Author profile: Harvey M. Sapolsky

Harvey M. Sapolsky

Harvey M. Sapolsky is Professor of Public Policy and Organization, Emeritus, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and former Director of the MIT Security Studies Program. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. In the defense field he has served as a consultant or panel member for a number of government commissions and study groups. His most recent books are US Defense Politics written with Eugene Gholz and Caitlin Talmadge and US Military Innovation Since the Cold War edited with Benjamin Friedman and Brendan Green, both published by Routledge.

Health or Defense

Health or Defense

Obamacare, now in its early stages of implementation, is the US military’s ticket home. The completion of the last element in America’s welfare state is likely to end the security welfare system the US provides for its allies.

Review – Anatomy of a Bad Idea: COIN Best Practices

Review – Anatomy of a Bad Idea: COIN Best Practices

Nearly every question about how the U.S. Army came to be entangled in wars it knew better than to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan are answered by three excellent and complementary books.

How War Weary Are We?

How War Weary Are We?

The Iraq and Afghanistan wars have made the U.S. public war weary, which is constraining Obama’s efforts to mobilize support for a strike against the Assad regime. But, how accurate is this picture?

Mission Accomplished

Mission Accomplished

Obama recently gave a speech in which he tried to start a national discussion to redefine the nature of the struggle against al Qaeda and its affiliates. He said that this war had to have boundaries and, like all wars, must end.

Iraq: The Mistake Was Staying

Iraq: The Mistake Was Staying

With tens of thousands dead, it is easy to have regrets when reflecting back on the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The real policy mistake was staying there beyond the destruction of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

Review – The Generals

Review – The Generals

The American military fights a lot, but wins less frequently. Thomas Ricks’ provocative examination of the relative failures of the US military’s major engagements since WWII (Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam) lays the blame with the generals.

Predictions for 2013

Predictions for 2013

It’s that time of year when the illusion of insight is replaced by the illusion of foresight in bloggers everywhere. Attempts to make lists like this one longer or shorter than 10 fail, so in that spirit, let’s get on with it!

The Petraeus Scandal

The Petraeus Scandal

David Petraeus was thought to be a possible Republican US presidential or vice presidential candidate. This affair has ruined such opportunities, but it will not stop him from being part of the discussion of future national security issues.

No Turkish Syrian War

No Turkish Syrian War

Turkey will not be an instrument by which the Assad regime is deposed. It will neither directly attack the Assad government nor be the leader of an intervening coalition. If there is intervention, it will have to be an American initiative.

BAE/EADS Merger is a Mistake

BAE/EADS Merger is a Mistake

BAE Systems is trying to tie up with Airbus’ parent, EADS, to create the world’s largest aerospace company. This merger may yield several problems for the airliner and defence industries.

An Attack on Iran: Four ‘No Ways’ and One ‘Maybe’

An Attack on Iran: Four ‘No Ways’ and One ‘Maybe’

The US is broke, the military is focused on new horizons, and international condemnation on an Israeli preventive action will be overwhelming for the US. Hence, short of an Iranian act of aggression, war is unlikely.

Review – Contemporary Military Innovation

Review – Contemporary Military Innovation

The key to this excellent collection of essays on military planning and practice in the modern era is in the subtitle: anticipation and adaptation.

Obama is Overpromising the Wrong Things

Obama is Overpromising the Wrong Things

Fixing America’s debt problem, repairing its infrastructure, and re-training the workforce for a modern economy would prove popular. If only someone would make those promises.

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