Four Deaths in Niger and the Savage Logic of Military Operations

*Note: This essay was originally published on the Modern War Institute’s Commentary & Analysis site. It can also be found online here

The furor over the recent loss of four Army Special Forces soldiers’ raises the grandest question of them all: Why?

To answer, we have to peek through the fog that often clouds military operations—to reveal an uncomfortable truth.

Two rigid, bloody axioms govern the logic of military operations: time is often more valuable than human life, and the good of the many nearly always matters more than the few. Continue reading “Four Deaths in Niger and the Savage Logic of Military Operations”

What the eclipse reveals about us

*Note: This essay was published in the Colorado Springs Gazette print edition on August 20, 2017. It can also be found online here.

Tomorrow, just before noon, the sun will disappear.

Well, almost. Locally, the partial solar eclipse begins at 10:23 a.m.; at the 11:47 a.m. peak, the moon will cover 91 percent of the sun; and the shadowy show should end at 1:15 p.m. Unless you’re a stargazer or a scientist, you probably weren’t expecting nature’s jaw-dropping three-hour intervention on an otherwise unremarkable Monday. But watching this eclipse gives us a unique opportunity to relearn something important about ourselves. Continue reading “What the eclipse reveals about us”