Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

While we were out: A crime roundup

–The entire police force in Veracruz, Mexico, was fired. The force was disbanded because it was rotten with drug cartel infestation.  –A guy who had been an Illinois National Guard major was sentenced to five years in the pokey for accepting kickbacks on contracts for construction at the Bagram base in Afghanistan. He also has ...

Danny Guy / Flickr
Danny Guy / Flickr
Danny Guy / Flickr

--The entire police force in Veracruz, Mexico, was fired. The force was disbanded because it was rotten with drug cartel infestation. 

--A guy who had been an Illinois National Guard major was sentenced to five years in the pokey for accepting kickbacks on contracts for construction at the Bagram base in Afghanistan. He also has to pay a cool half million bucks in restitution. That should help the defense budget for a minute or two.

--The XO of the USS New York was fired for becoming overly familiar in a consensual fashion with a female crewmember.

–The entire police force in Veracruz, Mexico, was fired. The force was disbanded because it was rotten with drug cartel infestation. 

–A guy who had been an Illinois National Guard major was sentenced to five years in the pokey for accepting kickbacks on contracts for construction at the Bagram base in Afghanistan. He also has to pay a cool half million bucks in restitution. That should help the defense budget for a minute or two.

–The XO of the USS New York was fired for becoming overly familiar in a consensual fashion with a female crewmember.

–The Army charged eight soldiers in the 25th Infantry Division with hazing a fellow soldier and hounding him toward suicide. This reminded me of our recent discussion of hazing at West Point. It is unclear to me how much of it still goes on at the military academy, but it seems to me that none should be tolerated. Good military discipline can be achieved without hazing, and in fact is better without it.  

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

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.