The Best Defense

The Best Defense

Thoughts on a photograph of a Spitfire: The quiet beauty of operating small craft and working with the environment

 

I suspect there is something about piloting an airplane that is 30 feet long or less that is magic. I've never flown a small plane, but I've kayaked rapids in a 12 foot boat, paddled the Maine coast in an 18 foot sea kayak and sailed the coast alone in a 20 foot sloop, and felt something thrilling and even mystical.

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The Best Defense

Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, disillusioned youth and the heavy baggage of war

By Lieutenant Colonel Paul Edgar, U.S. Army (Ret.), Best Defense guest columnist

I was fortunate to be a part of an incredible team that planned and managed operations to find Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl following his disappearance.  When people learn this, they promptly ask about my feelings towards Sergeant Bergdahl, the President, and many others in between.  Usually I avoid answering.  Often I want to reply, "It's a war.  What did you expect?"  Sergeant Bergdahl's buddies have room to criticize.  They worked their assess off to find him.  The rest of us ought to think more broadly. 

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The Best Defense

First person refugee: A journalist takes his 'Call of Duty' sons to a real war (2)

By Jim Gourley

Best Defense video games critic

Swedish journalist Carl-Magnus Helgegren was equally confused by his two sons' passion for Call of Duty, but when they approached him about buying last year's edition of the game, the Swedish journalist and documentary filmmaker's parental instincts overrode his academic curiosity. Helgegren had traveled to Israel to cover the conflict in Palestine in 2009. On his blog, he wrote that he remembered that trip as he and his sons discussed the game. "I started thinking. I thought I knew what war was. That was before I went and worked on the West Bank in 2009." Helgegren decided to offer the kids a deal. He would buy them the game if they still wanted it after going to Israel and visiting areas affected by the conflict.

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The Best Defense

Why that New York Times story about chemical weapons in Iraq is important

I didn't see what the big deal was about the New York Times story on chemical weapons in Iraq, mainly because in '03-'04 everyone there knew there was lots of old stuff lying around, a fact that later was discussed in some Pentagon documents.

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