Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 33

Thread: Proceedings and Its Others

  1. #1
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    26

    Default Proceedings and Its Others

    Hi,

    I was wondering what people think are the equivalent(s) (if any) to USNI Proceedings. I think of AWC Parameters and NWC Review as roughly comparable, to each other, but not to Proceedings; Military Review is less abstract and wide-ranging than each of the three publications already named. Without going through the various other publications, I think of Proceedings as arguably unique with respect to how varied its content - in terms of article length, topics covered, viewpoints published, etc. - is.

    I don't ask purely out of curiosity - I'm trying to write a paper on how bureaucracies respond to challenges (such as the collapse of the USSR, or the encroachment represented by Goldwater-Nichols). As such, I'm thinking of using Proceedings as a source for what "the Navy" (yes, I know, it is not a monolith) "thought" about those challenges. I'll probably compare the Navy to one or more of the other services. If people could identify what they thought of as similar publications along some of the dimensions named, that would be very helpful.

    And while as noted above, I'm not asking out of curiosity, perhaps the relative merits and features of the various publications might prove interesting fodder for posting.

    Regards
    Jeff

  2. #2
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    44

    Default

    I think Proceedings is fine. I've been getting the magazine since I was commissioned some years ago, and have always thought it worth getting. Back in the day it was devoted entirely to naval issues (including the Marines and USCG), but now it is branded as "The Independent Forum on National Defense."

    Still, they focus much on Naval-related issues. They have some gems on small wars/COIN/etc, but also has lots of articles on RMA-related things that, if you ask me, are just large advertisements for defense industry firms and weapons systems projects.

    Lots of USN and USMC authors, and to a lesser extent, officers from the other services.

    I don't really think there's an equivalent for it, now that it's moved from its naval roots to a more national-defense related journal.

  3. #3
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default I subscribed to Proceedings for almost 30 years

    but let it lapse about five years ago due to what I though was a distressing trend toward political correctness and too many articles 'written' by too many FlagOs. It may or may not have changed since then but they lost me. that said, it is still a unique publication and a valuable one and arguably the best of all the US service journals in my opinion.

    Army magazine has been a party line pub for years -- occasionally to an almost sickening extent -- but the last few issues have been better; hopefully, that's an indicator of much needed change.

    The Marine Corps Gazette is still a good publication and has been pretty consistent over the years.

  4. #4
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    The Marine Corps Gazette is still a good publication and has been pretty consistent over the years.
    Indeed, but its scope is much narrower than the Proceedings and focuses heavily on tactical and operational issues. I find the two complement nicely.

  5. #5
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    3,195

    Default

    I've always liked the Gazette, but let my Proceedings membership lapse for much the same reasons as Ken did.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  6. #6
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    63

    Default

    I don't know if qualifies as politically correct, but Capt. Kelly's piece in the July Proceedings, "Rewriting the Rules of War" did not endear me to the magazine's editorial choice.

    ...Maintaining the moral high round may be a popular theme for editorial writers, but it means very little if you lose. Winning is everything.

    The last war we actually won was World War II, before political correctness had been invented and before Soldiers were subject to so much second-guessing. We killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in fire bombings and often took no prisoners in battle. Interrogation of prisoners could be rigorous indeed, and maintaining their dignity was not a high priority. No one would dream of referring to such actions as torture. There were few embedded media members, and they were kept rather busy reporting real news, mostly involving the heroic actions of our troops. There was a war on, and we did what we had to do to win.

    Today, opponents of this war are attempting to infuse political correctness and civilian ethical standards into our troops who do the fighting for them. If they go to far, they may end up destroying the military warrior culture altogether...
    This is something I expect out of the Weekly Standard, not a professional military journal.

  7. #7
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    129

    Default

    I would support the point that the Gazette is good and that it is possibly the closest near equivalent to Proceedings. Though on the principle of full disclosure, I must confess that I might have grown more than a bit biased toward the Gazette as I have had the good fortune (or maybe it should be misfortune) to have essentially worked my way through every issue of the Gazette since 1963 to present, in chronological order, for my own research.

