America’s Anti-Agoge

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] “….Instead of softening their feet with shoe or sandal, his rule was to make them hardy through going barefoot. This habit, if practiced, would, as he believed, enable them to scale heights more easily and clamber down precipices with less danger.” – Xenophon, The Polity of the Lacedaemonians “Be quiet! […] Read more »

Military Reform through Education

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. “zen“] Don Vandergriff facilitating Adaptive Soldier/Leader exercises at Fort Benning Fred Leland at LESC Blog recently had a guest post up by Dan Grazier from the Project on Government Oversight regarding the important work Don Vandergriff is doing to reform professional military education and training: Military Reform Through Education: From The […] Read more »

BOOK REVIEW: Adaptive Leadership Handbook by Leland & Vandergriff

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Adaptive Leadership Handbook: :Law Enforcement & Security by Fred Leland & Don Vandergriff  The Adaptive Leadership Handbook is an unusual book. It is a work about thinking for men and women of action. It is an argument about learning for people whose professional life is governed by their training. Finally, [...] Read more »

Commentary on Politics and Strategy

[by Mark Safranski, a.k.a. "zen"] Infinity Journal has a good article by eminent Clausewitzian strategist Colin Gray on the interrelationship of politics and strategy (free registration required): Politics, Strategy and the Stream of Time ….Second, many scholars appear to be resistant to the conceptually, perhaps even morally, necessary recognition of the implications of the fact [...] Read more »

The Controversial CTC Report

The Center for Combating Terrorism at West Point released a report on domestic terrorism that raised hackles for a number of reasons. Despite the dismissals of liberal political pundits, the reasons for objections to the CTC report are legitimate but they did not need to arise in the first place and might have been avoided with a [...] Read more »

Boyd and Beyond Local DC Event

[by J. Scott Shipman] Jim Hasik’s White Board Outline   At the suggestion of Adam Elkus, we were privileged to host our first “local” Boyd and Beyond event on 15 December. We had 14 attend, and five speakers. Logistically, we turned our family room in to a fairly comfortable briefing area, using a wall with Smart Sheets as a [...] Read more »

Turning Away From Strategy

It appears that the Pentagon no longer intends to educate the most talented members of the officer corps to think strategically. I say this because the status of the premier professional military education institutions – the war colleges and NDU – have been devalued, their leadership slots demoted and their educational mission degraded. As a [...] Read more »

Venkat on Positioning vs. Melee Moves

Blogfriend, Dr. Venkat Rao had an intriguing post at Tempo (his other blog) on which I want to make a few, relatively disjointed, observations: Positioning Moves versus Melee Moves  My general philosophy of decision-making de-emphasizes the planning/execution distinction. But I am not an agility purist. Nobody is. You can think of the Agility Purist archetype as a [...] Read more »