Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

COINstock ‘09

So I spent yesterday at a Marine Corps conference on counterinsurgency. It was packed (and the room was as hot as Baghdad in April). I’ll write several posts on it. But the big surprise to me was the big dog who wasn’t there: The U.S. Army. Aside from Gen. Petraeus, an outlier who was expelled ...

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580535_090924_ricksdogfinalb2.jpg
MOSUL, IRAQ – FEBRUARY 27: A U.S. soldier holds the platoon’s pet dog 'Rocky' inside an armored vehicle during a combat patrol on February 27, 2005 in the restive northern city of Mosul, Iraq. With a mounting death toll and as most of Iraq remains in anarchy, the "Occupation" as it is known by most Iraqis began its third year March 19. (Photo by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad/Getty Images)

So I spent yesterday at a Marine Corps conference on counterinsurgency. It was packed (and the room was as hot as Baghdad in April). I'll write several posts on it. But the big surprise to me was the big dog who wasn't there: The U.S. Army. Aside from Gen. Petraeus, an outlier who was expelled into the Joint World long ago, and his posse member Brig. Gen. H.R. McMaster, no Army officers spoke. It amazes me that there were more speakers from my little CNAS (pop. maybe 35 on a good day) than from the Army (pop. more than half a million).  

Note: This post has been updated.

So I spent yesterday at a Marine Corps conference on counterinsurgency. It was packed (and the room was as hot as Baghdad in April). I’ll write several posts on it. But the big surprise to me was the big dog who wasn’t there: The U.S. Army. Aside from Gen. Petraeus, an outlier who was expelled into the Joint World long ago, and his posse member Brig. Gen. H.R. McMaster, no Army officers spoke. It amazes me that there were more speakers from my little CNAS (pop. maybe 35 on a good day) than from the Army (pop. more than half a million).  

Note: This post has been updated.

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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