Military History

Robert Widmer Slips the Surly Bonds of Earth

Robert Widmer has achieved escape velocity. Never heard of him? How about the weapons he pioneered, ranging from the B-36 – the Air Force’s largest bomber – to the F-16 — its most nimble fighter — to the Tomahawk cruise missile?

Reports Sunday’s New York Times in an appreciative obit:

Mr. Widmer was so valuable to the

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 …

Long Time Gone

This is, of course, the title of a David Crosby song featured on the eponymous 1969 album Crosby, Stills and Nash. And more than just riffing on the title of my colleague Mark Thompson’s post from earlier today, it also describes the sensation I had during a meeting held at the Library of Congress for authors and historians as an …

An Army Birthday Gift–So Long Black Beret!

It’s without an ounce of wistfulness that I bid adieu to one of the most ridiculous and unpopular pieces of Army-issue equipment–the black beret. For the past decade, when soldiers were not in Iraq or Afghanistan, they suffered through parades, formations and all manner of long walks with sweaty, misshapen plops of wool covering …

Not New NATO News

A hat-tip to Defense Secretary Robert Gates for warning of NATO’s “dim, if not dismal future” unless its non-U.S. members starting funding their defenses more robustly. After 11 weeks of attacks on Libya, he noted, the allies are running short on bombs. “The blunt reality is that there will be dwindling appetite and patience in the …

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

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 …

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