Articles from The Atlantic Monthly's archive and related links

"The Hollow Army" (March 2004)
The U.S. military is stretched to the breaking point—and one more crisis could break it. By James Fallows

"The Man Who Would Be Khan" (March 2004)
A new breed of American soldier—call him the soldier-diplomat—has come into being since the end of the Cold War. Meet the colonel who was our man in Mongolia, an officer who probably wielded more local influence than many Mongol rulers of yore. By Robert D. Kaplan

"Abizaid of Arabia" (December 2003)
General John Abizaid has driven big changes in the American military. Now, as he commands U.S. forces in the Middle East, his ideas are being put to the test. By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

"The Kabul-ki Dance" (November 2002)
Inside the cockpit with members of the 391st Fighter Squadron, veterans of the recent air war in Afghanistan. By Mark Bowden

"Uncle Sam Buys an Airplane" (June 2002)
How Lockheed Martin beat Boeing for the biggest military contract in history—and how that one contract could change the way the military builds and pays for its weapons. By James Fallows

"The American Way of War" (June 2002)
The third of three essays on the revolution in air power. By Michael Kelly

"Slow Squeeze" (May 2002)
One legacy of Vietnam that we continue to live with is the idea that air power cannot win a war. By Michael Kelly.

"Behavior Modification" (April 2002)
Soon after the Afghan war began, the Air Force dramatically altered its tactics. What lay behind the change? By James Fallows

"The Air-Power Revolution" (April 2002)
Historians and military analysts have long stressed the limitations of air power. Their arguments are no longer tenable. By Michael Kelly

"A Nasty Business" (January 2002)
Gathering "good intelligence" against terrorists is an inherently brutish enterprise, involving methods a civics class might not condone. Should we care? By Bruce Hoffman

"The Futility of Homeland Defense" (January 2002)
Don't even try to close the holes in a country, and a society, designed to be porous. By David Carr

"Keeping the Net Secure" (January 2002)
September 11 demonstrated the great strength of the internet. Now it's time to address the Internet's weaknesses. By Reed Hundt

"Fourth-Generation Warfare" (December 2001)
Pentagon mavericks have been trying for decades to reorient military strategy toward a new kind of threat—the kind we're suddenly facing in the war on terrorism. Now that we've got the war they predicted, will we get the reforms they've been pushing for? By Jason Vest

"Peace Is Hell" (October 2001)
Every six months the Pentagon sends nearly 4,000 soldiers to Bosnia and brings the same number home. To see how it's done is to understand why the Pax Americana has stretched the mighty American military to the limit. By William Langewiesche

"JFK's First-Strike Plan" (October 2001)
During the 1961 Berlin crisis, documents reveal, the Kennedy White House drew up detailed plans for a nuclear first strike against the Soviets. By Fred Kaplan

"Four-Star Generalists" (October 1999)
Military history pierces the philosophical fog that often surrounds the other humanities. By Robert D. Kaplan

"The Widening Gap Between the Military and Society"(July 1997)
The U.S. military is emerging as an increasingly autonomous political force whose values diverge more and more widely from those of the society it is supposed to protect. By Thomas E. Ricks

"Blood and Motherly Advice" (February 1997)
The American Forces Network offers homilies, sports events, and surprisingly graphic depictions of war. The author becomes a convert to the American military's earnest approach to television. By Gregg Easterbrook

"The Great Society in Camouflage" (December 1996)
The culture of today's Army derives from a unique blend of liberal and conservative philosophies. Will it survive peacetime transformations intact? By Thomas E. Ricks

"Fort Leavenworth and the Eclipse of Nationhood" (September 1996)
Today, when military intellectuals at Fort Leavenworth ponder America's future—as much through the reading of ancient history as through the analysis of computerized scenarios—they are profoundly unsettled by what they see. By Robert D. Kaplan

"A New Iron Curtain" (January 1996)
NATO is incautiously expanding eastward, which has thoughtful Russians worried about being fenced out of Europe—and worse. By Anatol Lieven

"Raiding Nation" (September 1995)
"Through NATO and through the Far Eastern forward deployment, America continues to pay for the defense of these trading partners, against a threat that, at least in Europe, is all but extinct." By The Editors

"Colonel Dunlap's Coup" (January 1993)
A fictionalized essay that has been circulating within the Pentagon offers a blunt warning on several fronts. By Thomas E. Ricks

"The Arms Trade: The Real Lesson of the Gulf War" (November 1991)
The industrial states must find a way to protect themselves from their own avarice: selling weapons to the Third World must stop. By James Adams

"Army Women" (August 1990)
A look at the life, the sentiments, and the aspirations—including, for some, combat—of women in the U.S. Army, the vanguard service insofar as the role of women in the military is concerned. By Charles Moskos

"The Exorbitant Anachronism" (June 1989)
A conceptual guide to the major East-West issue for the rest of the century—how to cut the price of a military standoff that costs the two sides $600 billion a year to sustain. By Jack Beatty

"The Rush to Deploy SDI" (April 1988)
How the Reagan Administration is defying scientific opinion, bypassing internal Pentagon review procedures, stalling Congress, and pressuring the military in its effort to field a "first generation" space-based missile defense within a decade. By Charles E. Bennett

"Success Story: Blacks in the Military" By Charles Moskos (May 1986)
Blacks occupy more management positions in the military than in any other sector of American society.

"The Staff of the United States Army" By R. Williams, Colonel U. S. A. (March 1878)
"Our army presents the only known example of a business or profession, either public or private, in which incompetency and want of zeal bring the same substantial rewards as energy, capacity, and active attention to duty."

More on this issue from Atlantic Unbound:

Flashback: "Reinventing the Military"

Related Links

  • The Center for Defense Information (CDI)

  • Nuclear Proliferation News

  • Department of Energy's Defense Program Homepage

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