Commentary

In this Commentary section I examine in a regular column major foreign affairs and military issues that are facing the United States today. The columns are arranged in chronological order, with the most recent at the top. I hope lots of you will respond to these columns by sending me your own views and reactions. You can do this by visiting the Questions and Answers portion of the website, and typing your comments in the space provided. I’ll reproduce any observations that have general interest. You can also use the Q&A location to send me any questions you have about foreign affairs or military matters. I will answer all your questions by e-mail.

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Cordially yours,
Bevin Alexander

The Military Genius of Stonewall Jackson

The subject of my talk tonight is the military genius of Stonewall Jackson.  With your indulgence, I’d like to begin shortly after Jackson’s death by focusing on Gettysburg.  That monumental campaign shows in a most riveting manner what Stonewall Jackson tried, but failed, to accomplish.  I then would like to go back and look at the war from the spring of 1862 forward to Gettysburg. Read more >>


Statement of Bevin Alexander Before the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capability On Terrorism and the New Age of Irregular WarfareWinning Future Wars: How Weapons that Never Miss Have Eliminated Conventional Warfare

The United States military must not find itself in the position that the French and British armies found themselves in 1940. In the campaign in the West, the Allied commanders were trying to fight the same sort of static war along a heavily defended, continuous front that they had conducted successfully in World War I. But Germany was fighting an entirely new kind of war that broke through these fronts with fast-moving panzer or armored divisions. These panzers drove deep into the Allied rear, dissolved the continuous front, and created chaos. In six weeks Germany shattered France and threw Britain off the Continent at Dunkirk. This German victory was achieved by only four German corps, 164,000 men, less than 8 percent of the German army. They brought about the complete rout of the better-equipped and much more heavily armed Allied armies totaling 3,300,000 men. At the critical point where the victory was won, Sedan, France, fewer than 60,000 of these men were present. Thus, the actual victory was achieved by about 3 percent of the German army. Read more >>


Winning Future Wars: How Weapons that Never Miss Have Eliminated Battlefields, Large Armies, and Conventional Warfare

The world has moved entirely away from orthodox warfare because the Global Positioning System or GPS permits weapons to be guided with complete accuracy to any point on earth. This has ended the possibility of concentrating military forces, because massed troops and weapons become targets that can be destroyed from afar. It has also eliminated traditional battlefields, because soldiers no longer can survive on them. GPS-delivered weapons have forced a profound movement to the other extreme of indirect warfare conducted by small, clandestine forces that avoid the enemy’s main strength and aim at weakly defended targets or targets that are not defended at all. Read more >>


“Take Sides”

On September 20, 2005, Simon Wiesenthal died in Vienna at the age of 96. Wiesenthal, a Nazi death camp survivor who lost his entire family in the Holocaust, helped to track down 1,100 Nazi war criminals after World War II, including Adolf Eichmann, the SS leader who had a decisive role in organizing the “Final Solution”. Read more >>

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