Battleland

War's over, time to shop

Now that the U.S. officially has ended its combat role in Iraq — relying on Baghdad to wage its own wars from here on out — it’s time the Iraqis began buying U.S. weapons. That’s just what they’re doing, as U.S. officials report the still-struggling nation has some $13 billion of American-made military hardware in the pipeline (the …

Lessons learned…

The U.S. military has a usually-good policy of “after action” reports that tries to capture the “lessons learned” from every experience, from basic training to battlefield (the Army itself even has a Center for Army Lessons Learned). But sometimes that learning occurs in a less-structured way — like the experience gleaned over more than …

Air Force's latest foe: pasta?

Even as the Pentagon struggles to tighten its own belt, Air Force personnel in Italy apparently need to start doing more to tighten theirs, too. One in three at Aviano air base — 45 miles north of Venice — failed to pass the service’s ramped-up physical fitness test in July, the first month it was in place. And that was the good news. …

Generals leery of their ranks being trimmed, oh my!

Interesting story in this morning’s New York Times about the military brass’ concerns with Defense Secretary Bob Gates’ plan to trim their nearly-1,000-strong ranks by, ahem, 50 slots. While reporters Ginger Thompson and Thom Shanker quote only retired generals on the record, their views are shared by active duty officers as well. It’s …

"Star Wars" flying laser — 0-for-5 this month

It was the late Ted Kennedy who galvanized his fellow Democrats at their 1980 convention by pledging “the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.” Thirty years later, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency seems to have adopted those stirring words as its own. You may recall the Pentagon’s …

Oorah! The commandant's prose, and Con-way…

General James Conway, the Marine commandant, told reporters at the Pentagon Tuesday that his 202,000 Marines are “pretty macho” compared to the 1.2 million Americans in the other services. He might just as well have been speaking about himself and his willingness to say what he thinks. After all, the Marines are the smallest — and like …

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