Best Defense

How to fix the Army in six difficult steps

Six recommendations for fixing the Army.


Two of the best writers on the Army today are the dynamic duo of Barno & Bensahel. They are at their best here. Their six recommendations:

1. Accept More Risk
2. Reinstitute “Power Down”
3. Decrease Tolerance of Bureaucracy
4. Reduce Excessive Deference to Rank and Position
5. Reject Army Anti-Intellectualism
6. Strengthen Ethics and Integrity

There is an awful lot of knowledge and experience behind each of those six points.

Photo credit: U.S. Army/Flickr

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

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