Some Wars Never End

News from the Pentagon Tuesday afternoon:

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of a serviceman, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and will be returned to his family for burial with full military honors. Air Force Capt. Darrell J. Spinler of Browns

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

Lucy and the (Nuclear) Football

As the Pentagon’s nuclear arsenal continues to shrink, so does the rationale for maintaining the Cold War’s nuclear triad that still has nuclear weapons spread among subs, bombers and land-based missiles. But as its components age, advocates come up with neat schemes to preserve their slice of the triad. If bombers are doomed, the …

Vietnam’s Lessons…and Afghanistan

Colonel Gregory A. Daddis is the author of No Sure Victory: Measuring U.S. Army Effectiveness and Progress in the Vietnam War, published by Oxford University Press. Daddis teaches history at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. He has served in a variety of Army command and staff posts around the world and in …

Barking Up the Right Tree

With all the praise showered on Cairo, the still-hidden military working dog that helped the SEALs grab Osama bin Laden, it’s a great time to be a military mutt. No further evidence is needed than the fact that the Air Force has just opened a $1.6 million kennel for them featuring artificial turf, “green” construction techniques, a …

Great Moments in U.S. Military History

Sure, we are engaged in 2.5 wars. Sure, troops are dying overseas on a near-daily basis. Sure, budgets are tight and getting tighter. Sure, troops are coming home with PTSD — or PTS. Sure, military families are frazzled and stressed beyond all get-out. So why are the Army and Marines waging war over who gets to wear what kind of camouflage?


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 — …

Memorial Day in the Rearview Mirror: Soldiers as Heroes, and Victims

Elspeth Ritchie was on the front lines dealing with the military’s mental-health issues as an Army psychiatrist, including several senior positions following 9/11, for nearly a quarter century. She has studied and tended to troops’ minds on assignments around the world, including in Cuba, Iraq, Somalia, South Korea and Vietnam. She

The Disappearing “Disorder”: Why PTSD is becoming PTS

For years, the U.S. military has referred to the constellation of anxiety, depression and anger many combat troops suffer when they return home as PTSD — Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. But in recent months, senior Pentagon officials seem to have gone on a search-and-destroy mission to kill the DDisorder — and now prefer to …

Gay Jokes

I often get asked if gay jokes bother me in the work place. I can honestly say it’s rare for me to go more than a couple of days without hearing some sort of homophobic comment.

It’s no secret that you have to have thick skin to do this job. When it comes down to it, you can’t turn to your enemy and say “Stop shooting – …


There are a host of new therapies being tried in the struggle against Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among U.S. troops back from combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. The latest is transcendental meditation, or, as its advocates prefer, Transcendental Meditation™. Pioneered by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1950s, a peer-reviewed …

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