Battleland

AWOL Moms and Dads

Adults admire the sacrifices of our nation’s fighting forces. But it’s the kids of those doing the fighting who have given up maybe even more: parentless childhoods. You’re reading about these kids today for a few moments. But what they’re enduring lasts for years. The Army’s Fort Drum Mountaineer newspaper interviewed several of …

The Navy’s Own Solyndra

Washington was buzzing last week with the news that Solyndra LLC, a California solar-energy firm with ties to the Obama White House, had gone belly up – after pocketing a half-billion loan from the federal government. Seems the Navy also has been suffering from fiscal sunstroke, to judge from a just-released Pentagon inspector …

Follow the Money




Back when I first started covering the military some dozen or so wars ago — in the late 1970s — General Dynamics was busy building the F-16 jet fighter and a plethora of other weapons. But it sold the F-16 line to Lockheed in 1993, and spun off its missile and space divisions, too. It seems to be moving into a different line of …

Back to School

Today seems to be military and veterans’ education commentary day. ROTC is back at Harvard, and both Bloomberg News and Holly Petraeus are railing on the for-profit colleges.

First the good news story: after a 40 years hiatus, ROTC is back at Harvard. The death of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell has re-opened doors long closed to the military …

Of Stupid Answers and Arms Sales

We don’t dip our toes into domestic politics too much here on Battleland — that’s why TIME has Swampland. But sometimes we just can’t resist. In Thursday night’s debate, a questioner asked Texas Governor Rick Perry what he would do if he got a 3 a.m. phone call saying Pakistan’s nukes had fallen into the hands of the Taliban. His …

The Death of Tradition?

Navy aviation is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year, and there have been many celebrations throughout the aviation community. Women have been part of the naval aviation community since 1974. That’s 37 years, or more than a third of naval aviation’s history. They were restricted to so-called non-combat aircraft until …

Chart of the Week

I thought it might have been Wednesday’s, where I plotted the amazing growth in U.S. air drops into Afghanistan over the past several years. Then this one stopped me cold. It’s in the Army’s just-released study into the nature and number of U.S. troops wounded in Afghanistan, conducted by the Army’s Dismounted Complex Blast Injury …

Dispatches From the Third Front: Part II–the Refuge

Nearly every military installation, from our many stateside posts to larger bases in combat zones, have some form of a Morale, Welfare and Recreation center, what the troops call MWR. At Brooke Army Medical Center, the place of refuge is more than just a recreation center; it’s a central part of their healing and journey home. Our trip …

The Buried IED…Here at Home

The military’s fight against improvised explosive devices along roads in Afghanistan and Iraq — which have killed more than 3,000 Americans — has cost more than $20 billion. But that’s only the money spent by the Pentagon’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO, pronounced ji-dough) to stop them over there. …

Draft Threat a Fallacy

I keep trying to beat Mark Thompson to the gate with a Battleland post, but just can’t seem to do it. What time does he get up in the morning, anyway? Mark has already commented on Congressman McKeon’s absurd interesting comment that defense reductions might bring back the draft. But I still want to join the bloody fray.

Last …

The Party’s Over

It was only two years ago that Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was praising Ashfaq Kayani, the Pakistan army’s chief of staff, in the pages of TIME. “Here is a man with a plan, a leader who knows where he wants to go,” the top U.S. military officer said of his initial meeting with his Pakistani …

Afghanistan: It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas

Trouble on the blimp front: there apparently isn’t enough helium around to float the latest humongous lighter-than-air vehicles the U.S. military wants floating in the skies over Afghanistan to keep an eye out for bad guys.

The new Northrop Grumman unmanned Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle has “huge gaseous helium …

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