Battleland

U.S. Libya Policy: “Profound Illogicality”

Time editor Michael Elliot weighs in on what he sees as President Obama’s muddled Libya policy:

I argued a couple of weeks ago that there is a profound illogicality at the heart of this policy. If a regime is treating its people so monstrously that military intervention from the outside is justified, then it is ludicrous to suppose that

Competition Hyping WikiLeaks’ Gitmo-Docs Dump?

Having skimmed the WikiLeaks release on Guantanamo Bay this morning, still difficult to see why the Times and Post have given it such prominence in their morning editions. You know part of it is the allure of the classified stamp, and the continuing fascination with those who committed 9/11.

But their headlines reveal the dirty little …

Progress

If trans-gendered troops can have their own website, guess it’s only fair that the Veterans of Foreign Wars now has its first post created by and for women.

A Constellation of Bronze Stars

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a U.S. bomb-disposal expert getting three Bronze Stars pinned on for a single tour. It happened April 18 at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, where Master Sgt. Benjamin Horton collected the trio for his heroics as an explosive ordnance disposal team leader. The citations for the medals lauded Horton …

Afghan Jailbreak

Meanwhile, back in the here and now, the Taliban staged a massive jailbreak in Kandahar early Monday that spirited at least 476 prisoners out of the biggest prison in southern Afghanistan. “We do not know if the tunnel was dug from outside or inside the prison,” the warden, Gen. Ghulam Dastagir Mayar, told the New York Times. With allies …

The Gitmo Files

As if the Obama Administration’s inability to shutter Guantanamo Bay despite its pledge to do so weren’t bad enough, now it has to deal with a torrent of classified documents about the Cuban detainee prison and its 779 inmates.

Here’s what the 700 documents say, in a nutshell:

A Question For the Obama Administration:

Last week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates argued that President Obama’s order to cut $400 billion from national-security spending over the next 12 years will force the U.S. military to curtail some of its far-flung duties. “This needs to be a process that is driven by the analysis,” he said, “as well as missions that our elected …

Top Two Officers Overboard

…once again, the Navy has relieved the top two officers on a warship — in this case the USS Ponce — for poor performance. The ship recently participated in the attacks on Libya. Says the sea service:

Vice Adm. Harry B. Harris Jr., relieved Cmdr. Etta Jones, Ponce’s commanding officer, due to demonstrated poor leadership, and failure

A Trillion Here, a Trillion There

When I started covering the military shortly after the War of 1812, million was a word you heard a lot. Then, once Cap the Knife (for his budget-cutting prowess during his Nixon Administration tenure running the Office of Management and Budget) became Cap the Ladle Weinberger when he ran the Reagan Pentagon, billion became the big …

Overdosing on `Tea’

Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post has an essay in Sunday’s paper explaining how he thinks the U.S. military got snookered by Greg Mortenson, author of the now-controversial Three Cups of Tea. But in the Philadelphia Inquirer, foreign-affairs columnist Trudy Rubin prefers to accentuate the positive.

We will not be bombing Syria for reasons that are unclear

President Obama late last month told the American people that he would dispatch U.S. military might against Libya’s Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi to avoid the slaughter of innocent civilians, killings that had already “reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world.”

That’s a clear standard. President Bashar al-Assad …

The Predator Feud Drones On

A peek inside the tensions between Islamabad and Washington over the CIA’s use of armed Predator drones over Pakistan to take out Taliban operatives in safe havens along the Af-Pak frontier, from Time’s Omar Waraich in the Pakistani capital.

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