Small Wars Journal

civil-military relations

Win Friends, Kill Enemies: An Unyielding Call for Warrior-Diplomats in Modern Warfare

The uncomfortable truth that many in modern western society do not want to face is that war, by its very nature, will kill people and break things. However, in the midst of that truth is a second truth that many seem to forget: Namely, that the United States of America, more so than any other nation, expends great resources to develop and implement the means of mitigating the effects of the first truth on noncombatants and infrastructure in the war zone. No other nation in the history of the world has so earnestly sought to conduct military operations while simultaneously striving to minimize the killing and breaking.

About the Author(s)

The Militarization of the Ivy League?

COL Gian Gentile, currently a professor at West Point but with extensive operational leadership experience - with extensive combat command time - asks why GEN Stanley McChrystal (Ret) is teaching an off the record course at Yale.  The essay is posted at The Atlantic.

 

By the late 1960s, the left-leaning ideological mindset that Buckley criticized no doubt encouraged the widespread opposition at Yale to the Vietnam Conflict --opposition that turned out to be justified by the facts on the ground in Vietnam. During those days, any notion that an American four-star general involved in the Vietnam debacle, someone like General William C. Westmoreland, should teach a course on leadership at Yale would have been dismissed out of hand as utterly ridiculous.

Fast-forward to 2012 and reality has been turned on its head. ...

 

McCyrstal is quoted as saying "the only reason I'm here to teach," compared with "somebody who's got a Ph.D., is because I've been through it."

McChrystal must have been through something ominous because, according to Elisabeth Bumiller's  Timesarticle, Yale University imposes restrictions on students who sit in McChrystal's classes, demanding that they take notes on an "off the record" basis -- i.e., not for attribution.