Battleland

What? They Don’t Like the MREs?

Our friends over at Danger Room have posted an item about the U.S. Special Operations Command’s search for someone to turn U.S. troops into Afghan cooks. But not just any kind of Afghan cooks. As the contract solicitation explains:

This training shall encompass instruction on; Slaughter techniques, cultural diversity, equipment

The $30 Billion Rebel

Given last week’s decision by Washington to recognize the Libyan rebels as that nation’s legitimate government — and giving them access to at least some of the $30 billion in Libyan government funds in U.S. banks — makes you wonder: just who are these folks? Dan Murphy of the Christian Science Monitor writes up the six weeks he …

Predatory Surveillance?

The Tehran Times quotes Ali Aqazadeh-Dafsari, a member of the Iranian parliament, saying Tuesday that Iran shot down a U.S. drone over the Fordo nuclear site near Qom. He didn’t say when the shootdown allegedly happened and — critically — no photographic evidence has yet been produced. Look for the U.S. to deny the charges — which …

Limboland – Day 365

Well, it’s been 365 days. A year ago I filed for benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I filled out the application on line, collected up all of my documentation – orders, efficiency reports and awards, medical records – authorized all of my doctors and counselors to release information …

Pakistanis, Indians, and the U.S. Taxpayer

Pakistan, you may have heard, is finding it challenging to battle the friendly (to them) Taliban forces on its soil that only cross into Afghanistan to kill U.S. troops (the Pakistanis have no compunction about killing the other Taliban — those trying to topple the government in Islamabad). So it was interesting to see the …

DEFCON 1: Incoming Numbers!

Washington is a Milky Way of numbers right now, all swirling around in a galaxy of confusion involving taxes, debt and interest rates.

Here are some other numbers that folks reading Battleland should know: $1 trillion out of $9 trillion, 48%, and 15 out of 22 nations surveyed:

The Defense Death Spiral

Why is the Pentagon Underfunded?

The courtiers in the Hall of Mirrors that is Versailles on the Potomac are lining up to give Leon Panetta advice on how to manage the Pentagon in the coming era of budget “constraints.” Most of this wisdom takes the form of platitudes of how important it is to have a strategy and to make the …

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Steal…”

We referred Monday to a New York Times story over the weekend that predicted benefits for same-sex military partners might face some tough sledding once “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is relegated to the history books. Tuesday’s Norfolk Virginian-Pilot details just how such benefits can be abused:

Two men pleaded guilty Monday to arranging

Gates to Write Two (More) Books

Guess former defense secretary Robert Gates doesn’t want to retire completely. Publishing house Alfred A. Knopf announced Tuesday morning that Gates will write two books over the next three years: a memoir of his highly-regarded stewardship of the Pentagon, in 2013, and one on leadership in 2014. Gates is a pretty good writer — his …

“Hands Off Our B-1 Bombers, Air Force!”

When Congress steps in to block the Air Force from retiring some of its bombers, you know the world has been turned upside down. The Air Force loves its bombers! Don’t you remember Dr. Strangelove and Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper? But now the Air Force believes it is time to retire six swept-wing B-1s and plow the resulting $100 …

An Eye-Opening Peek at the Pentagon’s Weird Budget Math

If you’ve been paying attention, you may have heard that President Obama has pledged to cut $400 billion out of security spending between now and 2023. But what you may not know is that the $400 billion won’t be a cut as far as Joe and Jane Taxpayer are concerned. Todd Harrison, Washington’s defense-budget wizard, says letting Pentagon …

Star Wars: Practice Makes Perfect

The nation has spent more than $100 billion on missile defense since President Reagan heralded it as the way to render nuclear-tipped missiles “impotent and obsolete” in 1983. But the mission is so complex and challenging, sometimes small elements can slip through the cracks, as the Government Accountability Office reported

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