    I mention this long sequence of reading mainly to point up an issue already alluded to, which is that the quality, mixture, and content of articles is really dependent on who is the editor – over the 40 plus years of the Gazette that I looked at, one can see clearly the shifts in quality, mixture and content, etc, that occur with different editors. An inherent aspect of any journal - academic, independent, whatever - is that the editor, explicitly or implicitly, serves as a gatekeeper. Some editors keep the gate pretty much closed, others have keep it reasonably wide open, and they all have an agenda of some sort (and yes, I edited an academic journal for 13 years, and I am guilty of all of the above to lesser or greater degree in spite of my best of intentions not to be. Sadly we all have implicit bias of some sort, if only as to what we thing is important or even just wanting to vomit when another article on an already overworked topic lands on ones desk).

    Army has been recommended to you. As I am only just starting working my way through it, all I can add is ‘so far, so good’ (another line of research; and no, I am not starting in 1963 – doing so once may be excused as ignorance, to do so twice is out ‘n out just plain daft).

    I would mention one other issue, as I have done in depth length what you starting to do. I do not think in going through the journals you will necessarily be able to glean how ‘bureaucracies’ respond. I am not sure exactly what you mean by ‘bureaucracies’, but I take it you mean the collective, rigid hierarchy (very loosely defined). If this a reasonable assumption, what the journals (and letters to the editors) are most likely to provide you with is a fairly good idea of the debates around the issue you are interested in. What you mostly get are individuals making their individual arguments (see 'editors' and their foibles above). Nonetheless, as these debates consist of a lot of articles/letter questioning the party line, this does give an ingress to the thinking (responses) of the ‘bureaucracy’. You may be able to do better with the Proceedings, however, due to the prevalence a few years back, for as Ken White ably noted, Admirals, etc were writing articles that were marred by ‘political correctness’ (aka the bureaucracies’ party line). But, to be fair, you will also find an interesting debate related to this in Proceedings a couple of years back (or so) about whether officers can write what they think as opposed to writing in support of the party line. The issue was, as I understand it, that the Navy ‘hierarchy’ was starting to be disturbed by the number of officers who were writing articles that challenged ‘Transformation’ and reportedly was cracking down behind the scenes. Credit where credit is due to the editor(s) of Proceeding for airing this important debate.

    Have fun!

  8. #8
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Hmm. Differing viewpoints, perhaps

    Quote Originally Posted by mmx1 View Post
    I don't know if qualifies as politically correct, but Capt. Kelly's piece in the July Proceedings, "Rewriting the Rules of War" did not endear me to the magazine's editorial choice.
    . . .
    This is something I expect out of the Weekly Standard, not a professional military journal.
    Captain Kelly is merely stating fact; as such he is NOT being politically correct. Good for him. Good for Proceedings for publishing it. Professional discussion is their reason d'etre.

    His point is absolutely correct, no matter how abhorrent you may find it. I do not find it all abhorrent but I do accept that the US today is unwilling to wage war properly or fully for a variety of reasons barring a war of national survival. We have made, rightly or wrongly, a conscious choice to attempt to use limited war as a method of enforcement of will. My belief is that is an unwise choice but it's been the norm since 25 June 1950. History shows that it has not done well as a methodology.

    The problem, of course, is that other nations (and a number of non-state actors) have realized this self imposed limitation and are taking full advantage of it. Captain Kelly just makes the point that such self imposed limitations are in fact playing into the hands of these contemporary and probable future opponents.

    The counterpoint is that many in this country would object to a short, very violent and fully engaged war as being brutal and unnecessary -- when in fact, that approach would almost certainly cause fewer overall casualties and less damage to everyone and everything involved (including the poor civilians caught in the crossfire) than does the IMO foolish attempt to 'limit' war -- a process that will invariably lead to a protracted, few casualties but environmentally and politically damaging in all respects conflict of dubious (at best...) resolution.

    Not to mention the domestic political legacy of divisiveness that descends into bitterness from each of these so-called limited wars...

    I think valid professional discourse calls for statements of fact and not the 'nice' and accepted views of society at large or of the military heirarchy. That discourse should lead to selections of courses of action and tweaks to doctrine that will be acceptable to the broader society. If certain precepts, unpalatable to some are omitted from the discussion, then they will not be properly considered and thus may reappear by default at a later time because no one knew that the precepts were judged unsuitable.

    As evidence of that let me offer that all the counterinsurgency techniques -- and all the problems with detainee operations and interrogation -- that were learned the hard way in Viet Nam were largely ignored in those professional journals from 1975 until 2003. I suggest we saw the results of that and did not like what we saw...

    That those lessons were ignored with rare exceptions was political correctness of a different kind, in that case, obeisance to the desires of the senior leadership to avoid counterinsurgency as it was hard and messy. Good try but as they say, the other guy gets a vote.

