Small Wars Journal

Groupthink Makes Navies Stupid

Groupthink Makes Navies Stupid by James Holmes - The National Interest

Groupthink makes navies stupid. Heck, groupthink makes any group of people stupid. Shame there’s such demand for it in U.S. Navy circles.

Or at least that’s the impression you’d get from the criticism flung Admiral Jeff Harley’s way in recent weeks. Admiral Harley, a surface-warfare officer now in his second year as president of the U.S. Naval War College, gave a recent interview with the Providence Journal touting his effort to make the College more like civilian universities.

Reporter G. Wayne Miller quotes Harley as saying: “We have to ensure that our academics have academic freedom to express . . . dissenting viewpoints, regardless of how painful sometimes that might be. You want the institution to look and feel like a civilian institution.” The bottom line, as Miller paraphrases it: “As such, Harley said, he expects the War College to more closely resemble schools such as Brown University or the University of Rhode Island.” …

The Journal story elicited an outburst from nattering nabobs in the press and on the internet. Former Naval War College military faculty member Colonel Gary Anderson held forth in the pages of the Washington Times, in a column sure to make you feel like the luckless patient in that old George Carlin joke. The pseudonymous navy blogger Commander Salamander piled on, joined by his commenters…

Read on.