Battleland

That Was Fast…

Word from Afghanistan that a suspected key enabler of the attack on Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel Tuesday night was killed in a precision air strike Wednesday:

KABUL, Afghanistan – The International Security Assistance force confirmed today a top Haqqani Network leader suspected of providing material support to the Kabul suicide

Ahoy! The Doctor Will See You Now…

Two new voices here on Battleland — both important. Both historic. Both women.

Our newest Battleland crew member is retired U.S. Navy commander Darlene Iskra. Not only was she the first woman ever to command a Navy ship, she’s also been an answer — or is that a question? — on Jeopardy (check it out here — she’s the $1,600 clue …

Bravo Zulu, Mr. Secretary

Departing defense secretary Robert Gates is the 10th military chief I have covered since Harold Brown was running Jimmy Carter’s Pentagon. After a private dinner at the White House on Wednesday night, and a final ruffles and flourishes sendoff at the Pentagon on Thursday, Gates will fly off for his home in Washington state and never …

The Power of Words

Wow, this past month of blogging has gone fast! Plenty of words come to mind to describe the experience: humbling, exhilarating, rewarding… Yup, I’ll say that’s a good start. I’ve had a brilliant response which has far surpassed my expectations. I’ve heard from from other troops wanting to get involved, asking for advice, or giving me …

Kabul Hotel: Boom Service

Fascinating series of photographs of Tuesday night’s attack — and counter-attack — on Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel by Nazir Ekhlass, and posted on war blogger Michael Yon’s website.

Afghan War Just Got Cheaper

OK. It’s not much, but every little bit helps. Thanks to a new airspace access deal with Russia — with Russia! — a U.S. KC-135 refueling tanker was able to fly from Washington state to the big U.S. base in Kyrgyzstan via the North Pole last week. The Manas base in Kyrgyzstan is a major support hub for the war in Afghanistan. The …

An FBI Guide to Possible Crimes at Arlington National Cemetery

The FBI is conducting a criminal inquiry into Arlington National Cemetery. The burial mixups there have made big news. Was any of it against the law? Probably. Here are a few reasons to think so.

Reserving graves:

It’s against the law to reserve grave locations at Arlington. The previous Superintendent, Jack Metzler, did it …

Pakistan: More Grim Reading…

…following up on Tuesday’s report of the internal threat extremists in Pakistan pose to Islamabad’s nuclear arsenal. Here’s a decidedly measured but alarming study detailing the most likely group of terrorists to win the race to become a nuclear power.

Afghanistan: Perception v. Will

War remains forever about perceptions, absent the signing of instruments of surrender.

Last week: “We’ve inflicted serious losses on the Taliban,” President Obama declared as he announced U.S. troops will start coming home next month.

Last night: nine Taliban suicide bombers stormed one of the most posh and protected hotels in

The $5 Trillion War on Terror

Last week, the Pentagon told you the costs of the war on terror had eclipsed $1 trillion. Wednesday morning, a panel of academics experienced in war accounting says that’s only a down payment — and that its real, total cost is around $5 trillion.

Five trillion dollars: that’s $16,000 per American; $64,000 for a family of four.

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