Battleland

Defense Spending Sacrosanct?

With the nation in two wars and faced with implacable Islamist foes, some argue that now is not the time to discuss cutting the defense budget. House Republican leaders barred spending cuts for the military, homeland security and veterans in their party’s “Pledge to America” campaign manifesto last fall. Last week, 165 members of the …

Guantanamo Stay

Saturday marked the second birthday of a just-inaugurated President Obama’s executive order that the prison at Guantanamo be shut down within 12 months:

The detention facilities at Guantánamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order. If any

Helmand's Tanks and Toes

The Marines are almost ready to roll their tanks into war against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Province to make the region safe for civilians. But as the tankers go about their final pre-combat prep, their doctors, according to Stars and Stripes, are confronting a disturbing aspect of that rural life:

Lt. Colin

The Financial Cost of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

The Government Accountability Office has concluded it cost U.S. taxpayers nearly $200 million to oust 3,664 service personnel for violating the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law between 2004 to 2009, years when the U.S. military was fighting in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The law, recently repealed by Congress, barred openly gay men and women …

Nation Building 101

Last October, U.S. and Afghan forces destroyed the Taliban-infested village of Tarok Kolache in the Arghandab River Valley with 25 tons of bombs. The good news: no civilians died, according to the U.S. military. The bad news: the U.S. will spend up to $1 million to rebuild it and several other nearby villages wiped out in an effort …

Collateral Damage

After 10 years of war, it’s important to remember that not all of the wounded are on the battlefield. The Rand Corp. has just issued a disturbing report on the impact of the nation’s wars on the littlest soldiers after following more than 1,000 military families for more than a year:

We found that youth in our study were experiencing

Never Mind…

A quartet of experts at Aviation Week magazine, the bible of flying gearheads, now tells us that China’s stealth F-20 jet may not be such a big deal:

China’s newest combat aircraft prototype, the J-20, will require an intense development program if it is going to catch up with fast-moving anti-stealth advances. In fact, anti-stealth

The Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone

Last week, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates was on Chinese soil, Beijing’s military flew its stealth J-20 fighter publicly for the first time. Chinese President Hu Jintao told Gates the timing was a coincidence. It immediately triggered calls back in the U.S. to restart production of the F-22 fighter, at $350 million each, that Gates …

Speaking of Anniversaries…

Monday marked the 20th anniversary of the start of what we used to call the Persian Gulf War (that nomenclature has gotten fuzzy since we launched the second Gulf War).

A U.S.-led alliance kicked Saddam Hussein’s military out of Kuwait following Iraq’s invasion of that country five months earlier. Operation Desert Storm took 40 days of …

Under The Influence

The New York Times featured the following story on its front page 50 years ago today:

VIGILANCE URGED; Talk Bids ‘Godspeed to Kennedy’

— Voices Hopes for Peace –

EISENHOWER GIVES FAREWELL SPEECH

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 — President Eisenhower cautioned the nation in a farewell address from the White House tonight to be vigilant

Swords into Plowshares

We keep hearing about how “green” the U.S. military is getting — solar panels, bio-fuels, all that tree-hugger stuff — but the latest news is something even 1960s’ peaceniks could love: the Air Force is sending tons of practice bombs through a car-crushing machine at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, shredding them into valuable scrap …

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