Small Wars Journal

Considering Defense Reform? Read This First

Considering Defense Reform? Read This First by John Nagl and Paul Yingling – AUSA

Kenny Rogers’ country classic Coward of the County portrays advice from an old man who spent his life fighting. The advice was simple: Don’t do it. The intended recipient was a young man who ignored that advice.

We are old men who spent the better part of two decades fighting on the battlefields of the Middle East and in the halls of the Pentagon. In the Middle East, our enemies were insurgents. In the Pentagon, we were the insurgents: pushing the Army to adapt to the challenges of irregular warfare. Our goal here is not to refight those old battles. Instead, in the great tradition of Kenny Rogers, we’d like to offer some advice to young leaders who are considering fighting the battle for defense reform…

Read on.