National Security

Love Walks In

The Nashua Telegraph reports on an interesting New Hampshire wedding last weekend between a soldier wounded in Afghanistan and his bride. Last August, Stanley Medai was a gunner on a Humvee as it rumbled through Paktia Province south of Kabul. It was third in a four-vehicle convoy, headed out on a routine mission, when an IED …

Military Shrinks Not Shrinking

The Pentagon has told Congress that “due to increased screening referrals and help-seeking in the face of sustained operations,” the number of mental-health professionals working for the military jumped from 43,716 in 2007 to 55,868 in 2009 — a 28 percent increase.

Among those working full time for the military, the total mushroomed …

U.S.S. Tobacco

While the Navy has banned smoking on submarines, it can’t do that aboard surface ships, where most of its sailors go to sea. That’s because, according to this fascinating article in an upcoming issue of the American Journal of Public Health, the tobacco industry convinced Congress to mandate the availability of the cancer sticks aboard …

Big Bucks, Little Oversight, Big Trouble

Much of the billions of dollars U.S. taxpayers are spending rebuilding Afghanistan and Iraq is likely being wasted because no one is ensuring the contractors involved are doing a good job. That’s the bottom line in Monday’s report from the congressionally-mandated Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. More than 90 …

Dissing The Dictator, Libyan Version

In the olden days, like maybe 10 years ago, dissidents in a particular country could only broadcast their disdain for their leaders and plot their ouster through underground cells, clandestinely-posted posters, crude samizdat publications and graffiti. It was tough to reach hundreds of people that way, never mind millions. Well, social …

`No-Fly Zone' Questions

The debate over imposing a so-called “no-fly zone” over Libya to make sure Muammar Gaddafi’s air force can’t strafe his subjects from the skies is now in full swing. From the outside, it seems like a perfect answer: using a dram of airpower to protect helpless innocents on the ground. Of course, it’s never that simple.

The New York

Is al Qaeda History?

As an unprecedented sirocco sweeps across North Africa and the Middle East, something amazing is happening: al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden are being left behind in the dust. Neither Islamic fundamentalism nor hatred of Israel or the United States is generating this force. Young people, linked as never before by technology that didn’t …

The Last Doughboy, R.I.P.

There used to be a newsletter for American veterans of World War I. When I first saw it some two decades or more ago, it noted there were some 4,000 of them still alive. I haven’t seen it in many years — I don’t recall its name, but it might have been The Torch. Amazing that any were still alive, given that their war began in this …

Boeing Lands Air Force Tanker Deal…For Now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The never-ending saga of the Pentagon’s new aerial KC-X tanker came to a halt, at least temporarily, late Thursday as the Defense Department finally announced it would award the $35 billion prize to the Boeing Co. The Defense Department has been trying to buy a new flying gas station for so long, the top Air …

How the Air Force Justifies The New Planes It Wants You to Buy

Buying military gear is complicated, expensive and dangerous — it’s dangerous because every dollar you spend on an unneeded weapon means you’ve lost a dollar that could have been spent on a needed weapon.

That’s what makes Thursday’s report from the Government Accountability Office so interesting. While the government auditors won’t …

Gen. Misconduct?

We’re wrapping up one war, waist-deep in another, overpaying for our national security, inflating the Chinese threat – and Pentagon reporters are consumed trying to figure out if the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was too friendly with a young female aide? The Pentagon’s inspector general found Marine Gen. James …

McChrystal Ball-Gazing

Reading the assessment of the challenges facing the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan just penned by Stan McChrystal – the Army general and Afghan commander fired by President Obama last June for speaking out of school to a reporter for Rolling Stone – makes you realize just how keenly he views the foe:

While a deeply flawed

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