Modern Articles
US Nuclear Policy WWII to SALT
Special Forces Branch Insignia
Afghanistan Operational Environment
Mogadishu Mission Command
The South China Sea
20th Century Perspective for Today
The Battle of 73 Easting
The Battle of Annual
Imperialistic Wars
MacArthur and Baseball
Cuban Missile Crisis
History of Al Asad Air Base, Iraq
Into the Special Forces: Rudi Horvath
The Fulda Gap
Borinqueneers: 65th Inf Regt
The Spanish Civil War
Egypt Canal Guerrillas
Mexican Revolution and US Intervention

"A Summary of U.S Nuclear Policy World War II to SALT
By HD Bedell

United States (U.S.) nuclear policy and strategy changed dramatically in the early years following WWII. Policy evolved from the view that nuclear weapons were a powerful tool for war and policy to the view that nuclear weapons had no utility and were a Pandora's box to be isolated from all other national interests.[1] In the end, nuclear management became a strategic policy around two themes: preparation and disavowal.[2] Following Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the end of the war, nuclear weapons did not figure prominently in U.S. foreign policy. Several factors contributed: (1) Technological scarcity made them rare instruments of war; (2) the U.S. possessed a monopoly on an item with undetermined implications; and (3) the U.S. was not entirely comfortable with what it had wrought.[3] The seeds of disavowal were sown and the first fruit was the Baruch Plan.[4]

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"Two Arrows Crossed" A History of U.S. Army Special Forces Branch Insignia
By Bob Seals

On June 19 1987, Department of the Army General Orders Number 35, Army Special Forces (SF) Branch, was issued. By order of General John A. Wickham, Jr., the thirtieth Army Chief of Staff, SF was “established as a basic branch of the Army effective 9 April 1987.” The insignia for the newest branch in the Army was “Two crossed arrows 3/4 inch in height and 1 3/8 inches.”[1] Originally worn in 1890 by U.S. Indian Scouts, the arrows are now on the uniforms, regimental insignia, and coat of arms for all Active Duty and National Guard SF soldiers.[2] This Army history is generally known. What is not commonly known is the story of the visionary First Lieutenant who designed the insignia, his tragic death, and the events that led to reintroduction of the arrows. This article surveys the history of Army crossed arrows including their initial use, wear, and numerous unsuccessful SF attempts to wear the arrows again before 1987.

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The Contemporary Operational Environment of Afghanistan
By MSG James F. Seifert

"Therefore, just as water retains no constant shape, so in warfare, there are no constant conditions" (Tzu, 2000, p.23). Afghanistan is a unique country that holds all terrain, from flat deserts to arduous mountain ranges. The country is sparse, with large cities and infrastructure compared to the westernized neighboring regions. The United States (US) military, along with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) partners and allies, had occupied Afghanistan for over 20 years in the War on Terrorism. Though superior in tactics, weaponry, and personnel strength, the militaries fell victim to relentless adversaries in the region. Primitive means, with the adaptation of modernized weaponry, proved to either match or some instances, overpower the might of friendly forces. The traditional means of war with a near-peer threat did not exist as the enemy did not identify under uniforms and traditional combatant identity.

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Mission Command During the Battle of Mogadishu
By MSG Garrett D. Roberson Jr.

The Battle of Mogadishu, one of the most intense urban battles of modern times, demonstrated the crucial role of mission command in achieving success in military operations. The concept of mission command has been a cornerstone of the U.S. Army's doctrine for many years. It refers to the ability of a commander to effectively direct and coordinate their forces to accomplish assigned tasks and objectives. At the core of mission command is the idea of decentralized execution and leadership, which empowers subordinates to take disciplined initiative and make decisions within the broader framework of the commander's intent (Department of the Army [DA], 2019). This paper examines how the principles of mission command, the elements of command and control (C2), and the C2 warfighting function played a critical role in dealing with the complex and unpredictable scenarios encountered during the Battle of Mogadishu.

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The South China Sea: Regional Struggle of Global Proportions
By MSG Christopher S. Patel

China has a containment problem. Or to be more accurate, the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has numerous physical and geopolitical containment constraints that impede their ambitious goals of becoming a global economic superpower and the preeminent regional military power. The First Island Chain, an approximate line of large and small islands that starts in peninsular Southeast Asia and then runs north through the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan (Kouretsos, 2019), is the first and most evident of these physical and geopolitical constraints. The CCP has ambitions of reclaiming Taiwan to break through part of this physical containment to their east, but that is only one small part of this containment problem. No single containment issue confronting the CCP better encapsulates physical and geopolitical constraints than the South China Sea.

