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Warfighting?s Silver Bullet

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    started a topic Warfighting?s Silver Bullet

    Warfighting?s Silver Bullet

    Just this past week the Coalition forces in Afghanistan announced that from now on candidates for the police must be able to read and write. See this link for more details.

    Since Afghanistan has only about a 25% literacy rate, this narrows the recruiting pool considerably, but it is a necessary and long-overdue step. Studies and anecdotal evidence from Afghanistan has long suggested that illiterate cops are corrupt cops, not to mention lousey cops.

    The link between education and combat effectiveness is powerful, often overwhelming, but is seldom studied, and I’m not sure exactly why. The role of U.S. education policy in winning World War II in particular is one of the great untold stories of that conflict. It centers around public secondary education.

    Through the Nineteenth Century, European public education ended with primary school. Most graduates went to work immediately afterwards, with some entering apprenticeships either at that time or earlier. In either case, trade education was largely a private matter. Secondary education was as well, confined to private academies which prepared the children of the economic and political elites for university education.

    Vocational education by the private trades was less practical in the United States, in part because of the enormous mobility geographic, economic, and social — of the population and the rapidly changing and expanding needs for different vocational skills. Public high schools the first of which opened in 1821 in Boston were seen as a partial solution to this, although early high schools often had entrance examinations ...




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