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Monthly Archives: November 2010

Commentary – if you want peace in Afghanistan, make war

I posted on the prospects for peace negotiations in Afghanistan over at the National Journal expert blog: I do expect that, under pressure from the surge and the growing Afghan security forces, Taliban foot soldiers will desert or die, and local powerbrokers will switch sides or at least move from hostile to neutral so they [...]

Commentary – Counterinsurgency ain't cheap

I’ve posted yet again on the National Journal “expert blog,” inspired by this morning’s news that heavy M1 Abrams tanks – costly to operate, even more costly to replace – are being deployed to Afghanistan:  …. What on earth does this have to do with defense budgets? Some “COINistas,” the more revolutionary advocates of a [...]

News – new website page – Acknowledgments

I’ve added a much-overdue Acknowledgments page. To all those left out, my sincere apologies. To all those included, my profound thanks. And, yes, as you can tell from the tags, there are war dead on this page, too.

Commentary – what to cut from the Pentagon budget

Commentary – what to cut from the Pentagon budget  I posted on the National Journal’s invitation-only “expert blog” again this week, this time taking on the defense budget in the time of the Tea Party and proposing a few cuts: I’m not afraid that the Tea Party can’t take on the defense budget. It was [...]

Commentary – India as American ally

This has little to do with my current research, but I’ve found India fascinating for years, wrote about its strategic rise for The National Journal, and, this week, contributed a comment to The National Journal‘s “expert blog” on security issues on the long-view importance of President Obama’s recent visit there:  First of all: I am [...]

News – Dedication

This website is still missing many things. When I went back to my hotel room after my Dartmouth lecture today, I realized what one of them was. So I have revised my “About” page to include a quotation from a Marine Corps officer who, in the course of an oral history interview, gave me my [...]

Veterans' Day lecture at Dartmouth

The Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College honored me with an invitation to speak about my work on Veterans’ Day, this Thursday. I’ll be departing for Dartmouth tomorrow and back Friday. If you happen to be in the area, please check out the event. For everyone else, I’m hoping to put audio and slides online when [...]

Military families discussion on C-SPAN

On October 1st, I had the pleasure of appearing on C-SPAN to discuss one of my last articles for The National Journal, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again.” I especially appreciated the thoughtful and heartfelt questions from the callers. Full video and a transcript are available online, although they don’t spell my name consistently….

My articles from National Journal are available

National Journal editor-in-chief Ron Fournier and editor Charles Green have graciously agreed to unlock most of my 25 oral history stories for National Journal over the years and make them freely available to the general public, not just subscribers, at We’re hoping to have these stories available in the coming weeks; at the moment [...]

Website goes live, albeit wobbly

At the end of September, I finished my last article for The National Journal and, after almost 13 happy years, I left to pursue my oral history work with veterans full-time. The launch of this website is this project’s first big step into the wider world. Please take a look around, be patient with the [...]