“They say travel broadens the mind, but you must have the mind,” G.K. Chesterton astutely noted. Our globe-trotting cover-story authors live the point.
Chris Griffin, an Asian studies research associate; Stephen Blank, a professor at the Army War College’s Strategic Studies Institute and author of “Regional Security in Asia and Prospects for Indo-American Strategic Cooperation”; and Vago Muradian, editor of Defense News, endure more than their fair share of time-zone crossings at 35,000 feet. What they produce here is a rounded perspective of the shifting emphasis the U.S. is placing on its global alliances. It’s all the more informative because the authors can reflect the viewpoints and debate “over there” as well as “over here.”
Scott Hamilton has made a career of tracking and analyzing another type of relationship — the ongoing seesaw between rivals Airbus and Boeing. His dogged tracking of transatlantic shenanigans from World Trade Organization issues to national subsidies provides context to the political dogfight over whether the Air Force’s next tanker will be based on the Airbus A330 or the Boeing 767.
Meanwhile, Tom Donnelly ponders whether the rare show of Washington bipartisanship to support an increase in the permanent size of the Army and Marine Corps will fall apart when the cost of this larger force becomes clear.
Ralph Peters examines the Army’s new counterinsurgency manual and finds much to applaud, but also to criticize. But there’d be something not right at all if this was all Ralph had to say.
And Navy Lt. Cmdr John Owen revisits another manual, the current guide for the awards process in the Navy and Marine Corps, and is troubled by how often its processes are disregarded. John’s thoughtful and brave article takes exception to military decorations being awarded for routine satisfactory performance, such as completing a tour. The awards system loses its integrity when it is not held aloft for those who distinguish themselves with extraordinary acts of valor or exceptionally meritorious service, he says. What do you think?