    The Weekly standard is an avowedly political publication, it and its merits or failures are not really germane to anything on this board.

    If the focus of a professional journal is to discuss all aspects of the profession, to omit some articles or topics because they may be offensive to some is to stifle discussion. That is political correctness.

    Is that what you wish?

  9. #9
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    3,098

    Default

    If you want to take a hard look at a pub that has evolved significantly to reflect the current operational environment - albeit non-official, non-governmental and not associated with any military service - I recommend looking at Jane's Intelligence Review. Not reflective of the military bureaucracy per se (except as part of its target audience) but Jane's is a relatively large corporate bureaucracy. Formerly Jane's Soviet Intelligence Review (retitled in Jun 91), the pub has undergone tremendous change over the years, and continues to evolve to effectively cover the world and to meet the needs of the target audience.

  10. #10
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    63

    Default

    Well, if the point is to advocate total war, then go ahead and do so. Ken, you certainly made it better than he did. But it's un-PC to advocate total war, so instead, he skirts the issue by
    1) lamenting the PC-imposed limitations
    2) drawing an analogy to WWII without completing the analogy. So if we're to conduct this war like WWII....what exactly do we do? I won't put words in his mouth, but he doesn't offer any such vision.

    The result is useless wistful thinking about what could be rather than actionable recommendations on alternatives. I've come to expect that from political ideologues. I don't expect that from a professional magazine - I expect more useful recommendations than "PC and civilian ethics are bad". That the level of discourse doesn't, in this instance, rise above what I see from the political side, is my beef with the publication.

    Would they print your comments? If so then we can have some honest discourse about the cost/benefits of total war. If all we can do is blame scapegoats....I can read that elsewhere.

  11. #11
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Didn't read the article, only saw the quote you

    provided so I can't comment on what he said or how he said it. I would note that not everyone is a great writer and some have difficulty putting heartfelt thoughts in a coherent to others format.

    However based on what you did quote, I have to say that IMO Captain Kelly's first paragraph is essentially correct, as is the second. Whether they have any relevance to the rest of his article or to the world today is another matter entirely. In any event, I can see his point on the topic and I see yours. I suggest that it's a difference in background and outlook that creates the dichotomy and that, while you can condemn his if you wish, that had the two of you talked in person, it might come across differently...

    His third paragraph though is I believe important and correct. Let me give you some examples. When a soldier is killed or several are, units today hold a memorial service. Fine in this war; wasn't possible in WW II, Korea or Viet Nam due to the speed of activity and the sheer number of casualties. That is a gesture of respect for the fallen and it is certainly well meant -- it is also potentially a combat distractor. Every death is now investigated; that also is not possible in a large war for the same reasons and is also a combat distractor (not least as the Investigator[s] intervie anyone with knowledge of the incident). In short, just these two simple examples are indicative of a trend that has potential harmful effects. The troops get used to them and in a tough, fast war, they won't see them; thus I submit they are a bad practice.

    Armed forces are a reflection of the society from which they come. We have, over the last 60 year become a much kinder and gentler nation. Unfortunately, at base level, war has not become one nanogram more kind or gentle.

    Other factors like the constraints imposed by the desire to hold civilian casualties to an absolute minimum which drives the choice of 'limited' war -- a decision that paradoxically generally serves to prolong combat and thus increase casualties of all types on both sides and exacerbate battle damage. It may not be apparent to you but to many troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, the ROE and the presence of the media are frequently constraints on action because the kids are afraid they're going to get a court Martial for doing what they should do. It's also noteworthy that the British troops in Iraq have surfaced the same complaint. Many of those rules; the investigations and memorial services I cited above; dozens of other things like clearing targets with Lawyers; those things are not necessarily imposed by opponents of this war but they are things the system does in an attempt (foolishly and fruitlessly, I believe) to placate those opponents. Those things do in fact have a softening impact on most -- not all (fortunately) -- units in the Armed forces

    We let the troops get too kind and gentle and they will suffer; that's his point.

    All that gets way off the issue -- that issue is that Captain Kelly is expressing his gripes with the system. That may be unprofessional to you but professionals are people also. You can gripe in this professional forum that he's being political because he griped in another professional forum that politics and correctness were ruining the armed forces. Seems a fair trade to me.

    And you certainly don't have to read Proceedings if you don't want to.

