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Publications – How We Fight, 1776-2006

The military we have today is radically different from what America had for the first two centuries of the Republic. How we got from the Minutemen to Seal Team Six is the subject of a story I wrote for National Journal‘s Independence Day 2006 issue, entitled “How We Fight. It begins:

Unpaid for months, the army was refusing to disband. But the fragile new democracy had no money to pay the troops. Delegations of officers returned from the provisional capital empty-handed and indignant; some had held secret meetings with politicians advocating a more forceful form of government. Men threatened mutiny. There were even rumors that a military coup was being planned.

The country was not Iraq. It was America in 1783….

National Journal editor Charles Green has graciously made “How We Fight” available online to non-subscribers.

 In addition, since the NJ‘s website only includes the text of the story, I have their permission to reproduce here the extraordinary graphic timeline of America’s wars produced by my longtime collaborator Ryan Morris, who updated it this November for my Veterans’ Day lecture at Dartmouth:

(click on the miniature version above for the full-size graphic, then click again to magnify)

While this story is not based on interviews with veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq, I believe it provides invaluable historical context for understanding our current wars and how we fight them.

As always, readers are welcome to comment below.

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