is to education as military music is to music, as the old joke about military justice goes.
When we don’t need to kill people (and I do not diss the military function of the military), our armed forces still create value for our society by modeling a code of honesty and personal honor, just like professional sports; people we can look up to and try to emulate, who do it the hard way and don’t cheat, and who know we all depend on each other and go out of their way to share credit for their accomplishments. Right?
Oops. Poor Walsh is being savaged as a plagiarist, and I think there had better be something in the UCMJ that would support a court martial. But that isn’t even the big outrage in this story (HT member of a private listserv). There’s no evidence in this story that Walsh’s behavior is typical or common; anything as big as the Army will have some number of cheats, liars, sexual abusers, and whatnot. What we should be up in (figurative) arms about is what the story does indicate to be a convention: our government is operating a “college” that regards fifteen pages with no original thinking or insights as a master’s thesis. I read and supervise these things in my day job: this is not a master’s thesis, nor an undergraduate thesis, and (close to) not a course term paper, and wouldn’t be any of those things if Walsh had actually written it.
Where is the accreditation committee for the Army War College? Where is Darrell Issa when we need him?