Lot's of good stuff in the most recent edition of Armed Forces Journal to include the following by SWJ friends and la familia:
The Founders' Wisdom by LTC Paul L. Yingling.
The U.S. faces a number of difficult challenges in civil-military relations that carry with them profound effects on our national security. Among these issues are declining popular support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, growing isolation between the U.S. military and the society it serves, and unresolved disputes over the limits of executive authority. However difficult these problems may be, they are neither unprecedented nor insoluble.
The underlying issues in these debates were explicitly addressed by America's Founders in drafting the U.S. Constitution. Winston Churchill famously observed that "America will always do the right thing, but only after exhausting all other options." Having today exhausted all other options to provide for our security, Americans would be well served to return to the system of war powers established by the Constitution...
What Civil-military Crisis? by COL Joseph J. Collins.
More than 15 years after Gen. Colin Powell's tour as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, pundits and scholars are again worried about cocky generals "playing politics." For his decisive outspokenness, some critics have assigned Gen. David Petraeus the role formerly played by Powell. At times, the media's need for drama approaches the ridiculous. In one such example, Petraeus' quieter, lower profile after he gave up command in Iraq led the New York Times to speculate that he may be gearing up to run for president.
On other fronts, scholars such as Notre Dame's Michael Desch are still trying to come to grips with the Rumsfeld years, where the defense secretary aggressively guided the preparation of a new-style war plan and later micromanaged the deployment of individual units, which subsequently contributed to problems in Iraq. Compounding that controversy, a few years later there was a noisy - and for many uncomfortable - "revolt" by several retired generals who called for Donald Rumsfeld to be fired...
An Alternative to COIN by Dr. Bernard I. Finel.
The U.S. military is a dominant fighting force, capable of rapid global power projection and able to defeat state adversaries quickly and at relatively low cost in American lives and treasure. Unfortunately, American leaders are increasingly trying to transform this force into one optimized for counterinsurgency missions and long-term military occupations. A fundamental problem with the adoption of population-centric counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine as an organizing principle for American military operations is that it systematically fails to take advantage of the real strengths of the U.S. military.
It is true that not all political goals are achievable through the use of conventional military capabilities. However, "victory" in war is not dichotomous, and the cases of Iraq and Afghanistan - often seen as proving the necessity for COIN-capable forces as well as a commitment to nation-building - demonstrate in reality that the vast majority of goals can be accomplished through quick, decisive military operations. Not all political goals are achievable this way, but most are and those that cannot be achieved through conventional operations likely cannot be achieved by the application of even the most sophisticated counterinsurgency doctrine either...
The War of New Words by William F. Owen.
War isn't just transforming - it's ushering in a whole new language to describe conflict, and this language is used in a way that pays little attention to logic or military history. Thus the forces we used to call guerrillas are now "hybrid threats." Insurgencies are now "complex" and require "complex and adaptive" solutions. Jungles and cities are now "complex terrain." Put simply, the discussion about future conflict is being conducted using buzzwords and bumper stickers.
The evidence that the threats of the 21st century are going to be that much different from the threats of the 20th is lacking. Likewise, there is no evidence that a "new way of war" is evolving or that we somehow had a previously flawed understanding. In fact, the use of the new words strongly indicates that those using them do not wish to be encumbered by a generally useful and coherent set of terms that military history had previously used. As war and warfare are not changing in ways that demand new words, it is odd that people keep inventing them...
Much more at Armed Forces Journal.