The Magazine

Warrior at Sea

Admiral 'Slew' McCain and the old Navy.

Jun 25, 2007, Vol. 12, No. 39 • By MACKUBIN THOMAS OWENS
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Senator John McCain writes a touching foreword to A Leader Born. His grandfather died when he was only nine years old, and it is clear that he left an indelible impression. But as I was reading I wondered what Admiral McCain would think about his grandson--and the rest of his generation. Of course, he would admire John McCain for the reasons the rest of us admire him: his steadfast courage, both physical and moral, the character he demonstrated in the crucible of war and long captivity, and his sense of honor. But I wonder if Admiral McCain wouldn't think that his grandson's generation had become too solicitous of America's enemies, and too soft to do what is necessary to defeat a vicious enemy.

Mackubin Thomas Owens is associate dean and professor of strategy and force planning at the Naval War College.