Permission To Speak Freely

Happy 17th Birthday To The Forever War

AUMF forever war
It’s the 17th birthday of the post-9/11 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which gave President George W. Bush and every president since a blank check to deploy U.S. military personnel anywhere in the world in the name of going after terrorists. Passed on Sep. 14, 2001, and signed into law on Sep. 18, the … Read More

Retired Adm. William McRaven Quit Pentagon Board Days After Publishing Anti-Trump Op-Ed

mcraven ripit
Retired Navy Adm. William McRaven resigned from the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board four days after the publication of an op-ed he wrote criticizing  President Donald Trump. McRaven’s Aug. 20 resignation was first reported by Defense News on Thursday. On Aug. 16, The Washington Post published an op-ed written by McRaven with the headline ‘Revoke my … Read More

How the Army Could Improve Field Grade Command: Follow The NFL

nfl field grade command army
To improve the quality of its brigade and battalion commanders, and to reduce the number of reliefs for moral and ethical failings, to sexual harassment to physical fitness failures, the Army should take a page from the NFL and hold what might be called “Command Combines.” Let me explain. Every year, late in the winter, … Read More

The Future Of Logistics: Unmanned Resupply And Urine-Based Fuel, Apparently

army logistics unmanned vehicles resupply
The estimable Rick Maze takes note of them in the September issue of ARMY magazine: For lighter energy in the field, “The U.S. Army Research Laboratory is working on a way to produce hydrogen in the field using an aluminum-based powder and any liquid, including urine.” (I can just see the platoon sergeant, “OK, everyone … Read More

Friday Dog: A Little Bulldog On The Old USS New York

uss new york ships mascot bulldog
He’s a toughie!

Being A Veteran Does Not Mean You’re Exempt From Misfortune For The Rest Of Your Life

veteran entitlement
Bad things happen to veterans every day. But to hear some people, anything bad that happens to a veteran is extra super special bad. Recently, this issue came into the news when the wife of a Marine veteran was deported. That’s a damn shame. Our national leadership should have passed comprehensive immigration reform years ago. … Read More

I Sought A Peaceful Poop In The Kuwaiti Desert. Then The Convoys Arrived

combat pooping kuwaiti desert iraq
We’re celebrating “Turdsay” by dropping the “turd” entrance in our combat pooping contest.  If you have something you think is as good, please e-mail it to Tom Ricks After our little four-day jaunt into southern Iraq during Operation Desert Shield/OperationDesert Storm, my unit, the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment was one of the first to be pulled back and … Read More

Why The OODA Loop Is Forever

John Boyd forever changed the way the United States fights wars, both on the ground and in the air. This is rather impressive considering his own limited battlefield experience, as he just missed World War II and barely caught the end of the Korean War. He prompted us to think differently about war. He first … Read More