Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Col. Paul Yingling on why he is leaving the Army to become a high school teacher

Col. Paul Yingling, who has written for this blog, and also critiqued the performance of our generals in our recent wars, explained his decision in Sunday’s Washington Post: “Especially in a democracy, we ought to respect most those who foster the character traits that make self-government attainable — parents and teachers, coaches and ministers, poets ...

ChildYouth and School Services/U.S. Army/CHILD, YOUTH AND SCHOOL SERVICES/U.S. ARMY
ChildYouth and School Services/U.S. Army/CHILD, YOUTH AND SCHOOL SERVICES/U.S. ARMY
ChildYouth and School Services/U.S. Army/CHILD, YOUTH AND SCHOOL SERVICES/U.S. ARMY

Col. Paul Yingling, who has written for this blog, and also critiqued the performance of our generals in our recent wars, explained his decision in Sunday's Washington Post: "Especially in a democracy, we ought to respect most those who foster the character traits that make self-government attainable -- parents and teachers, coaches and ministers, poets and protesters. When I hear the Army motto, "This We'll Defend," it's them I have in mind."

He will be missed. 

Col. Paul Yingling, who has written for this blog, and also critiqued the performance of our generals in our recent wars, explained his decision in Sunday’s Washington Post: “Especially in a democracy, we ought to respect most those who foster the character traits that make self-government attainable — parents and teachers, coaches and ministers, poets and protesters. When I hear the Army motto, “This We’ll Defend,” it’s them I have in mind.”

He will be missed. 

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

More from Foreign Policy

An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.
An illustration shows George Kennan, the father of Cold War containment strategy.

Is Cold War Inevitable?

A new biography of George Kennan, the father of containment, raises questions about whether the old Cold War—and the emerging one with China—could have been avoided.

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks on the DISCLOSE Act.

So You Want to Buy an Ambassadorship

The United States is the only Western government that routinely rewards mega-donors with top diplomatic posts.

Chinese President Xi jinping  toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.
Chinese President Xi jinping toasts the guests during a banquet marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China on September 30, 2019 in Beijing, China.

Can China Pull Off Its Charm Offensive?

Why Beijing’s foreign-policy reset will—or won’t—work out.

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar chairs a meeting in Ankara, Turkey on Nov. 21, 2022.

Turkey’s Problem Isn’t Sweden. It’s the United States.

Erdogan has focused on Stockholm’s stance toward Kurdish exile groups, but Ankara’s real demand is the end of U.S. support for Kurds in Syria.