Battleland

Putting Women Aboard Subs…And Tweaking the Blueprints



I finally had the opportunity to tour a Trident-class submarine; you know, the large ballistic missile boats, four of which are soon to be home to several women officers. I was surprised at how big it was inside…yet not. Being a surface sailor, I was trying to visualize how this ship could be configured to accommodate enlisted …

Happy 10th, Afghan War



I vividly recall being in the Pentagon 10 years ago today, awaiting the beginning of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, a military counterpunch to the 9/11 attacks that had shocked the nation four weeks earlier. Army General Tommy Franks was in charge as the head of U.S. Central Command, and Don Rumsfeldwas the maestro overseeing …

China Syndrome



It’s plain China is our Next Big Enemy. All the experts say so. And even if it isn’t, we have to prepare for war with it in case it comes true. Yum! The self-licking ice cream cone never tasted so good.

So folks are marshalling arguments either to support or knock that notion. Here’s a handy list from the American Enterprise …

Hey Panetta, What’s Up With the Waste?

Democratic Senator Tom Carper of Delaware fired off a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta today asking Panetta to “look in every nook and cranny of the federal government to make sure that we’re getting the most bang for our buck.” Panetta has been aggressively fighting the prospect of cuts to the Defense Department’s budget. But …

How Do We Know If Someone Has PTSD?


Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the most troubling legacies of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of troops and their families are affected. How do we ensure the help – both medical and financial – is going to those who need it? Well, that requires, one would think, a uniform yardstick so folks …

Winds of War

Apparently the Navy isn’t the only service that has trouble building projects with money from 2009′s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Air Force planned on spending $15 million for three wind turbines to generate electric power for remote Alaskan radar sites. Sure, there have been the typical problems: each turbine’s cost …

Iraq: Like a Serpent’s Tooth



We noted on Monday that there seem to be no plans for the Iraqi government to award U.S. troops a medal for ridding its nation of Saddam Hussein (Kuwait and Saudi Arabia did so following the 1991 Gulf War). Now comes word that Baghdad has decided not to give U.S. troops stationed in Iraq after this year the traditional immunity …

One in Three.



Thirty-four percent, to be precise. That’s how many veterans believe the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were worth fighting, according to a new and dispiriting – but not surprising – Pew Research Center poll. Americans prefer wars like the first Gulf War – 100 days of bombing, followed by 96 hours of ground combat, then a …

A Blueprint for the Pentagon’s Grim Reaper

One of Washington’s most influential think tanks – its ranks filled with retired and ex-soldiers – has bad news for its Army brethren still in uniform: you guys are going to take it on the chin in the coming budget battles. You too, Marines. “Ground forces will play a less central role in the projection of U.S. military power …

Shazam! Gomer Pyle Would Love This



It was just over a month ago that we noted the Marines are spending about $180,000 per bedroom in the new living quarters they’re building for their greenest troops at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Now the Los Angeles Times weighs in on similar pads opening up for West Coast Marines at California’s Camp Pendleton:

The two-person rooms, at

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