Friday, August 16, 2013


I spent much of yesterday at the Marine Corps War College at Marine Corp University at Quantico, talking to a really impressive group (mostly Marine Corps Colonels, but some participants from the other branches of the service, from the DIA and other intelligence services, and some representatives from foreign militaries and intelligence services) about improving reasoning. Afterwards I got a personal tour of the Marine Corps Museum by one of the MCWAR faculty. I was offered a tour of the rest of the base, and I was incredibly psyched to do it, but had gotten virtually no sleep the night before, and was still facing a long drive home, so I had to decline.

It seems to me that they're doing really interesting and important things at MCWAR. The participants were sharp and good-natured, they were genuinely interested in hearing suggestions about better reasoning strategies, and the things I heard about the rest of the curriculum were extremely impressive. They have classes on civilian-military relations, discussions of how to think about and what to do in cases in which they disagree with their commanders, and a significant number of classes on humanitarian obligations--just war theory, obligations to intervene, classes discussing what our obligations might be in Syria, and so on. At one point I thought Jeez, it's as if someone rather suspicious of the military designed the curriculum... That's heartening and impressive, IMO. 

At any rate, I went away with a very favorable impression of MCWAR.


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