For all the future 'real world simulations' the Army will conduct at its training centers, there's no replacing what these officers' eyes have seen, the orders they've given, and the consequences they've dealt with in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Weakened power over opinion raises the cost and lowers the probability of achieving everything the U.S. attempts in foreign policy. Getting our own house in order, setting an enviable example, best serves domestic and foreign policy objectives.
Republicans serve ideological masters, Democrats serve constituencies. None of the Democrats' constituencies fare well under Republican ideology, and nothing that serves Democrats' constituencies satisfies Republican ideology. Unstoppable force, meet immovable object.
A new report from the Stimson Center -- shows how the Pentagon can make the roughly $50 billion in cuts required by current law. An important assumption underpinning the approach is that the era of large scale, boots-on-the-ground conflicts is over.
Unfortunately, curbing the worst excesses of an out-of-control military industrial complex is not a front burner issue for the 40 or so Tea Party Republicans currently stomping their feet in Congress about health care reform.
At the end of next month, the current patch that's paying for government operations, called a continuing resolution, expires. That means Congress either passes regular appropriation bills (won't happen), another patch, or shuts down the government.
A smaller deficit is welcome, but we're nowhere close to a responsible fiscal course, and the president's ever-expanding spending plans -- and desires to hike taxes even more -- won't get us there either.
A highly-coordinated first-strike by China could essentially disarm Taiwan, and also knock U.S. bases in the Western Pacific off-line. To address this challenge, thinking within some quarters of the Pentagon has seemingly centered on a new operational concept called Air-Sea Battle.
So why should the production of such hard-hitting, necessary hell-sending ammunition ever be protested? Oh, wait. Perhaps it's because the production of the pork-laced bullets are completely erroneous in intention and purpose.
Most of its member states are stuck in an economic crisis that many Europeans blame on austerity measures enforced by the EU, perceived as a faraway, bureaucratic entity that has spun out of control and is out of touch with the concerns and hardships of ordinary Europeans.
With the winding down of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States now has an opportunity to implement real defense reforms without having a serious impact on immediate battlefield needs.
The United States must have a proper defense. That does not require military spending equal to the rest of the world combined, nor does it mean jumping into conflicts because the Beltway foreign policy cabal claims that "doing something is better than doing nothing."
There is a direct connection between the massive level of U.S. military spending and belt-tightening austerity at home: most federal discretionary spending goes for war. Aren't there other, better things that Americans could be doing with their money?
Hagel is considered a "realist" and so when it comes to such cuts, this is undoubtedly the best we're likely to get out of Washington for a long time to come. Unfortunately, it turns out that the best is pretty poor stuff.