Battleland

Stand By to Stand By

This is all getting very confusing. Within the past few weeks there have been some major developments in the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal process, all of which I have failed to mention here. Each turn in events has had its own reason for staying out of my blog, and I’m not going to use my packed schedule as an excuse.

Earlier this …

The “Right Stuff” for a Drone Pilot

So wondering if you have what it takes to pilot one of those MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper unmanned drones for the U.S. Air Force? Huh? Well, drones have pilots, just like more traditional aircraft. The only difference is the drone operator’s controls tend to be in some trailer – safely on the ground – far away from the drone …

Vietnam’s Ghosts: Still Alive in the U.S. Government

There is really nothing new in the war game, as Haunting Legacy: Vietnam and the American Presidency from Ford to Obama by the father-daughter team of Marvin and Deborah Kalb makes clear. It could hardly be more timely, as America and its leaders grapple with the challenges posed by Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya – all at once. The …

Swapping One War for Another

Did you catch that sleight-of-command over the weekend? The U.S. recognized the rebels in Libya even as the NATO-led coalition announced the first 650 troops – of President Obama’s planned pullout of 33,000 by the end of next summer – started coming home from Afghanistan with no one slated to replace them.

Tuesday marks …

Ping-Pong? No, Just The Latest Ruling on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Late Friday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals bowed to the wishes of the Obama Justice Department and said the Pentagon could continue its all-but-gone enforcement of the ban on gay men and women serving openly in the U.S. military. This on-again, off-again life of the 17-year old “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law has everyone pretty …

Limboland – Day 360

Progress. Yesterday I received a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs about my nearly year-long quest for disability benefits. I was irked to find that it looked suspiciously like the last letter I received from them, on April 21. These letters all begin with a salutation followed by a note that “We are working on your claim …

Alternate Translation: There’ll Always Be An England

Gordon England is highly regarded in defense circles, which is why he got space in Friday’s New York Times to detail how he thinks Defense Secretary Leon Panetta should trim Pentagon spending. Yet the op-ed page only said he “served during the administration of George W. Bush as secretary of the Navy and deputy secretary of …

Incoming! More Defense Spending Cuts?

When we wrote in April that the U.S. could both build a smarter military and save $1 trillion in defense spending over the coming decade (out of a total of about $7 trillion), it seemed pretty radical. But President Obama has called for $400 billion in savings over the coming 12 years, and now there’s word that an even deeper …

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