Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 16, 2008
By: Rachel Morris

LEAVING....Tom Ricks has a great, if depressing, story today in the Washington Post about Lt. Col. John Nagl — former Rhodes Scholar, co-author of the Army's new counterinsurgency manual, a Gulf War platoon leader and all-around rising star — who has just left the Army to join a new national security think tank. Why is he leaving? "It's not the strain of repeated deployments," he said, but "a belief that I can contribute perhaps on a different level — and my family wants me to leave."

Nagl is a significant loss for the Army, but he's far from the only one, as Andrew Tilghman points out in our cover story this month. Young, talented officers are leaving the Army at their highest rates in years — and the reasons are more complicated than you might expect. Read the whole story here.

Rachel Morris 12:03 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (8)

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All citizens should abstain from volunteering for military service. No one should re-enlist. If a draft is re-instituted refuse to report if called. The government can't imprison millions, nor can it compel millions to serve. Starve the beast.

Posted by: steve duncan on January 16, 2008 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Nagl is on Fresh Air as I write this. He just said that tens of thousands of US troops will be in Iraq for 10 to 20 years, to defend Iraq from the "Iranian threat."

I think it's a very good thing he left the army.

Posted by: Aris on January 16, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Aris >"...I think it's a very good thing he left the army."

Not to mention his honesty

"If you don't deal with reality, reality will deal with you" - C.J. Campbell

Posted by: daCascadian on January 16, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

The best and brightest young officers have been leaving the military since the early 1960's. Could have been caused by the farewell address of President Eisenhower, the assassination of President Kennedy or the election of Tricky Dick. It was certainly true of the officers with which I served!

Posted by: Captain Dan on January 16, 2008 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

For an alternative Future may I suggest:

From the debate last night:

When Russert turned the discussion to the war in Iraq, Edwards noted that Obama and Clinton were voicing similar ideas about when and how to pull U.S. troops out of combat. He said his commitment to a U.S. withdrawal was stronger.

"I think there are real differences here, and they’re not subtle," Edwards said, vowing to "have all combat troops out in the first year that I’m president of the United States."

"I will end combat missions," he said. "And while I'm president, there will be no permanent military bases in Iraq."

You can go with "experience" or someone who has the "audacity of hope" or....

The man with a plan

Posted by: S Brennan on January 16, 2008 at 7:15 PM | PERMALINK

Lots and lots of talented young NCOs are opting out, too -- probably a bigger problem, as the day-to-day operation of the military (at least the Army, and I believe the other services too) depends way more on having competent NCOs than competent officers.

Posted by: Bob on January 16, 2008 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

I heard a rumor that the competent politicians bailed out before the attack on Iraq even started.

Posted by: parrot on January 16, 2008 at 11:46 PM | PERMALINK

If he's such hot shit as all that, why ain't he a general?

People change jobs, big deal. So now he's another blogger. I can't imagine why his family might want him out of that tropical paradise, Iraq.

Posted by: Luther on January 17, 2008 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK
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