The Best Defense

The Best Defense

If I could change one thing in the U.S. military personnel system (1): It is time to extend the age of military retirement

Note: This begins a new Best Defense contest! If you could change one thing in the U.S. military personnel system, what would it be? Got a good idea? Please send it to the blog e-mail address with "PERSONNEL" in subject line.

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The Best Defense

Your weekend reading

Here is an interesting reading list from the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum (#DEF2014).

I don't know a lot of the business books on it. For my own taste, I'd like to see more history on the list. Compare it to the "thinking creatively" section of this list, one of the best I have seen on military affairs.

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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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