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Geopolitik: The Twentieth Century Perspective for Today
By HD Bedell

In the Twentieth Century, geography was an essential feature of national security, followed closely by industrial base technology and strategic resource availability. Geography, technology, and material resources were measured in exhaustive detail. However, the qualitative factors of geopolitics – territorial integrity, social and political systems, historical perspectives, and religion – were the real determinants of vital interests. Succinctly, the statisticians did not make good geopoliticians or strategists. Early Twentieth Century political geographers, in overzealous belief in the "basic tenet of nationalism"[2] – pro patria mori – "stressed the importance of geography in determining the power of a state,"[3] i.e., a state's power was derived directly from the nature of the territory it occupied.[4] Their arguments in an era of popularized science convinced followers that a state was an organological[5] entity, and that idea quickly became systemic to the major powers.

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The Battle of 73 Easting
By Sgt. Maj Clayton Dos Santos

During the Gulf War, more specifically Operation Desert Storm, one of the most important tank battles in history occurred. The Battle of 73 Easting was the encounter between the United States (U.S.) 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment against the Tawakalna Division of the Iraqi Republican Guard (IRG). The Iraq armor troops were in a defensive position along the north-side grid line of the military map referred to as 73 Easting, which is from where the battle’s name is derived. The scope of the battle requires a context; therefore, it is worth analyzing the Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm events in order to better comprehend the relevance of the Battle of 73 Easting at that moment. In other words, it is important to understand the scenario and the causes that led to the outbreak of the Gulf War in 1991.

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The Bogeyman Cometh: The Annual Disaster
By Comer Plummer

It was toward 2030 hours on July 21, 1921, when the sun dipped behind the mountains west of Annual, ushering the end of this ruinous day. Tomorrow promised to be no better. The Spanish officers knew that they were in a precarious situation. Annual was in a cul-de-sac. According to a description of the period, the place was “an almost semicircular valley, narrow and deep, closed on all sides by towering and inaccessible mountains, except by a narrow opening that overlooks the sea."[2] There was only one route into the position from the east, through Izumar. The camp was vulnerable to fire from the surrounding heights, and its line of communication could be easily cut. The defeats of the forward and flanking outposts the previous weeks had left the Spanish camp exposed. They were out there now, the Moorish devils, shielded by the gathering darkness and the buzz of the cicadas, moving into positions around Annual. As the evening wore on, additional reports filtered in with the news that tribes to their rear, in the occupied zone, were joining the rebellion. Soon, they would be entirely cut off. It seemed as though a siege was inevitable. Could they hold out until reinforcements arrived?

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Imperialistic Wars of Expansion and the Deployment of Modern Weapons

By Edward J. Langer

From the beginning of time man has been in constant conflict with his fellow man. War, death and destruction sometimes seem the norm and peace the exception. Thomas Hobbes, the 17th century English philosopher, says “that the natural state of humans is constant war with each other and that their lives are nasty, brutish and short.”[1] While we may or may not agree with Hobbes and hope that deep down inside man there is the desire for peace, from the time of Cain and Able in the bible to the present there have been many conflicts. During the 19th century into the beginning of the 20th century up to World War One, there were many wars, large and small: wars of aggression, wars of independence, civil wars, border wars and wars of imperialistic expansion. This paper will examine three conflicts caused by capitalist/imperialistic expansion and will demonstrate that in an imperialistic war that the side that maximizes the latest weapons technology won the battle and ultimately the war and that control of the sea was essential to ultimate victory.

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Book Review: The CIA War in Kurdistan: The Untold Story of the Northern Front in the Iraq War

A Review by Brian Williams

An incredible story about the US CIA involvement in Kurdistan before the actual invasion. The book is written by Sam Faddis, who in February 2002, was chosen to lead a secret CIA team in Kurdistan and assist with the future invasion of Iraq by coalition forces.

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"Hit 'Em Where They Ain"t", General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and Baseball

by Bob Seals

The roar of the crowd, the crack of a wooden bat on a ball, the deep emerald green grass of the field, our national pastime of baseball has had a profound effect upon countless American youths over the years. One such youth so influenced by the sport was an Army cadet who played, advocated and remained a fan of baseball his entire life, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. As a young man in the latter years of the nineteenth, and early years of the twentieth century, MacArthur played varsity level baseball in high school and at the United States Military Academy at West Point. However, most are relatively unfamiliar with how the sport significantly influenced him, and ultimately his thinking, in regards to warfare.