  12. #12
    Council Member LawVol's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Kabul
    Posts
    339

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mmx1 View Post
    I don't know if qualifies as politically correct, but Capt. Kelly's piece in the July Proceedings, "Rewriting the Rules of War" did not endear me to the magazine's editorial choice.



    This is something I expect out of the Weekly Standard, not a professional military journal.
    I just read this piece from Capt Kelly and found it incredibly short-sighted, especially for an O-6. It gives no thought to the strategic aspect of war. He seems quite willing to toss out the strategic goals in favor of allowing "young men barely out of high school who are still maturing and whose values are still in the formative stage" to form our response to international law. One the one hand he appears to excuse some of this conduct because of the nature of the situation and those in it, but then praises the result for the same reason. He's trying to play both sides.

    I do agree that we cannot sit in our living rooms with the benefit of detached reflection and impose what we would have done in a particular situation on those actually faced with life or death choices. However, the law takes care of this. I forget the actual case ( I can find it if you doubt me), but the Supreme Court has specifically ruled that the law does not require detached reflection in the face of an uplifted knife. Although this particular case involved a cop on the beat rather than a soldier in combat, the analogy is sufficient. Capt Kelly, however, would seek to dispense with those rules; those that protect civilians and us in favor of an anything goes approach to war. He says that our soldiers are trained to defeat an enemy "by whatever it takes." This is certainly not the case and I don't want to be a part of any organization that takes this approach.

    Never mind the application of this line of thought to COIN, you still have many other things to consider. First, like it or not, we require the support of allies. Even those allies that do not send troops contribute to our war effort, even if it is only getting out of the way on the world political stage. If we start indiscriminately killing people, we lose that support and legitimacy for our efforts erodes significantly. Second, for more than 200 years we have stood as a beacon of freedom and the rule of law. Do we really want to throw that away simply because we are frustrated at the tactics of our enemy? Do we really want to embrace the mentality of a four year old and lash out in similar fashion because 'he did it too?'

    Moreover, the good Captain tries to cloak his argument in an impenetrable veil of patriotism by invoking our soldiers' sacrifices. He seeks to deflect criticism by saying that "Before you judge them, try walking in their boots or talking to some of the gravely wounded veterans." This is completely disengenuous. Is he saying that because my deployment didn't call for me to kick down doors I can't offer an opinion? What about those in congress that are charged with oversight? Must they keep their mouth shut as well because they haven't served in combat? As a former prosecutor, I've never been driven to commit a crime; does this prohibit me from seeking to punish a wrong-doer? This tactic is merely policitical BS more appropriate to Hannity and Colmes rather than a serious military publication. I may get this slightly wrong but you'll get the jist: In a college philosophy class I was taught that the first fallacy of logic is to attack your opponent rather than his argument. The Captain is an obvious believer in preemptive strikes because this is exactly what he's doing. He is attacking those whom he thinks will disagree with him by saying they can't do so until they fight in Iraq (I didn't realize Navy Captains were patrolling Baghdad).

    What the Captain terms as political correctness is not that but a fact of war. Wasn't it Clausewitz that said that war is a continuation of politics by other means? Doesn't this mean, then, that war is inherently political? That aside, political decisions will always factor into war decisions because of the strategic implications of tactical actions. I would have thought that Abu Graihb would have taught that lesson. Fighting war in the way the Captain seems to want would merely prolong the fight as more and more enemies would be created. One can only hope that this opinion is in the extreme minority.
    -john bellflower

    Rule of Law in Afghanistan

    "You must, therefore know that there are two means of fighting: one according to the laws, the other with force; the first way is proper to man, the second to beasts; but because the first, in many cases, is not sufficient, it becomes necessary to have recourse to the second." -- Niccolo Machiavelli (from The Prince)

  13. #13
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    4,818

    Default

    LawVol, You go boy!!!! somebody say Amen. Great speech you should run for something
    It reminds me of the line from the first Superman movie when Louis Lane ask Superman why are you here? "I am here for Truth,Justice,and The American Way"

  14. #14
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    DeRidder LA
    Posts
    3,949

    Default

    It reminds me of the line from the first Superman movie when Louis Lane ask Superman why are you here? "I am here for Truth,Justice,and The American Way"
    And a look at your legs, Lois

    Agree with Slap. Most excellent post LawVol

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 08-30-2007 at 03:34 PM. Reason: I remembered how to spell my name

  15. #15
    Council Member wm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    On the Lunatic Fringe
    Posts
    1,237

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    LawVol, You go boy!!!! somebody say Amen. Great speech you should run for something
    It reminds me of the line from the first Superman movie when Louis Lane ask Superman why are you here? "I am here for Truth,Justice,and The American Way"
    How about the line from Star Wars, when Carrie "Princess Bun Head" Fisher, AKA Leia Organa, says to Peter "Eat Stake, Dracula" Cushing, AKA Governor Moff Tarkin, "The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers."

