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Tag Archives: National Journal

Commentary – in Afghanistan, ending “combat mission” doesn’t mean ending combat

My latest commentary over at the National Journal security blog tackles Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s recent suggestion that we formally end the U.S. “combat mission” in Afghanistan in 2013, a year before the deadline to (more or less) withdraw our forces: The end of the “combat mission” doesn’t mean the end of combat. As long [...]

Commentary – low hopes for Iraq

There’s an interesting, if depressing, conversation ongoing over at the National Journal expert blog about what’s to come for Iraq. A snippet from my own contribution: I normally try for guarded optimism on this blog, but the latest news from Iraq makes that hard. The situation increasingly sounds like one of Shakespeare’s darker history plays [...]

Commentary – not a word for veterans in GOP debates

A sad, slightly bitter observation on which to end Veterans’ Day: I can’t find one mention of veterans in the transcripts of the Republican debates. I say this in dismay not at the state of one party or another but at how easily we all forget. I wrote more on this at the National Journal [...]

Publications – military retirement “reform” is really sleight-of-hand

AOL Defense has run another story of mine on the military’s human capital problems, this one on the real agenda behind recent proposals to “reform” the military’s admittedly problematic retirement system: The military’s retirement system is a mess. But the current proposals to fix it have a hidden agenda. No, I’m not talking about cutting [...]

Commentary – killing Anwar al-Awlaki was justified

Today, the National Journal expert blog takes on the killing by a US drone of Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaeda leader in Yemen but also a U.S. citizen. My take may please the hardcore war-on-terror crowd more than last week’s criticism of Israel: Imagine an FBI sniper who’s got a criminal in his sights. Law enforcement [...]

News – an honorable mention from Military Reporters & Editors

Yesterday, the Military Reporters & Editors Association – known by the unappetizing abbreviation “MRE” — announced its annual awards, including an honorable mention for my last year of work at National Journal: apparently my “range of reporting, from coverage of the air war in Afghanistan to analysis of the new Army tank systems, shows flair [...]

Publications – how the Army mismanages its people

The good folks over at AOL Defense have posted another article of mine about the future of the Army, this one about the human dimension: America’s soldiers have learned a lot over the last 10 years, most of it the hard way, but that irreplaceable expertise could walk out the door in the coming drawdown [...]

Commentary – Optimistic about Libya, Pessimistic about Syria

The Arab Spring’s turn towards bloodshed remains, rightly, topic number one over at the National Journal security blog. I’ve commented lately on both Libya and Syria.  Today’s optimistic post on the fall of Qaddafi: Certainly it’s a mess. Certainly, everyone involved screwed up in ways that cost human lives – but war is like that [...]

Commentary – the Tea Party has a point (but)

My latest over at National Journal’s expert blog: I can’t stand the Tea Party, but I give them points for consistency. There’s always been a bizarre bifurcation in the Reagan Republican mind that all government programs are a waste of money and should be cut, except for the military, which in this worldview miraculously avoids the [...]

Publications – talking Army tanks at AOL Defense

Today, an article of mine appeared in AOL Defense, a promising new online publication founded just last month but helmed by the eminently savvy Colin Clark, formerly the driving force of the must-read website DoD Buzz. The story is essentially a reported editorial arguing in favor of a struggling Army program called the Ground Combat [...]