View Full Version : SWJ Mag vol 8 - Reconsidering "Why Dr. Johnny Won't Go to War"

05-16-2007, 02:49 PM
Reconsidering "Why Dr. Johnny Won't Go to War" (http://smallwarsjournal.com/documents/swjmag/v8/gusterson-price-swjvol8-excerpt.pdf)
by Hugh Gusterson and David H. Price

Open thread....

See also this thread (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2194) about the original article that this one "reconsiders."

Steve Blair
05-16-2007, 03:18 PM
Bloody shame the authors chose to frame their comments in what seem to be both personal attacks and disparaging remarks about qualifications (the dig about sociology was to me unnecessary and petty) instead of addressing the real issues raised by Dr Tyrrell. Linking the debate about PRISP with campus discussions about ROTC as they did in their original article is ridiculous, especially given the fact that PRISP impacts a very small minority of their population while ROTC has larger implications (both for students and schools).

That, of course, is a side issue to the main thrust of their piece. To me it appears that the authors were more interested in finding spelling errors than they were dealing with the main thrust of Dr Tyrrell's article. In fact, they seem to be launching just the sort of thing they accuse Dr Tyrrell of mounting:
While such policy-driven ideological analysis appear to be widespread in the non-peer reviewed world of military and intelligence analysis generating and consuming social science analysis, such practices would be unacceptable in academic settings.

Having published in peer-reviewed journals, and from watching the ebb and flow of "policy-driven ideological analysis" in my own discipline (history), I can attest that this does exist in academic settings, and that questioning its existence usually draws the sort of attack that we see here. I would have found their response more credible, and indeed very informative, if the authors would have refrained from carping personal attacks and stuck to the issues raised by Dr Tyrrell's piece. Sadly, they did not.

05-17-2007, 12:00 AM
This received from Dr. Marc Tyrrell, AKA marct.

The response to the response. (http://smallwarsjournal.com/documents/response-to-gusterson-and-price.pdf)

I am contacting the authors of the response (full stop) separately, in an effort to facilitate their ongoing discussion, if any, here; i.e. to get out of the middle. :)

I trust that if they choose to so present them, their arguments will be welcomed on their merit. marct has a bit of a home field advantage here, but he would certainly be one of the first to say "let the games begin" on a level playing field.