Janine Davidson

Defense in Depth

Janine Davidson examines the art, politics, and business of American military power.

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Weekend Reader: What To Do About ISIS; General Allen To Lead the Effort; Vet Suicide Prevention

by Janine Davidson
September 12, 2014

Members of the Kurdish peshmerga stand guard at a checkpoint at Tuz Khurmato village in Salahuddin Province June 26, 2014. (Ahmed Jadallah/Courtesy Reuters)


What to do about ISIS? Following President Obama’s announcement of an expanded campaign against the Islamic State that will pair targeted air strikes with local capacity building for Kurds and Iraqi troops, a range of responses. Jim Lindsay argues that the campaign’s success will hinge on domestic American support. Peter Beinart believes that the threat to the homeland has been overstated. And Tom Ricks sees this as a continuation of a war that has raged uninterrupted since 1990.

General John Allen (USMC, ret.) has been tapped to coordinate the counter-ISIS coalition. Allen, who retired following his command of the Afghan war effort from 2011 to 2013, represents a strong choice. Last month, he published a powerful op ed in Defense One calling for exactly the sort of comprehensive, international response to ISIS that he will now be overseeing.

September is suicide prevention month; all prevention begins with a conversation. The Vets4Warriors Program, sponsored by the Defense Suicide Prevention Office, is staffed by veterans and military families. Their job is to talk, support, and assist service members and their dependents in finding the help they need. Their number is 855-838-8255.

Fifty years of military history, told by the U.S. Army generals who were there. This is the premise of “American War Generals,” a two-hour special premiering Sunday at 8pm EST on National Geographic. The documentary is comprehensive and unusual; watch it if you can.

Are driverless cars a threat vector for future terrorist attacks? Based on a recent study, as reported by War is Boring, the answer is…not really. The unmanned platforms are too sophisticated to make the effort worth it. If you weren’t worried before, no need to start now.

Weekend Reader video bonus: As Foxtrot Alpha reports, the USS New York is the U.S. Navy’s floating memorial to 9/11. It is forged from 7.5 tons of World Trade Center steel. Watch a tour of the New York below:

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