I was interested to read Zack's post, which is based on his opening comments: " A well-known, and respected, commentator on military history (who I won’t name out of courtesy) has remarked that military history is being colonised by young researchers who have no experience of conflict." When no-one has experienced anything like Napoleonic warfare for about 150 years, the commentator's remark probably has more to do with vested self-interest than an objective assessment of the work of younger historians. It put me in mind of comments by the Egyptologist, David Rohl, and the director of Corbridge museum on Hadrian's Wall, who both remarked (in complete contrast) that new ideas and interpretations only take hold once the previous authors and their own self-interest are dead and gone. If anything, ex-services historians, due to their devotion to country and comrades are probably the least objective authors of all and due to a life of obeying orders, probably lack much capacity for original analysis. For that is all that military (and non-military) historians do - whilst it may not have been found yet, no new primary material is being produced and we are all in the same boat of working on what there is and developing ideas from it.
While the Napoleonic period has been afflicted in the last thirty years by authors, who have (let's be charitable) played fast and loose with sourcing, the bicentennials and the advent of the Internet (especially the scanning of obscure old books) have led to people from all walks of life producing original material and ideas, which have transformed our ideas about the period in the past thirty years in particular. Those ideas have been opposed by the vested interests and those unable to cope with challenges to their sacred books, who denounce the lack of "experience" or even make allegations of bias - which is especially odd when digging up new material means that you are working with more material than previous authors!
But the world moves on and so, while anyone's background and knowledge is going to shape their ideas, we must judge any new work on the material upon which it is based and the level of thought/analysis, which has been applied, not what the author's background happens to be. Indeed, I have no idea why fighting in the Middle East in the last twenty years makes you any better at unravelling what happened in Europe 200 years from a limited number of sources, whose authors cannot be questioned now. Indeed, that particular experience is of no value in looking at the political, economic and other effects on what happened.
It is therefore only necessary that authors or those offering opinions are truthful about where they got their material from and what the basis of their analysis is.
As was said of Tony Blair "You were the future ... once" - as one of those, who began as a Young Turk when the fall of the Iron Curtain coincided with the start of the bicentennial period, but is now one of the "Old Guard", I am delighted to see the new generation expanding our knowledge and ideas.