Book Review: The Future of Land Warfare by Michael O’Hanlon

There is no end of speculation among policymakers and think tanks about what the future of warfare will look like and what the future US military should look like.  The Future of Land Warfare is another entry in that speculation. The facts.  The book is 202 pages of text divided into six topical chapters with a couple of appendices plus extensive notes and an index. The layout of this book is pretty straightforward and it almost reads as a slightly less dry White Paper.  O’Hanlon starts out by examining the historical context of US force structure and chapter 2 examines potential and likely adversaries in the coming decades.  The analysis … More after the Jump…

Podcast: Victory in War: What is it?

This is a somewhat rambling podcast that deals with Victory in war and what it really is.  I submit that victory is not achieving stability as some recent pundits have asserted but defeating your enemy.  I explain why I mean defeat in the Clausewitzean terms of “compelling your enemy to do your will“.  I also examine the idea that war tends to extremes but never reaches those extremes because victory is achieved before the logical extreme is reached.

Proportionality in War

What is proportionality and should it be applicable in wartime?  Ironically I recorded this last week before the Paris attacks.  I find that is is somewhat topical given the events of the Friday night.  I plan on recording another discussing war theory more frankly and relating it to current events this week for publication around Friday or so.

“Middle War”: The new normal going forward

The Center for Strategic and International Studies has just released Beyond the Last War: Balancing Ground Forces and Future Challenges Risk in USCENTCOM and USPACOM.  The report makes for interesting reading.  What I found the most interesting aside from the scenarios considered was the realization that air power and spec-ops troops cannot win wars by themselves.  Conventional military forces will be required into the foreseeable future.  That view alone is a breath of fresh air given the Pentagon’s lamentable tendency over the past few years to tour both types of forces while the simple ground-pounders are out there doing Yeoman’s work trying to make an unstable world more stable.  High profile raids and airstrikes do not … More after the Jump…

Book Review: Dresden: A Survivor’s Story by Victor Gregg

[FULL DISCLOSURE: I received my copy of this book free from the author. I was not paid for this review and the opinion expressed is purely my own] Victor Gregg’s Dresden: A Survivor’s Story is a short work describing the author’s experience as  POW who got caught in Dresden in February, 1945 when the Allies bombed the city in what would become known as the Firebombing of Dresden.  The attack essentially destroyed the city center and killed an estimated 25,000 German’s.  Wikipedia has a pretty good article on the attacks that also discusses the controversy surrounding them that has grown up since the war.  To sum up the controversy, general anti-war people claim they were a crime and … More after the Jump…