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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

Why I cherish teaching at CGSC

Bottom line up front, as required by the Army, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) provides teachers — aka instructors, professors, and, on occasion, educators — an opportunity to engage with some of the brightest young minds in the service of the United States, and indeed the world. (

Best Defense

The ‘kill/capture’ approach ain’t working for us: Narratives do better than drones

The “kill/capture” approach to terrorist organizations, from a military perspective, has been relatively successful in removing the head from the snake — top leadership. Since President Obama took office there have been approximately 500 drone strikes and capture operations that have killed or captured over 3,300 terrorists. Yet these operations not only have failed to eliminate al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups, they have resulted in the proliferation of violent extremism by directly feeding into the narratives that support it.

Best Defense

‘Ashley’s War’: A look at the use of Cultural Support Teams in Afghanistan

Thousands of women have served in direct combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, as helicopter pilots, military police, artillery officers, interpreters, and K9 dog handlers, and nearly 200 of them have died, most from combat-related injuries, from RPG explosions to mortar fire to aircraft crashes. That number includes two of my fellow Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) techs: Senior Airman Liz Loncki was killed by a booby-trapped car bomb in 2007, Staff Sergeant Kim Voelz died disarming an IED in Baghdad in 2003. Her widower Max is also an Army EOD tech, and she died in his arms.

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    March 2015 Issue Cover