    Seriously, the debate about how to conduct war goes back, in writing anyway, all the way to Thucydides' Melian Dialogue. In that instance, the civilized Athenians were taking the same position as Capt Kelly. But then, wasn't Athens primarily a naval power?

  16. #16
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default You and I can differ as well...

    Quote Originally Posted by LawVol View Post
    I just read this piece from Capt Kelly and found it incredibly short-sighted, especially for an O-6. It gives no thought to the strategic aspect of war. He seems quite willing to toss out the strategic goals in favor of allowing "young men barely out of high school who are still maturing and whose values are still in the formative stage" to form our response to international law. One the one hand he appears to excuse some of this conduct because of the nature of the situation and those in it, but then praises the result for the same reason. He's trying to play both sides.

    . . .
    . . .

    What the Captain terms as political correctness is not that but a fact of war. Wasn't it Clausewitz that said that war is a continuation of politics by other means? Doesn't this mean, then, that war is inherently political? That aside, political decisions will always factor into war decisions because of the strategic implications of tactical actions. I would have thought that Abu Graihb would have taught that lesson. Fighting war in the way the Captain seems to want would merely prolong the fight as more and more enemies would be created. One can only hope that this opinion is in the extreme minority.
    I think you're reading into his essay what you wish to instead of reading what he said.

    I had not read the article but I've seen a number of comments like yours that tend to excoriate anyone who suggests that judging the actions of people engaged in comment is best restricted to those that have been there -- as opposed to just expressing any opinion on those actions which anyone can do.

    So I went to the Proceediongs website and purchased the article. As an aside, it was not clear anywhere in that process whether he was a Navy Captain or a Captain, USMC. Shocking, I know but Marines can and do write for publication.

    You comment that he gives no thought to the strategic aspect of war; yet to me, his first paragraph does exactly that:

    "Before going to war again, our leaders must first decide on what we mean to accomplish and how far we are willing to go to win. Otherwise, we will again subject our troops to unnecessary confusion, stress, and personal risk, as we did in Vietnam and are doing now in Iraq."
    Seems like an extremely valid -- and strategic -- premise to me.

    You then stage a polemic against his admittedly impassioned rhetoric in the body of the article but I suggest that he's merely expressing the frustration that many on the ground in Iraq live with on a daily basis. You choose to see it as an assault on liberal values but it seems to me to be simply a statement of reality. Soldiers are emphatically not police officers and the goals and the mores are quite different -- and they should be. Have to be, in fact.

    I have three sons, all have been soldiers, one still is and the other two are cops and they know the difference and behave accordingly.

    In any event, I do not see the body of his essay as an attack on anyone. His final paragraph is simply another statement of fact:

    "Today, opponents of this war are attempting to infuse political correctness and civilian ethical standards into our troops who do the fighting for them. If they go too far, they may end up destroying the military warrior culture altogether. That should worry Americans greatly, because the jihadists are under no such moral constraints."
    You may not agree with him. Let me suggest that the reverse of that would be to attempt to infuse purely military with no civilizing restraints processes on the civilian law enforcement community. I certainly would not agree with that. Nor, I suspect, would you.

    We are, as I've noted earlier, a far more kind and gentle society than we were even 30 years ago. That is progress and I'm glad that is so. Yet as Captain Kelly says, our current opponents are not so inclined and it is indeed possible to proceed to far down a given path and reach a point of no return. He's merely suggesting that is not a desirable outcome.

    Which should be obvious.

  17. #17
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    3,195

    Default Interesting....

    Haven't seen this much reaction to an article since Gen Dunlap's last piece. Seems they strike the same chord, although not perhaps with the same words.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  18. #18
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Wink Same chord or same misreading?

    10 characters...

  19. #19
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    63

    Default

    The print edition has him as USN (ret), a regular contributor to Proceedins and the USNI's Author of the Year in 1979.

  20. #20
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Thanks. All us ORFs are possibly excessively

    warlike.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •