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.

TORTURED TRUTHS

torture is slippery slope. One officer told me that troops have to be watched all the time. Unsupervised 10% will do something stupid. Abu Ghraib involved untrained (reserve) soldiers working at night without supervision. Guards have power which can easily be abused.

TORTURED TRUTHS

We know that torture is a constant presence in warfare, most especially in counter-insurgency operations. Terrible things happen in wars. But warfare is also a learning process where participants try to avoid repeating the mistakes of their own experience and that of others.

Rethinking Republican Foreign Policy

Rethinking Republican Foreign Policy

The 2008 election was not a fluke. The days of Republican advantage on foreign and security affairs are over. The Democrats have learned to talk tougher on defense matters and to appoint Republicans and moderate Democrats to the senior posts. The Democrats now treat military preparedness, including Ronald Reagan’s missile defense, like the Republicans treat Social Security —with the self-preserving respect accorded electrified third rails.

US Military Doctrine since the Cold War

US Military Doctrine since the Cold War

The American military at the end of the Cold War was a formidable force, large in size, very well equipped, and quite capable of meeting any conceivable Soviet warfare challenge, nuclear or conventional. Its recovery from Vietnam was total. Thoughts of honing its fast fading counter-insurgency skills or of a search to discover how best to participate in peace-keeping and nation-building ventures were far from its doctrinal priorities.

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