Restore History and Theory to Military Education

Strategic thinking —— roughly speaking, the art of using history and theory to grapple with today's security challenges —— is in decline in the U.S. defense community. Cutbacks in military education only compound the problem. Last year, in fact, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld instructed senior defense officials to "come up with some options how we might shorten professional military education or abbreviate it during stress periods." We are in a long war, and facing a very long "stress period." No doubt the exigencies of the moment —— Iraq, Afghanistan, a demanding global counterterrorist campaign —— prodded Secretary Rumsfeld to move to curtail professional military education. The armed forces —— particularly the U.S. Army and Marines, which have borne the brunt of the fighting in these land—warfare—intensive campaigns —— need as many officers as they can get out in the field. This allows...(Read Full Article)

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