Iraq: Pentagon Is All Ears, But No One’s Asking

It has been striking to watch the U.S. beg for months for the Iraqi government to request that at least some U.S. troops stay in Iraq beyond the end of this year. That’s the deadline set in a pact between the two nations, and U.S. forces will be able to stay after December 31, 2011, only at the request of the Baghdad government. But …

Rumsfeld Wins!

Former Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld stopped by Battleland‘s suite Monday for a super-secret project we can’t talk about just yet. Although he’s walking with a cane due to recent back surgery, he says that’s just a temporary setback for the one-time college wrester who turned 79 Saturday. (“Joyce got me this tie,” he said of his …

Controversy Grows over Obama’s Military Suicide Condolence Letters

Some veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and their families are vexed by the seemingly arbitrary, location-based limits of a new White House policy to use condolence letters to acknowledge military suicides as legitimate casualties of war.

The disappointment is particularly palpable among family of troops who committed suicide after …

Votes Show that for Hawkish GOP, the Times they are A-Changin’

It used to be easy to cover the Republican party when it came to national security issues. For the most part, members of the GOP could usually be counted on to come down on the hawkish side of a debate or vote.

Toss in tens of thousands of casualties, ten years of war, billions of dollars spent, a new front opening in Libya, and a …

A Mixed Message about Stigma in Military Mental Health Care

The military keeps talking about eliminating stigma related to seeking mental health treatment. Then why don’t they change the policies that promote it?

To decrease stigma, the Army now uses the term “behavioral health.” The Defense Department – of which the Army is a part — prefers “psychological health.” They have …

What a Dog Can Do for PTSD

When we did a story last year on what a boon dogs are becoming for troops coming home from the wars with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Luis Carlos Montalvan was one of the soldiers we interviewed. He served as an Army captain in Iraq, where he garnered the Combat Action Badge, two Bronze Stars, and the Purple Heart — as well as a …

Droning On To a New Way of War

So the U.S. government — if not the military, then the CIA — is now using drones to kill suspected terrorists in at least six different countries — Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Congress — the entity charged with declaring war, according to the Constitution — has basically green-lighted only the attacks …

U.S. To Probe CIA-Linked Death of “The Iceman”

As first detailed by Adam Zagorin on Battleland two weeks ago, the Justice Department has launched a full criminal probe into the death of the “Ice Man” at Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib prison in 2003.

The department issued a statement in Attorney General Eric Holder’s name Thursday saying he has accepted U.S. Attorney John Durham’s …

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 $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.

Not Going Anywhere Soon…

Former USA Today military reporter Kirk Spitzer finds the recent uptick in chatter about U.S. forces leaving Afghanistan and Iraq just a little bit funny — because he now lives in Japan:

The wars are over. The occupations are done. It’s time to bring the troops home. But anyone who thinks US forces will depart Iraq or Afghanistan any

After the Drawdown: the Fictional Legacy of the Wars on Terror

Nearly every war in history has been fictionalized in the popular media of its day. Fictional stories about combat explore areas that can be harder to capture with history and journalism. At their best, they illuminate the damage and sacrifice of war; at their worst, they create myths or outright fabrications that become some disjointed …

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