Mark Thompson

Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark Thompson has covered national security in Washington since 1979, and for Time since 1994. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkThompson_DC

Articles from Contributor

Battleland Battleland

North Korea's Greatest Hits

It’s important to keep in mind that North Korea isn’t a country in the western sense of the word. It’s a murderous cult. It is the bastard child of the Soviet Union, born in the days following World War II, and succored by China following the Soviets’ collapse. In 2007, a congressional researcher assembled a list of some of Pyongyang’s …

Battleland Battleland

Everything's Not Coming Up Poppies

The Pentagon’s latest report on progress in Afghanistan, released late Wednesday afternoon, is mixed, but it starts out upbeat:

Progress across the country remains uneven, with modest gains in security, governance, and development in operational priority areas. The deliberate application of our strategy is beginning to have cumulative

Battleland Battleland

War-Game Guidance On The Korean Peninsula

It’s important to remember that the long-ago Korean war has never ended. Hostilities were terminated between the U.N.-backed South and the Chinese-backed North with an armistice on July 27, 1953. Nearly 30,000 U.S. troops remain in South Korea, sworn to defend the South from an attack from the North. The North alleges its latest …

Battleland Battleland

Your Tax Rubles At Work

The ultimate arbiter of the fairness of U.S. government contracts — that would be the Government Accountability Office — has ruled against Sikorsky Helicopter of Connecticut in favor of the Navy’s decision to limit the purchase of new choppers for the Afghan air force to a Russian model. Its decision, dated November 5, has just been …

Battleland Battleland

North Korea Nuclear Deja Vu

North Korea dealt the world’s crumbling efforts to contain the nuclear genie yet another body blow when the one-time Hermit Kingdom invited a U.S. scientist to take an inside peek at Pyongyang’s nuclear complex on November 12 – and floored him with a “stunning” new uranium enrichment plant sporting at least 1,000 centrifuges. Not only …

Battleland Battleland

Here Come The Tanks

Eyebrow-raising piece in the Washington Post this morning reporting that the U.S. Marines are dispatching 16 M-1 tanks to southwestern Afghanistan. The 68-ton behemoths can hurl a 120mm shell a mile downrange to blow up pretty much anything. It’s the first time such heavy armor is being sent to Afghanistan.

This raises a couple of …

Battleland Battleland

Medal Of Dishonor?

I know there are some soldiers fighting for us today who are glad Bryan Fischer isn’t serving alongside them. The alleged pro-family blogger complained the other day that the Medal of Honor is becoming “feminized” because it’s being awarded to soldiers who have saved comrades instead of killing the enemy (be sure to check out the …

Battleland Battleland

Pentagon In The Fiscal Crosshairs

The “boom” you just heard coming from the Pentagon isn’t a test of the newest nuclear cannon, but the starting pistol in the race to figure out where — and how deeply — to cut the U.S. military budget. It’s a strange fight to be having as the U.S. military wraps up one war and remains engaged in a second. But with defense spending …

Battleland Battleland

Pesky Questions

Close to 200 lawmakers have written to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking questions about the pending $60 billion sale of F-15 jet fighters and other weapons to Saudi Arabia. They want to know the “rationale for a sale of such magnitude” and what might happen to the arms “in the event of …

Battleland Battleland

Cash On The Jarhead

When police work doesn’t work, offer money. That’s what the FBI is doing after weeks of investigation have failed to find the person responsible for firing on the Marine museum, a Marine recruiting station (a Coast Guard recruiting station, too) and the Pentagon itself. The feds are offering “up to” $20,000 for information leading to the …

Battleland Battleland

Air Force War Planning 90210

The Air Force sure knows where to plot its future. Later this week, the Air Force Association, the service’s independent lobbying arm, is conducting a so-called Global Warfare Symposium to delve into the challenges of “the nuclear enterprise, cyberspace, expeditionary forces and space.”

(Military types have begun referring to the …

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