The Best Defense

The Best Defense

Bungay's 'The Most Dangerous Enemy': A fine analysis of a fascinating campaign

A few months ago, one of youse told me to read Stephen Bungay's history of the Battle of Britain. Again, thank you. Even if I didn't care about the subject, I would have enjoyed the book. Bungay can write, he can analyze, and he appears to be meticulous and thoughtful in his research.

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The Best Defense

Do Iraq and Syria no longer exist? (6): They still exist, but they are dying slowly

Laurence Pope, retired American diplomat: 

"Both regimes still control their capitals, if not much territory...They are disintegrating, and we have nothing to replace them with, nor the means to prevent their further decay. My point is that rebuilding political legitimacy in the Bilad ash-Sham will be the work of a generation, and there are no international mechanisms for unmaking a modern nation state. Which means that in their moribund state, they may still be troublesome for many years."

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The Best Defense

Unfit for battle: America's military is growing tired, injured and overweight

By Jim Gourley Best Defense military health columnist

In 2010 the national security organization Mission: Readiness grabbed headlines with a report stating that obesity and other weight-related health conditions were the reason why nearly one-third of American youth were ineligible for military service. Titled "Too Fat to Fight," the report concluded that if American schools did not reform diet and exercise programs, the diminished pool of recruits might constitute a national security crisis. Though Mission: Readiness released a follow-up report in 2012, changes in American schools have been slow and sporadic, and the growth of obesity in Americans continues apace. During that time, the American military has had to recruit from the available population while facing other extraordinary challenges: continued operations in Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa even as new conflicts develop in Europe and the Middle East, fiscal austerity and emerging threats in west Africa and Asia.

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The Best Defense

Guest war dog of the week: ‘Mike’ of Parris Island, a World War II terrier

Rebecca has run away to join the media circus over her war dog book, which is surging on Amazon. Americans may be tired of war, but they never get tired of dogs.

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The Best Defense

Do Iraq and Syria no longer really exist? And if so, should that be the basis of revising U.S. policy? A roundup (1): Yes

Yes, on Syria; not clear on Iraq

Joel Rayburn, author of Iraq after America: Strongmen, Sectarians, Resistance:

"Syria no longer exists, certainly not in the way that we have known it, and I think the Syrian state can never be reconstituted within its old borders. In other words, some new political arrangement is going to emerge in Syria, and in my opinion it is highly unlikely to be a unitary state.

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