Author: Lionel Beehner

The Taming of the Tigers: An MWI Contemporary Battlefield Assessment of the Counterinsurgency in Sri Lanka

Editor’s note: This report is an MWI Contemporary Battlefield Assessment, a collaborative effort by United States Military Academy cadets and MWI faculty based on field research conducted in Sri Lanka on the government’s counterinsurgency campaign during the 1983–2009 war against the Tamil Tigers.   This report examines one of the few militarily successful counterinsurgencies of the modern era: The 1983–2009 war against the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. We find that under select conditions, the application of brute force to isolate and kill off the senior leadership of an insurgency can lead to a decisive military victory and prevent...

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To Win at War, Make America Fit Again

The incoming Trump administration has pledged to boost defense spending and rebuild the military. While this is a welcome sign, there is another more cost-effective way to increase our readiness: improve the fitness of the eligible pool of recruits the Army and other services can draw from. All the military spending in the world will not matter if our troops are physically unfit to serve. Nearly 8 percent of all military personnel are clinically overweight. That figure is up from 1.8 percent in 2001, when the war in Afghanistan kicked off. The Pentagon estimates that 71 percent of the roughly...

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