Janine Davidson

Defense in Depth

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

In the Last Days of Afghanistan, Too Many Shadows of Vietnam

by Guest Blogger for Janine Davidson Wednesday, December 17, 2014
A shadow cast by a U.S. soldier from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment shades spent brass strewn on the ground during a joint training mission, near forward operating base Gamberi in the Laghman province of Afghanistan December 12, 2014. (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters) A shadow cast by a U.S. soldier from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment shades spent brass strewn on the ground during a joint training mission, near forward operating base Gamberi in the Laghman province of Afghanistan December 12, 2014. (Lucas Jackson/Courtesy Reuters)

By Robert A. Newson

Recently, the Council on Foreign Relations hosted a screening of Rory Kennedy’s film Last Days in Vietnam. The stunning documentary, with never-before seen-footage, tells the story of courageous Americans at the U.S. embassy and on ships at sea who put their lives and their careers on the line to rescue 77,000 South Vietnamese during the fall of Saigon. These heroes did all they could as individuals to meet an American obligation to those who stand with us in our foreign wars—those who risk their lives and the lives of their families against a common enemy. The film also tells the story of an American government that came very slow and far too late to uphold this obligation.

Read more »

Weekend Reader: Army Cuts, Afghan Interpreters, and a Little H.G. Wells

by Janine Davidson Friday, April 25, 2014
army soldier night vision A U.S. Army soldier from 3/1 AD Task Force Bulldog uses his night vision equipment before an early morning joint patrol with Afghan National Army soldiers in a village in Kherwar district in Logar province, eastern Afghanistan, May 22, 2012. (Danish Siddiqui/Courtesy Reuters)

A difficult time for Army’s mid-career officers and senior NCOs… the Army announces that it will identify at least 2,000 current captains and majors for early retirement. Roughly 19,000 will be screened in total. This follows programs targeted at cutting senior NCOs, whose pace accelerated rapidly  this year. Nearly all those being screened have seen multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Read more »