The Five Fatal Challenges of Warfighting in Korea

*Note: This essay was originally published on the Modern War Institute’s Commentary & Analysis site. North Korea’s aggressively destabilizing behavior has hit the headlines again, this time several unannounced, unsanctioned missile tests—part of a national double-time march to develop an intercontinental ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead capable of striking the United States by 2020.…

Can America Fight Wars that Matter Anymore?

*Note: This essay was originally published at Rally Point’s “Command Post” on March 2, 2017. “I don’t want to go! It’s not for me!” This past holiday season brought the annual war over religious service attendance. Our inter- and multi-faith loved ones squabbled over the need to go, together, to this annual social tradition. It…

What the Profession of Arms Can Take from Michael Flynn’s Example

*Note: This essay was originally published on the Modern War Institute’s Commentary & Analysis site. I would never actively cheer an administrational death, but, paraphrasing Clarence Darrow, I did smile a bit while reading Michael Flynn’s resignation in the newspaper. It wasn’t for any personal ill will or partisan reason (my stance on political neutrality is well documented), but my grin…

False Faith: The Third Offset Isn’t a Strategy and Won’t Win Our Next War

*Note: This essay was originally published on the Modern War Institute’s Commentary & Analysis site. We’re past idea, beyond buzzword, and have shot right past cliché—overuse and overapplication has rendered the phrase “Third Offset” effectively meaningless. When I hear the term used, it’s akin to the dashboard warning light in my aging car, letting me…

A Straitjacket Strategy to Contain North Korea

*Note: This essay was originally published at The National Interest on February 8, 2017.  US Secretary of Defense James Mattis spent the tail end of last week in Seoul and Tokyo conferring with allies about the extreme challenge posed by a belligerently nuclear North Korea. When he gets back, Secretary Mattis should provide President Donald Trump with an option to straitjacket…

On Officer Voting Abstinence, Part 2: Military Officers Can Choose Professional Values Over Their Personal Vote

Retired Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap has written, perhaps unintentionally, a truly ironic essay for The Hill publication. While he may have meant to disagree with my earlier-written opinion that military officers should not vote to maintain their professional obligation to reduce cancerous political partisanship in the ranks, his response’s immense irony is noteworthy.

Uncontrollable War: Why We Can’t Accurately Predict or Adequately Prepare for Violent Conflict

*Note: This essay was originally published on the Modern War Institute’s Commentary & Analysis site. War is hard. Even the sharpest mind can’t accurately predict or adequately prepare for trial by combat. It is inherently dependent on the enemy’s zags and the environment’s zigs—we can’t foresee where war will take us, so while we may…