Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

N. Schadlow and F. Hill land at the NSC

Both are interesting picks.


I see Nadia Schadlow has joined the staff of H.R. McMaster’s National Security Council, where she is handling national security strategy.

Also good to see that Fiona Hill, who understands Putin well, is also joining NSC staff.

Both are interesting picks. Like McMaster, they are well-educated, skeptical, and informed. In other words, the opposite of the president they serve.

In her new book, War and the Art of Governance: Consolidating Combat Success Into Political Victory, Schadlow argues that the United States has a long-term pattern of winning the war and losing the peace. Today, she concludes, “The United States continues to lack the operational capabilities to consolidate combat gains in order to reconstitute political order.”

Bonus: The blurb on the back cover, from a retired Marine officer named James Mattis, calls it a “must read.”

In other news, it was interesting on Friday to see the Trump administration simultaneously antagonize three allies — Britain (over spying), South Korea (over botched dinner or something), and Germany (with Trump declining to shake Merkel’s hand).

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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 Twitter: @tomricks1