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November 7, 2013  

Cuts Make Military More Strategic? | A Near Casualty of the Shutdown | Mountain Combat

Could defense cuts actually help the US military by improving strategy? Melvyn Leffler argues as much, saying that the cuts are focusing military planners on important strategic decisions and forcing them to make choices they would never make in flush times.  (Foreign Affairs)

The government shutdown came and went with most of its impact felt by federal workers, but there was nearly another casualty: the Air Force tanker program.  Aaron Mehta reports that the tanker program came within 24 hours of a contract breech because of the shutdown, an event that would have been catastrophic for the program and likely harmful for the Defense Department as the current fixed-price deal is viewed as government friendly.  (Defense News)

The war in Afghanistan has reshaped American military strategy when it comes to reconstructing a country, but it might have also provided a harsh lesson in US military capabilities.  Michael Peck argues that the conflict proves the US isn’t well suited for mountain conflict because mechanized forces have difficulty operating in the terrain, and mountain combat is often viewed as secondary because of the emphasis on valuable agricultural and coastal areas.  (War is Boring)

Warlord’s Quote

“The chlorine gas originally used was undeniably cruel, but no worse than the frequent effect of shell or bayonet…. But it was novel and therefore labeled an atrocity by a world that condones abuses but detests innovations.” — B.H. Liddell Hart, A History of the World War

Contributed by Al Mauroni, who focuses on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear defense, and is director of the U.S. Air Force Counterproliferation Center at Maxwell AFB, Ala. From a list compiled by the Warlord Loop, a private email forum for national security experts.

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