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Donald Trump’s Af-Pak Policy


The Trump Administration has recently announced that it will send 4,000 more U.S. soldiers to Afghanistan as part of an advisory and training operation, enhancing a counterterrorism model and joining an estimated 8,800 U.S. troops already in-country. Contemporaneously, the Administration has indicated that it will consider cutting U.S. aid to Pakistan, which has been declining […]

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It’s Trump’s War Now


Donald Trump kept us guessing about Afghanistan. Never during his campaign, nor in the first seven months of his presidency, did he give us an inkling of what he thought should be our policy goal in America’s longest-lasting war. With his August 21 speech, the president charted a path forward. It is now President Trump’s […]

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U.S. Navy Awash in Tragic and Embarrassing Collisions at Sea


According to a Navy version of gallows humor, “A collision at sea can ruin your whole day.” Well, a corollary to that quip might be, “A series of collisions at sea can sink a fleet admiral’s career.” The commander of the Navy’s Asia-based 7th Fleet was dismissed recently after a series of warship accidents raised […]

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The Never-Ending War in Afghanistan


About a month ago, President Trump met with his national security team — Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster — to review their proposed strategy for the war in Afghanistan. Trump rejected it, heatedly, because it proposed continuation of what we’ve been doing […]

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Needed: Civilian Control of the Military


In an August 7th Breaking Defense article entitled “Too Many Generals in the Trump Administration?” Naval War College Professor Joan Johnson-Freese questioned whether general officers with little or no experience outside the U.S. military bring the right job skills and cultural dispositions to their positions in the nation’s civilian government. Such a question seems particularly […]

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McMaster: The Ultimate Holdover


Many in the conservative media are urging President Trump to fire his national security advisor, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster. McMaster should be fired forthwith, but the reasons being argued are subsidiary to the primary reasons McMaster has to go. The debate over McMaster has been framed in terms of his loyalty to Trump. Though loyalty […]

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Da Bronx Bombers Did Us Proud


Most Americans don’t spend much time thinking about the wars we’re in. The 43,000 of us lucky enough to be in Yankee Stadium on Saturday were reminded in a way that did the Bronx Bombers proud. Saturday was military appreciation day at the stadium. Thanks to Hal Steinbrenner — Yankees general partner and Special Operations […]

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Countering China and North Korea


North Korea underlined its threat to America by choosing July 4 to launch its first intercontinental missile, and followed it with another launch into Japanese waters. We had hoped China might intervene, but its continued support of North Korea showed how unrealistic that was. China regards the Kim Jong Un regime as a useful a […]

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Divisions Over Dunkirk


Rather as they are by President Trump, conservatives are divided by Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. To Kyle Smith of National Review the film is “brilliantly realized” and “magnificently well crafted” if a little short on Spielbergian sentiment. Churchill’s great “We shall defend our Island…” speech, he thinks, is actually “more effective” when delivered not by the great man himself […]

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Emasculation on Board the USS Gerald Ford


The U.S. Navy and my alma mater Princeton University seem to be hell-bent on joining a national campaign on emasculation. Maybe I’m wrong, but the signs are really ominous. The newly commissioned nuclear aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) is underway on its own power for the first time. The carrier Ford has […]

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