Battleland

The Party

Only a month ago I was unable to disclose my status as a gay man in the military. Fast forward to Tuesday of last week, when I stood as a guest to a party celebrating the launch of the anthology “Our Time“, a collection of stories from other gay, lesbian, and straight servicemembers, negatively affected by the “Don’t Ask” ban on open …

Why Military Whistleblowers Fear Reprisal

In the chain-of-command-oriented military, whistleblowers rarely fare well.

Each year, hundreds of uniformed members of the military send official complaints to Inspectors General (IGs) within the Department of Defense (DoD) saying that they are the targets of reprisal. Most do not have their claims of reprisal …

Limboland – Day 463

Well, it’s been three months since my last examination at the VA hospital. Three months since the VA doctors completed my Compensation and Pension (C&P) exam. Three months beyond the twelve months it took to get me to that point.

That’s four-hundred-sixty-three days of waiting for the Department of Veterans Affairs to adjudicate my …

Gaddafi Alive — Then Dead

Al Jazeera has posted new footage of the Libyan dictator who appears to be alive and in rebel hands. Later footage shows him dead on the street. This raises obvious questions about how, exactly, he died.

Warning: the video is graphic and disturbing.

Pentagon Fraud: Business As Usual

You have to feel sorry for Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont lawmaker who keeps attacking the Pentagon for contracting with companies that have engaged in fraud. His latest salvo: the Pentagon has awarded more than $1 trillion in contracts over the past decade to such entities. “The ugly truth,” the Independent …

Libya’s Lessons

Moammar Gaddafi’s death makes for an interesting punctuation mark in the ever-evolving U.S. approach to war. The key choice: should it be an exclamation point (“We got him! And not a single American died!) or a question mark (“Did we just get lucky? Is this a template for how the U.S. should wage future wars?”).

We shouldn’t …

The Story So Far

As of Thursday of this week, “Don’t Ask” has been dead for a month. To this point, the outreach I’ve received from peers and coworkers has been extremely positive, which appears to be the trend across all branches of the services. Contrary to all of the hullabaloo raised by those against the repeal, to my knowledge there hasn’t …

Yet Another Wonder Weapon

You’d think with all the fancy armaments we’ve dispatched to Afghanistan over the last decade that we would have won by now. The latest to burst on the scene is the Switchblade — don’t you just love the names they come up with? — drone. It’s made by AeroVironment Inc. of California and has been used by Army and Air Force units in …

Hidden Wounds, Unhidden Costs

A new report out this week – combined with a new report out last week – suggest there will be hefty costs associated with taking care of the nation’s post-9/11 veterans. This week’s report, released Wednesday, says vets with mental-health ailments require a lot more treatment, at far higher cost, than those without such ills. …

“Is the U.S. Readying to Strike More Often Inside Pakistan?”

Relations between Washington and Islamabad may be at an all-time low. Was the daring SEAL raid into Abbottabad to kill Osama bin Laden nearly six months ago a one-off event? Or, if the U.S. is serious about Afghanistan, does it have to begin routinely attacking the Haqqani network and other trouble-makers inside their Pakistan …

SEAL Crash Scene…

The Pentagon has released photos of the CH-47 crash site in Afghanistan where 30 U.S. troops — including 17 SEALs — perished two months ago when an RPG brought their chopper down. CNN’s Security Clearance blog has posted them here.

This Is How Wars Start

You know it’s never a good sign involving shipping on the contested high seas near China and the Philippines when the phrase “`accidental’ collision” appears in the first sentence of a news story — with the word accidental in quotes.

Reports Wednesday’s Philippine Star newspaper:

MANILA, Philippines – An “accidental”

Up-Armored Underwear

Marines are tough, but they know what isn’t. That’s why they’re now getting two layers of protection to shield their southern zones from improvised explosive devices (h/t TPM.)

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