Tom Ricks wants to close our military academies, and thinks we should also consider shutting down service war colleges as well. What's the rationale behind this radical idea? Not much. Basically he thinks it would save money, and that somehow future officers would get better educations in civilian schools -- a highly dubious assertion. The service academies have a long history of providing a solid core of officers to the U.S. military, as Ricks acknowledges. And they specifically attract people who plan on making the military a career, unlike ROTC programs. Any cost savings would be a classic illustration of penny-wise, pound-foolish.
As for the war colleges, they serve the purpose for which they were created. There are no equivalent civilian programs that I'm aware of. Military history programs are not exactly widespread among civilian universities, let alone programs that study current issues of military strategy and tactics. If there are problems with the curriculum and teaching at the service academies and war colleges, as Ricks suggests, those problems should be addressed. Simply closing them down would be stupid and wasteful.