Offensive Operations and US Defense

By Walter Pincus

Pulitzer Prize Winning Journalist Walter Pincus is a contributing senior national security columnist for The Cipher Brief. He spent forty years at The Washington Post, writing on topics that ranged from nuclear weapons to politics. He is the author of Blown to Hell: America's Deadly Betrayal of the Marshall Islanders. Pincus won an Emmy in 1981 and was the recipient of the Arthur Ross Award from the American Academy for Diplomacy in 2010.  He was also a team member for a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 and the George Polk Award in 1978.  

OPINION — “Offensive operations, often times, is (sic) the surest, if not the only (in some cases) means of defence,” a retired George Washington, living at Mount Vernon, wrote to a former military aide in a letter back in June 25, 1799.

Unsuccessfully, attempts over decades to build a defense for the U.S. homeland against Russian or Chinese intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) seems to affirm George Washington’s centuries-old advice.

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