Tom Ricks has covered the U.S. military for several decades and is the author of six books, most recently Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom. He has won some prizes.



In Defense Of CGSC: It Produces The Worker Bees Every Army Needs

June 18, 2018

cgsc united states Command and General Staff College
United States Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) was not the best year of my life. But it was a year of my life, and now that that year is some six years in the past I think that I am able to perhaps provide an alternative perspective to U.S. Army Major Jamie Schwandt’s … Read More

It’s A Big Deal: An Officer Grades The Army Staff College And Its Leadership

June 15, 2018

army staff college
I have spent the past year being graded, evaluated, and assessed as a student at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC). After graduating and reflecting over the past year, I will now grade, evaluate, and assess CGSC. You will find that I am extremely candid and pride myself in speaking my mind. … Read More

When A Red Bull Has Puppies

June 15, 2018

Friday dog: This photograph was taken near Jalalabad, Afghanistan, in 2011.

Congress: Here’s Why You Should Pass The Military Justice Improvement Act

June 14, 2018

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s proposed Military Justice Improvement Act of 2017 would attack the scourge of military sexual violence by removing prosecution authority over sexual assault from commanders. Congress should pass her bill. Sexual violence is pervasive in our military. In 2016, DoD received 6,172 reports. Yet most victims do not report, leading DoD to estimate … Read More

Trump Forgets How Our Allies Have Paid the Ultimate Price Many Times Over

June 14, 2018

The bickering over tariffs and the refusal to sign the G7’s concluding communique are the latest in the Trump administration’s periodic temper tantrums with our western allies. President Trump called Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada “dishonest and weak” and Chief Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow accused Canada of “backstabbing.” President Trump’s war of words at … Read More

What If The Trump-Kim Summit Wasn’t Really About Nuclear Disarmament?

June 13, 2018

nuclear disarmament trump-kim summit north korea
The most thoughtful thing I’ve read recently about the Trump-Kim talks is by Arthur Waldron, who teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. His core point: “This meeting is not about nuclear disarmament or security guarantees, though they will form much of its substance while receiving disproportionate media and analytical attention. A more accurate appraisal is … Read More

Have The Germans Really Changed Much In The Last 2,000 Years?

June 13, 2018

german military history
On a recent flight to Texas the other day I read, for the first time, Tacitus’ study “The Germania,” mainly because I was curious about the influence it had on Thomas Jefferson’s views of liberty. But for the purposes of this column, the Roman historian’s comments on the German military of the 1st century AD … Read More

The Civil-Military Divide Extends All The Way To The Afghan Battlefield

June 12, 2018

civil-military divide
There are plenty of articles explaining the growing civil-military divide in America.  Service members often feel civilians don’t understand them, and there’s plenty of truth to that – fewer than half of Americans report interacting with an active duty service member or spouse within the course of a year.   But the reverse is true … Read More