Quote of the Day: I Didn’t Realize British Generals Were Criticized So Early in WWI

The Long March

As my John Buchan binge continued, I noticed that he has an American character appear in his 1916 novel Greenmantle who criticizes British military leadership. “We in America respect the fighting of the British soldier, but we don’t quite catch on to the devices of the British Generals,” he comments.  

I was surprised because I thought that criticism of British generals mainly came after the war, not in 1915 or 1916. Not long ago I read a work of history that mentioned that the Germans were more open than the British were with foreign correspondents from neutral countries (for example, Americans before 1917) because they felt they needed to get out their side of the story. British reporters and the British public, by contrast, for much of the war were kept in the dark about what was happening on the front, according to this book.

My Buchan binge was a bit inadvertent. I was on a trip with my wife, and it rained a lot and she didn’t feel well, so I read more than I’d expected to. I finished everything I brought with me, except a collection of three Buchan novels. I started to read Greenmantle because I had read recently that it is actually a fictionalized account of Lenin’s trip to the Finland Station. But I got bored with it.


A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.

"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.

Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."

Read More Show Less
Airmen with the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron pump water from a flooded common living area to an area with less impact on the local population, Dec. 13, 2009, in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force/ Staff Sgt. Sharon Singer)

The definition of insanity, the old saying goes, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result — a definition that applies perfectly to the Trump administration's response to the looming national security threat of global climate change.

Read More Show Less

After more than a decade and billions spent developing the consistently troubled F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Air Force is eyeing a new variant of the F-15 — much to lawmakers' dismay.

Read More Show Less
Islamic state members walk in the last besieged neighborhood in the village of Baghouz, Deir Al Zor province, Syria February 18, 2019. (Reuters/Rodi Said)

NEAR BAGHOUZ, Syria (Reuters) - The Islamic State appeared closer to defeat in its last enclave in eastern Syria on Wednesday, as a civilian convoy left the besieged area where U.S.-backed forces estimate a few hundred jihadists are still holed up.

Read More Show Less
Russian President Vladimir Putin fires a fortress cannon. (Associated Press/Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin)

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Wednesday that Russia will target the U.S. with new weapons should Washington decide to deploy intermediate-range ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to Europe following the recent death of a Cold War-era arms control agreement, according to multiple reports.

He threatened to target not only the host countries where U.S. missiles might be stationed but also decision-making centers in the U.S.

Read More Show Less