The Fallacy of Metrics

Russia’s Military Was Great Until It Wasn’t ( The essay above from The Atlantic is an excellent reminder that those interested in trying to understand war and warfare should stop listening to people who depend on counting and measuring in order to predict the future.  As Yogi Berra famously said, “Predictions are hard, especially when they are about the future.” Naturally, we need to consider what is … Continue reading The Fallacy of Metrics


There has been considerable speculation across various media platforms at the efficacy of armour in the Russian invasion. There are plenty of photos of dead tanks and burning vehicles. Video showing the inefficacy of Russian reactive armour is beginning to appear and some people are now using this ‘data’ to question whether we need tanks in modern war. First, this is not data; the beginning … Continue reading Tanks

Tolle Lege

St Augustine heard these words, saw a bible and picked it up. The words mean ‘take up and read’ and so he did, thus changing his life. No, I am not telling you to read the Bible (not necessarily a bad idea). What I am doing is giving you the same advice that Dr Barry Hunt, one of my great professors at RMC gave all … Continue reading Tolle Lege


I have been listening to comments from various pundits regarding the criminal Russian invasion force and two aspects have me intrigued: the Russians are doing poorly and many observers seem surprised. I have some experience with Russian (Soviet) forces from my days in Arms Control and none of this surprises me in the least. All the troops I observed were poorly trained and likewise poorly … Continue reading Pencils

War is a Continuation of Politics

The above paraphrasing of Clausewitz’s most famous dictum would imply that those who would understand war would do well to have some understanding of politics. This thought leads us to what occurred in the UN Security Council on Wednesday the 23rd. What the Russian Ambassador called a “special military operation” the Ukrainian Ambassador rightly called a declaration of war. Now I am not a big … Continue reading War is a Continuation of Politics

Jaw Jaw

Winston Churchill famously said that it was better to “Jaw, Jaw than to War, War.” Most of us would agree; but what to do with someone who refuses to discuss the issue? How do you negotiate with someone who is psychotic and bent on using the military to settle disputes? How do you reason with someone like Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong-un? You do your … Continue reading Jaw Jaw

Afghan Legacy

We spent a lot of blood and treasure helping Afghanistan attempt to enter the 21st century. I will not pass judgement on how successful we were because we did much good there. Militarily, I worry that we now have a couple of generations of soldiers who think that what they experienced during their tours there is the new baseline for warfare. It isn’t. Fighting insurgencies … Continue reading Afghan Legacy