Now it's Charlie's turn to travel, so things will be quiet here for a couple days. In the meantime, check out this long article from the Washington Monthly on the exodus of smart, experienced captains from the Army. It gets way beyond "why they're getting out" to highlight the long term problems of both the quantity and quality of those remain. (If AM finishes his Christmas shopping, he might post some thoughts over the weekend. Speaking of shopping, check out Danger Room's Gift Guide...no, I do not want a pink taser.).
And, for the less highbrow amongst us, go see Charlie Wilson's War. Where else are you gonna find coke, hookers, Congressmen, and a covert Afghan appropriations bill? This Charlie is taking her brother on Friday and promises a review shortly there after.
Update: Devil Dawg asks in the comments if the Marines are having the same problems with their Captains as the Army. The short answer is no: the Marines personnel system assumes/requires a massive turnover of its company grade officers. They count on their captains getting out, so their recruiting / promotion needs haven't really changed. Now, what is open to debate is whether different folks are leaving than before. (Is type of officer retained today systematically different from that retained 5 or 10 years ago?) Charlie would love to know the answer to that one.
Update II: Charlie is stuck at National Airport due to snow in Boston. Glad to see some things never change. But some things do: why didn't any of you tell her that there's a 5 Guys in the US Air terminal now? And wireless!? Holy god, it's like a real airport instead of the ass-end of nowhere (those of you who've spent as many hours as Charlie waiting for shuttle flights pre-rennovation know what she's talking about).
Also, Charlie's seen a dozen or so young Soldiers en route home. One with the cutest BCG's you've ever seen; one struggling with his boots at security (come on TSA, give the SPC a break, go harangue girl trying to sneak through with the giant snow globe). And of course, 7 or 8 in line at 5 Guys. Cheeseburger and large fries, hooah? Fly safe boys.