January 2012 Archive

We are the 1%

Most of us answered our nation's call after September 11, 2001. While many went out and bought yellow ribbons to put on their bumpers, only a few went down to an office and jumped on a red pull-up bar before being sent to a foundry in San Diego, Parris Island, or Quantico. Those who had already...

Getting Serious About STOVL

Thom Shanker from the NYT reports this morning about Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's decision to take the F-35B Lightning II off of probation. The B variant is a short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) jet capable of taking off from short landing strips or the deck of an amphibious ship (as...

PME for Peace?

We are at risk of being blind-sided by peace. With the end of the Iraq War and the gradual end to the Marine involvement in Afghanistan, more heads are turning towards the future. Future threats, flashpoints, and theaters of operations are thrown about in policy papers and casual conversation. A...

Fitness and PT: The Problem with CrossFit

CrossFit Trainer Certification, 2007 (Wikimedia Commons) Here are two videos: One is a CrossFit demonstration of explosive lifts and one is by Coach Hatch who coached the 2004 USA Mens Olympic Weightlifting team. The CrossFit video shows horrible weight lifting technique. The Coach Hatch video has...

MAGTFery

Continuing in the vein of making the Marine Corps a lighter, meaner force with a more sustainable budget , I want to share some half-formed thoughts I have about the structure of the Marine Corps. Matt Mackewich mentioned this idea in the above linked post. First, this blog is not the only place...

The Haditha Shootings

On Sunday an IED blast in Ramadi killed 10, and their deaths made front page news. That’s quite a change from 2005, when some 12,000 Iraqi’s were killed, along with 942 Americans – that was 1,100 deaths monthly, or 37 every day of the year. Also in Sunday’s news was that SSGT Frank Wuterich’s trial...

500 Words or Less

DOCTRINE and the Tyranny of Words Our doctrine is a collection of a relatively small set of universal truths about war. Our doctrine is not a list of useful solutions to particular problems. However, we as Marines often use the term “doctrine” to refer to more than these universal truths, these...

Middleweight Force? Relevant Force?

Today, I sat in on a discussion about the Marine Corps' future and how to define that role. ( Disclaimer: I had exactly zero role in that discussion, but the thoughts represented here are my own as spurred by the topics they discussed. I'm not representing anyone else's views here ). While Marines...

Fixing Intel and Marine Corps Intelligence

In early 2010, General Flynn, the senior intelligence officer in Afghanistan released " Fixing Intel: A Blueprint for Making Intelligence Relevant in Afghanistan " . At the time, I was the intelligence officer of 3d Battalion, 6th Marines, which was preparing for Operation Moshtarak, the clear-hold...

A Foreign Policy For Asia; "Soft Power" Gets It Done

America finds itself in a different world today. We possess an Army and Air Force of unquestionable conventional superiority that found itself stymied by Talibs in sandals. We’ve got the largest economy in the world, but are becoming hobbled by servicing the world’s largest outstanding debt. We...

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