A 22 February United Press International story by Pentagon correspondent Pamela Hess reported that the secretary of Defense has asked the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to "cut back military officer education during 'stress periods'-such as during the war in Iraq-to allow greater numbers to be available for deployment." The U.S. Army already has shortened the tours of some student officers assigned to the Command and General Staff College and the Army War College.
This cut in education is drawing expressions of concern from senior military officers and Representative Ike Skelton (D-MO), a champion of professional military education, who said, "You've got two missions: to fight these wars and prepare for the next war."
To amend Representative Skelton's thought slightly, without basic disagreement: We are in the next war-with no quick end in sight. After all, the Cold War lasted nearly a half-century. Lessons learned from the current fights are flowing in for analysis day by day.