In the Arena


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This op-ed, by 12 US Army captains who formerly served in Iraq, doesn’t quite have the current, on-the-ground credibility of the NY Times op-ed by 7 current enlisted men last summer, but it is devastating all the same.

Also, on the military beat: Fred Kaplan, excellent as always, had a really important analysis of Sec. Gates recent speech about restructuring the Army, moving toward the sort of peacekeeping, counterinsurgency and nation-building that Republicans (and the Armor/Infantry corps) have long scorned. It seems a clear indication that Gates has decided to cast his lot with the next generation of military intellectuals–the sort of people David Petraeus has collected around him, colonels and lt. colonels like H.R. McMaster, Pete Mansoor and John Nagl. Given his performance so far, I’d say that Gates is that rarest of commodities: A Bush appointee who should be asked to continue in his post if a Democrat wins the presidency in 2008.