Viewed through the looking glass of history, there has been a curious shift in the relationship between American presidents and their wartime generals: The former no longer fire the latter.
It may be a good thing for commanders in chief not to be calling for heads every time a different opinion is voiced or a battle is lost. But an untouchable senior military leadership is a disaffirmation of the supremacy of civilian leadership.
Lt. Col. Robert Bateman examines the phenomenon of fire-proofed generals against the backdrop of American military history and asks whether it isn’t time for a rethink.
Also in this issue, Seth Cropsey pens a response to Rep. Jim Cooper’s March article “Request for proposals,” in which the congressman appealed to AFJ readers to offer their ideas on Pentagon reform. Seth’s conclusions lay the groundwork for a continuing and lively debate.
Dmitry Shlapentokh analyses the rise of Islamic extremism in Russia, particularly in Chechnya, which he connects to the collapse of the Soviet Union. For some, communism was preferable to democratic chaos, and radicals rushed to fill the void.
If the North Korean regime were to collapse, what chaos, voids and threats might ensue in that region? Chris Griffin ponders the question through a war-gaming lens and asks whether America and its allies have an Asian joint force up to the task.
And a trio of Perspective articles by Bob Killebrew, Maj. David Bigelow and Brian Burton examine the challenges of hybrid warfare, the under-valued role of military advisers, and the dangers of stretching a soldier’s labor hours to the point of exhaustion.