Foreign Policy

Chinese Water Torture…

Spinning off Mark Benjamin’s Chinese posting: a couple of days after celebrating U.S. naval prowess in 1942’s Battle of Midway — widely seen as the turning point in World War II’s Pacific war between the U.S. and Japan — the guided missile destroyer USS Chung-Hoon is continuing further east as tensions rise between China and its …

An Ex-GI Trains Libyan Rebels How To Fight

Fascinating piece by Steven Sotloff in Benghazi about a beefy and cigar-chomping former U.S. soldier training Libyan rebels how to fight:

The selling of military expertise by foreign privateers, or mercenaries, is known as the world’s second oldest profession. But [Jerry] Erwin insists motives are more altruistic and that he is not

Afghani-plan

So the size of the U.S. troop pullout President Obama is slated to announce later this month now varies by an order of magnitude: those who want to preserve the gains earned over the past year are suggesting about 3,000 — of the 100,000 U.S. troops now there — would be about the right number to order home starting in July. But — …

Power Shortage at U.S. Embassy in Baghdad

For years, U.S. officials have bemoaned the lousy electrical service in Iraq, where blackouts persist. Turns out that’s also a problem for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, even though it has its own power plant, according to a State Department IG report released Thursday. Got to love the footnote!

War Through “Enemy” Eyes

Members of the Zumwalt family have been proud members of the U.S. military since the Revolution. It was that tradition that led James Zumwalt to join his father and brother in the Navy, before transferring to the Marines. During his 26 years in uniform, the now-retired lieutenant colonel saw service in three conflicts — Vietnam, …

One of the 6,000

On Memorial Day, Americans paid tribute to the men and women who have fought our nation’s wars, especially those who didn’t come home. My new colleague Mark Thompson, who has generously invited me to contribute to Battleland, had some powerful observations about the Pentagon news releases that have trickled down in a “

Memorial Day, 2011

Memorial Day is a strange holiday when so many Americans are disconnected from the wars now underway. Did you know that over the past week, more than a dozen U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan? It’s easy for me to keep track: I get Pentagon press releases every time a U.S. soldier is killed, sprinkled in among those …

The TV-Terrorism-Lawmaker Industrial Complex

OK…so the House Homeland Security Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday morning on “Threats to the American Homeland after Killing Bin Laden: An Assessment.” The list of those testifying includes Peter Bergen, identified in the witness list as a “CNN terrorism analyst;” Evan F. Kohlmann, ID’d as an “MSNBC terrorism analyst;” and …

We’re Gonna Miss This Guy…

Defense Secretary Robert Gates sometimes seems the only adult in Washington, especially when compared to Congress (a.k.a. Romper Room). He offered up what he described as his “last major policy speech in Washington” on Tuesday at the American Enterprise Institute, that neo-con nest behind Washington’s famous Mayflower Hotel.

In …

Libya: Warbirds of Prey? Or Warbirds of Pray?

After two months of stalemate, the allies are considering stepping up their war game over Libya. The war’s two key boosters – Britain and France – may decide to send a handful of helicopter gunships to pepper targets around Triploi. The French, apparently, have already chosen to do so, and said the British had as well. But the …

The Nuclear Hitch

Christopher Hitchens isn’t an arms-control expert (thank God), but he is a damn fine writer, master polemicist and certifiable Big Thinker. He’s come up with his own nuclear non-proliferation regime over on Slate. Bottom line:

The possession of illegally acquired nuclear weapons remains a huge threat and burden to neighboring states

Loose Lips

When I read through the Washington Post yesterday, I stumbled across this Greg Jaffe article highlighting an odd bit of irony that just might get people killed. Jaffe’s article (which you really should read) notes that SecDef Gates and JCS Chief Mullen are trying to get the rest of the world to refrain from discussing facts, and from …

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