature and his own experience in Iraq, makes the case that “moral injury” better explains some psychological symptoms than PTSD. This is the first of a two-part essay.

Russia’s NATO Expansion Myth

Russia’s NATO Expansion Myth

Chris Miller argues that Russia’s claim that NATO verbally agreed never to expand in the 1990s is nonsense. If NATO expansion was as vital an issue to Russia then as is claimed today, Moscow would have insisted on a clear statement of it in writing.

Morten Ender on Millennials and the Military

Morten Ender on Millennials and the Military

Morten G. Ender, coauthor of a new book that examines millennials’ attitudes on the military, says he is optimistic about future generations’ views on war and argues there is a narrowing of the civilian-military gap in this country.

How Many Fingers in the Warthog Pie?

How Many Fingers in the Warthog Pie?

The axing of an aging, likely strategically inconsequential aircraft like the A-10 ‘Warthog’ is a small price to pay in order to maintain top-flight armed forces for America’s future, argues Jonathan Miller.

What a ‘Head Strong’ Military Looks Like

What a ‘Head Strong’ Military Looks Like

Mike Matthews writes in a new book that “moral trauma” and PTSD are occupational hazards of combat, but that military personnel tend to be resilient. His research suggests that psychological wounds may be as medal-worthy as physical ones.

Ireland 1916-1921: The War COIN Theorists Forgot

Ireland 1916-1921: The War COIN Theorists Forgot

COIN theorists tend to hold up the British as exemplar counterinsurgents because of their successful operation in Malaya. But Peter Storey writes that operations in Ireland from 1916 to 1921 should receive greater attention from military historians.

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  1. Johnf305 says:

    Keep working ,impressive job!

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