Gary Anderson critiques the state of professional military education (JPME) in the U.S., connecting its shortcomings to poor decision-making during the Afghanistan evacuation. He argues that a 1980s reform shifted the focus from critical military theory and history to align more with civilian academic requirements. Anderson believes this lack of rigorous professional training played a significant role in the flawed strategic choices during the Kabul evacuation.
- The decision to evacuate through Kabul’s Karzai International Airport, despite its vulnerability, went unquestioned by senior military leaders.
- Reforms in the 1980s changed the focus of military education, emphasizing masters-level degrees and “jointness” while sidelining rigorous study of military theory and history.
- Current military educational seminars often lack experts in combined-arms combat or deep knowledge about the study of war.
- Historically great military leaders, from Alexander to Patton, deeply studied the patterns of conflict and military history.
- Anderson recommends a return to rigorous study of military history in command and staff colleges and decision-making exercises for better leadership training.