Battleland

U.S. Turns Down Cash Spigot to Pakistan

The White House said Sunday that it has put on hold $800 million in military aid to Pakistan given Islamabad’s continuing shaky response to the terrorism in its midst. “Until we get through these difficulties,” White House chief of staff William Daley told ABC, “we will hold back some of the money that the American taxpayers have …

Well, That Was Fast

The National Grocers Association has announced the keynote speaker at its next annual convention will be (drum roll, please): former defense secretary Robert Gates. He will “share his considerable knowledge, experience and insights of current world events gained through his long, distinguished career,” NGA chief Peter Larkin says. …

Inside the White House Struggle with Condolence Letters and Suicides

White House aides emphasized Friday that President Obama’s announcement this week to send condolence letters to some troops who commit suicide was designed to patch a hole in a policy President Obama inherited. It’s part of a broader effort to recognize and address the common mental wounds of war, but it is also starting to feel to …

Better Late Than Never

The Air Force is heralding the arrival of its Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern (OCP) uniforms to its troops toiling “outside the wire” in Afghanistan. “OCPs have a more advanced camouflage pattern that blends in with the Afghan terrain, making our Airmen safer and more effective on the battlefield,” said Lt. Col. Shawna …

Number of Homeless Vets Dropping Sharply :-)

Reports about struggling veterans are usually grim, so it’s always nice to trumpet good news: the number of homeless veterans in this country has been cut nearly in half between 2004 and 2009, according to a new Congressional Research Service report just released by Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists (such …

The iPhone Foe

The independent U.S. Naval Institute’s Proceedings journal has long been one of the best at asking questions some of its readers might prefer not be asked. In its just-released July issue, Lieutenant Commander Matthew Harper grapples with the Navy’s biggest bogeyman: China. Military relations are fundamentally altered, he argues, …

Hey Mate: Scrapping Gender Barriers in Australia’s Military

The story seems too good to be true, at least for this old (female) salt: a truly gender-neutral military, based on capabilities and not gender!

Wow. But here’s the catch…gender norms are still being applied, and the same old anti-women-in-combat arguments are surfacing:

If I see that it’s a woman on the receiving end of

Inside the Battle for Kandahar

Army Major Rusty Bradley was commanding a Special Forces unit in Afghanistan that served as Taliban bait during 2006’s Operation Medusa, the largest offensive in NATO’s history. In his new book, Lions of Kandahar (co-written with journalist Kevin Maurer), Bradley takes the reader into battle. His goal: a patch of high ground called …

Controversy Grows over Obama’s Military Suicide Condolence Letters

Some veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their families are vexed by the seemingly arbitrary, location-based limits of a new White House policy to use condolence letters to acknowledge military suicides as legitimate casualties of war.

The disappointment is particularly palpable among family of troops who committed suicide after …

Internal Bomb Threats Exploding

Here’s a paper detailing everything from the Under Fat Roll Bomb (“suffers from a lack of candidate personnel fulfilling the delivery criteria since very few terrorist operatives are that significantly overweight”) to the Rectum/Large Intestines (Lower Digestive Track) bomb pioneered by — who else — the CIA, with its non-exploding …

“Yo! Admiral! Ever Hear of Cause And Effect?”

Navy policies and programs work optimally under a retention rate of 55 to 60%. The Navy is currently operating at 71% retention. We have more people wanting to stay in the Navy than we presently have billets.

— Vice Admiral Mark Ferguson, chief of naval personnel

So why is the Navy paying bonuses like a drunken sailor?

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