Most Read War on the Rocks Articles of 2018


Another grueling year in international security and another list of articles! There are some fun comparisons to be made looking back (see 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, and 2013).

Our ‘Strategic Outpost’ writing team — David Barno and Nora Bensahel — have dominated this list in the past, but they have never taken the top spot until this year, so congrats to them! That article is one of three from ‘Strategic Outpost’ on this list. And for the first time, two other authors also appear three times on this list: the pseudonymous Col. ‘Ned Stark’ and Mike Benitez, both writing about Air Force personnel and cultural problems. This list includes terrific articles on the Navy, Army, and Marine Corps, but 7 of this year’s 25 most read were about the U.S. Air Force. Michael Kofman has consistently made this list since 2015 and I suspect he will continue to do so, since the challenges posed by Russia do not show any sign of abating. T.X. Hammes has made three of these lists and, notably, he is the only author on this year’s list that was also on our very first year’s list in 2013.

1. David Barno and Nora Bensahel, “Dumb and Dumber: The Army’s New PT Test
2. Gen. David Goldfein, “The Air Force Chief Responds: Keep Writing Col. ‘Ned Stark,’ and Join My Team
3. Col. ‘Ned Stark,’ “A Call for Senior Officer Reform in the Air Force: An Insider’s Perspective
4. David Barno and Nora Bensahel, “Jim Mattis Fires a Clear Warning Shot
5. Mike Benitez, “Air Force in Crisis, Part III: Dear Boss, It’s All About the Culture
6. Robert Jervis, “A Horrifying and Believable Path to War with North Korea
7. Col. ‘Ned Stark,’ “And Miles to Go Before I Sleep: The Air Force’s Stratification Problem
8. Brett Friedman, “The Sailor Who Fought the Marine Corps and Won
9. Mike Benitez, “Air Force in Crisis, Part II: How Did We Get Here?
10. Josh Lospinoso, “Fish Out of Water: How the Military is an Impossible Place for Hackers, and What To Do About It
11. Col. ‘Ned Stark,’ “Promoting What We Value in the Air Force: Wouldn’t That Be Nice?
12. Māris Goldmanis, “Explaining the ‘Mystery’ of Numbers Stations
13. Devin Stewart, “Trump and the End of Smugness
14. Hal Brands and Francis J. Gavin, “The Historical Profession is Committing Slow-Motion Suicide
15. Leo Blanken, Kai Thaxton, and Mike Alexander, “The Shock of the Mundane: The Dangerous Diffusion of Basic Infantry Tactics
16. David Barno and Nora Bensahel, “Why Americans Aren’t Really Worried About War with North Korea
17. Alice Hunt Friend and Kaitlyn Johnson, “The Sixth Service: What the Reorganization of Special Operations Forces Can Teach Us About Space Force
18. Mike Benitez, “Air Force in Crisis, Part I: Why Pilot Retention Matters Right Now
19. Will Fuller and Sally White, “So You’re Telling Me There’s a Chance: Observations from the Army Combat Fitness Test Pilot
20. KC Reid, “How the Network Generation is Changing the Millennial Military
21. Jean Michelin, “What ‘Generation Kill’ Tells a French Soldier About U.S. Military Culture
22. T.X. Hammes, “America is Well Within Range of a Big Surprise, So Why Can’t It See?
23. Michael Kofman, “Raiding and International Brigandry: Russia’s Strategy for Great Power Competition
24. Daniel Corindina, “Passed Over, But Not Out: Thriving as a Career Major
25. Steven Cummings, Jeff Cummings, John Kivelin, John Spencer, and Scott Cuomo, “Ten Ways to Fix the U.S. Military’s Close Combat Lethality


Image: U.S. Air Force, Master Sgt. Tiffany Hughes

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