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Cuban Missile Crisis - Khrushchev’s Last Bluff

by Edward J. Langer

On a routine U-2 reconnaissance flight over Cuba, to see what sort of mischief Fidel Castro was up to, the plane’s cameras caught images of the construction of missile launch pads for offensive missiles. In October of 1962, the world held its breath as two nuclear superpowers squared off. Was this going to be the beginning of World War three and a nuclear nightmare? Did Khrushchev really have the nuclear capability that Tass claimed he had, or was it just a bluff? Fortunately, through many backdoor meetings, the issue was resolved without a missile being launched. There have been many books, articles and narratives that have been written that describe the events and the backdoor negotiations that resolved the issue.

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A Brief History of Al Asad Air Base, Iraq During Operation Desert Storm

by Bryan Dickerson

From early 2004 until late 2011, Al Asad Air Base was one of the most important air bases used by Coalition Forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom. For most of this time, this sprawling base located in the Al Anbar Province of western Iraq was operated by the U.S. Marine Corps to conduct aerial operations and support ground operations throughout the province. The history of this base, however, dates back to the mid-1980s. During Operation Desert Storm in 1991, Al Asad Air Base was subjected to numerous air attacks, sustaining massive damage. Al Asad’s role in Operation Desert Storm is thus the subject of this paper.

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Behind the Iron Curtain and into the Special Forces: Rudi Horvath

By Bob Seals

Dr. Deborah S. Cornelius, a noted east-central European historian, has described the Kingdom of Hungary in World War II as being "caught in the cauldron." The nation faced a geographical dilemma between two implacable ideological opponents leading to widespread misery and destruction during the war. Unfortunately, after the fighting ended in May of 1945 Hungarians remained "caught in the cauldron," now, a postwar communist one. For some, remaining in a communist Hungary was not an option.

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The Fulda Gap

By Bill Wilson

For those NATO soldiers whose units were deployed in the vicinity of the Iron Curtain, these alerts were laden with additional tension because the nearby presence of the Soviet forces was palpable. As one responded to the alert and approached the Kaserne, thoughts inevitably assessed how “real” the alert might be. For the U.S. Army in Germany in general, and its V (Fifth) Corps in particular, the geographical focus of this concern was known as the Fulda Gap.

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The Borinqueneers

By Daniel Ramos

During his second voyage to the New World, Christopher Columbus arrived on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico on November 19, 1493. The island was inhabited by an indigenous people known as the Tainos, who had migrated from South America to the Caribbean. At the time the Island had no official name. The Tainos referred to their home island as Boriken or Borinquen, which means “Land of the Valiant Lords.” Over the years, many traders and sailors began calling the island Puerto Rico (Rich Port). Spanish Conquistador Juan Ponce De Leon served as lieutenant to Columbus during his second voyage. In 1508, Ponce De Leon established the first Spanish settlement on the island and became the first governor of Puerto Rico.

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Egypt's Canal Zone Guerrillas: The "Liberation Battalions" and Auxiliary Police, 1951-1954

By Christopher Weeks

At the end of the Second World War, Britain faced the increasingly difficult prospect of maintaining control over the Suez Canal in the face of rising Egyptian opposition and the economic realities of the post-war world. In attempting to exert its authority over the Canal Zone, Britain came up against a guerrilla movement fed both by nationalist and religious sentiment, and facilitated by a weak monarchy and a confrontational opposition government. The 1950-54 battle over the Canal Zone set the stage for the creation of an independent Egypt and the 1956 Suez crisis.

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The Mexican Revolution and US Intervention 1910-1917

By Timothy Neeno, M.A.

The young lieutenant and his squad of men advanced through the arid Chihuahuan scrub toward the adobe walled ranch house. All was quiet. There was a chance that a top Villista commander was inside. The lieutenant and two men moved up along the north end of the building. Six others took the south side. As the lieutenant came around the corner to the east side, three men on horses dashed around out of the gate, coming straight at him. The horsemen wheeled, only to find the rest of the Americans coming around the southeast corner of the house. Turning again, they charged toward the lieutenant. A crack shot with a pistol, he fired, shooting a horse in the belly and wounding its rider in the arm. The lieutenant ducked back around the corner to reload his pistol, emerging again just as a second rider swept down on him.

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