Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

A young singer salutes the Navy

Last night I was at a concert by Ruthie Foster, a terrific young R&B singer from Texas — think Norah Jones meets Lyle Lovett, with a bit of Cassandra Wilson and the Blind Boys of Alabama mixed in. In the middle of it she gave a shoutout to the Navy, mentioning that she’d served four ...

Wikimedia
Wikimedia
Wikimedia

Last night I was at a concert by Ruthie Foster, a terrific young R&B singer from Texas -- think Norah Jones meets Lyle Lovett, with a bit of Cassandra Wilson and the Blind Boys of Alabama mixed in. In the middle of it she gave a shoutout to the Navy, mentioning that she'd served four happy years in it. This was the first time I'd heard something like that from a young performer of popular music. It made me think that Jimi Hendrix never gave a shoutout to the 101st Airborne -- but of course he got himself discharged after a year.

Last night I was at a concert by Ruthie Foster, a terrific young R&B singer from Texas — think Norah Jones meets Lyle Lovett, with a bit of Cassandra Wilson and the Blind Boys of Alabama mixed in. In the middle of it she gave a shoutout to the Navy, mentioning that she’d served four happy years in it. This was the first time I’d heard something like that from a young performer of popular music. It made me think that Jimi Hendrix never gave a shoutout to the 101st Airborne — but of course he got himself discharged after a year.

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.