Battleland

Some Good Chopper News: Shootdowns at 15% of Vietnam’s Rate

The fact that the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan claimed Wednesday morning that the U.S. has killed those responsible for downing the CH-47 Chinook — killing 38, including 22 Navy SEALs — last weekend is good news, relatively speaking. “At approximately midnight on 8 August coalition forces killed the Taliban insurgents …

Revolutionary Athletes…

The annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games wrapped up in Pittsburgh this past weekend. More than 600 athletes from 46 states participated in 17 events that challenged their strength and endurance. It’s worth checking out the video to see the grit — and grins — and to remind us of new Battlelander Matt Gallagher’s debut post

Some Really Fouled Up Navy Paperwork

Some stuff you can’t make up. Here’s a World War II request from the submarine USS Skipjack pleading for toilet paper — nearly a year after its captain first requested it. “During the 11-1/2 months elapsing from the time of ordering the toilet paper and the present date the SKIPJACK personnel, despite their best efforts to await …

The Whack-a-Mole Endgame Begins in Afghanistan

Cap Ferrat, France

President Obama’s surge and de-surge strategy in Afghanistan has landed the United States in a strategic cul-de-sac. As America withdraws troops from remote areas of Afghanistan like the Tangi, Korangar, and Pech Valleys, insurgents are flooding back in to wreak havoc, necessitating US retaliatory raids, …

Vets Aren’t Victims

Vets aren’t victims.

Like many people of Celtic descent, I don’t just have a temper – I have an Irish temper. (Hooray genetic enablers that double as rationalizations!) And one of the things that consistently stokes those mind-flames is the “vets are victims” fallacy.

We volunteered. In some cases, we volunteered …

“Why Can’t NATO Whup Libya?”

As NATO’s war against Libya nears its sixth-month anniversary, there’s one question that keeps churning over and over again in what passes for my mind: why can’t the most powerful military alliance in history topple a third-rate army? I discuss the topic with John Nagl of the Center for a New American Security, Paul Hughes, a …

Second-Guessing the Doomed Chinook Mission

Pentagon corridors, and military blogs, are already aflame with whispered second-guessing following Saturday’s shoot down of the CH-47 in Afghanistan that killed 38, including 22 members of the elite SEAL Team 6 and their support element. No one likes to discuss publicly what — if anything — went wrong, but with five or more …

Cyberwar fears: disaggregating the threat

My man Mark Thompson puts up a cheeky post yesterday that I most heartily approved of. In it he speaks of cyberwar worrywarts and rightly fears that, as the terror war recedes in some priority, new little piggies approach the DoD trough. And as these cyberwar advocates find such a prime target in China, I would note that their …

Pondering the Decade Since 9/11

The news of the shooting down of a Chinook with 30 U.S. troops, mostly Special Forces, dead is chilling.

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11/2001 fast approaching, it heightens the sacrifices of the military, as President Obama recently remarked.

I often think that we—we being both the military and the nation—have not really …

Suicides, PTSD and Drug Abuse Among Combat Vets

Once again, the Congressional Research Service has badgered a federal agency – in this case the Department of Veterans Affairs – and come up with snapshots about how U.S. vets seeking VA services are faring (CRS reports are not officially released to the public – dammit, you paid for them, and Congress works for us, so why does …

“Why Did the U.S. Hand Off the Libyan War to NATO?”

Why did the U.S. military agree to do the “heavy lifting” in the opening days of the war with Libya — launching long-range bombing strikes from the continental U.S., among other martial fireworks — before handing off the next nearly six months (and counting!) to our NATO allies? Is this a new way of waging war on the cheap for …

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