Battleland

“Groundhog War”

Military scholar and Marine combat vet Bing West looks at Afghanistan’s future in the just-released September/October issue of Foreign Affairs through the prism of two recent documentaries, Restrepo and Armadillo, and doesn’t like what he sees:

Taken together, the films show how advanced technology and scholarly thinking do not

Happy History Lesson

OK — on Wednesday we posted some thoughts from an Air Force planner working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff about how to avoid the mistakes we made in Iraq when/if we invade Iran. Friday’s Iranian post is more optimistic. It’s an assessment of the Iranian nuclear threat from Cheryl M. Graham, a lecturer in international relations and …

Marine Housing Boom

Everything is more expensive these days. Check out the latest Marine barracks you bought earlier this week: we’re spending between $67,681,224 and $75,874,765 to build 400 Marine bedrooms. That works out to a per-bedroom price ranging from $169,203.06 to $189,686.91. That crudely translates into spending more than a half-million …

Could PTSD Really Be Post-Traumatic Soul Disorder?

Fascinating piece in Miller-McCune, a new and valued journal that asks tough questions, even if it can’t always come up with the answers. In Beyond PTSD: Soldiers Have Injured Souls, writer Diane Silver peers into soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder and suggests something else may be amiss:

What sometimes happens in war may

Anchor Steam Aweigh

Kind of nice to know some things never change, according to the Standard newspaper of Hong Kong:

Happy hours have been extended again in Wan Chai bars – some 4,000 American marines and sailors are in town.

Just think of it as more hard-earned American dollars ending up in Chinese pockets.

Smarter National-Security Spending: What a Concept

The nation’s approach to national security is warped by the way the different pieces of it — military, diplomatic, economic, development — are funded. Washington is a series of funnels and tubes — congressional committees, Pentagon rice bowls (a way of saying I’m keeping what’s mine!), and institutional inertia. It keeps the money …

Sweet…

Check out that big, fat zero for the month just ended: August 2011.

It’s the first month since the U.S. invaded Iraq in March 2003 that there hasn’t been a single U.S. death in Iraq.

Just glance at the monthly tolls for 2006 and 2007 to see when two or three U.S. troops were KIA every day.

Sweet.

Waste, Fraud and Abuse…

That trio remains constant allies of the U.S. military whenever it goes into harm’s way. That’s because private contractors are hired to cook, clean and house the thousands of troops in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places the U.S. military needs to be on short notice. So it’s scant surprise that the Commission on Wartime Contracting

Post-“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: SLDN Stays Relevant in the Fight

One of my favorite movies of all time, Kill Bill (vol 2) has a scene where one of the main characters is facing the demise of her nemesis. One of her comrades approaches her with the following question:

“They say the number one killer of old people is retirement. People got ‘em a job to do, they tend to live a little longer so …

9-11 Commission Ten Years after Attacks: We Are Safe-er.

The 9-11 Commission got the band back together Wednesday nearly ten years after the attacks to assess progress on implementing their 2004 recommendations intended to make us all safe from al-Qaeda and like-minded creeps. The assessment: We are safe-er. “We are not as secure yet as we can or we should be,” Chairman Thomas Kean, the former …

Afghanistan? Check. Iraq? Check. Iran? Checking…

Nice to know Air Force Lieut. Colonel Leif Eckholm is keeping busy in his job inside the inner sanctum of American military power: the strategic plans and policy directorate for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Perhaps that’s why he has just written

Invading Iran: Lessons from Iraq

…those who forget the past and all…

Here’s …

Why Do Bombs Keep Falling on Libya?

There’s been no reduction in NATO’s bombing of targets inside Libya since rebels forces stormed in and took over most of Tripoli August 21, sending Muammar Gaddafi into hiding. What’s left to attack?

NATO is glad you asked. “From an air component perspective, NATO is still very much involved in monitoring the situation and …

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