Best Defense

Mulling military structure (III): Reasons for teaching drill, and what would it be if we were developing it nowadays?

Back in the day, I spent a lot of time watching recruits drill at Parris Island. But I never thought much about its origins.

Best Defense

Annals of civilian control: Queen Victoria’s short leash on her army

Here’s something I learned from Andrew Roberts’ quirky book Eminent Churchillians: “Queen Victoria insisted that every military appointment over the rank of colonel was submitted to her before it was made.”

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10 best books about how the Plains Indians adapted their mode of warfare

We typically think of the Plains Indian warrior mounted, usually on a painted pinto pony, wearing a breech-clout, long flowing feathered bonnet, and little else, with a bow and arrow or decorated Winchester in his hand, conducting a lightening raid, riding off, yipping, over the horizon; the “world’s finest light cavalry” someone was supposed to have said. That, however, was a particular adaptation of traditional modes of warfare to specific technological changes, specifically the horse and the gun, which spread across the Plains from roughly the late-seventeenth century.

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Thinking about military structure as the point of departure for adjusting to future

Lately I’ve been persuaded by the argument that the point of departure for the future of the military is how it is structured.

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A very British list of war memoirs

It leaves out a lot of my favorites, even British ones, by authors such as Robert Graves, Keith Douglas and Field Marshal Slim. Still, an interesting list for including people like Spike Milligan.

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    March 2015 Issue Cover