The Looming Taliban Two-Step

The White House has announced that President Obama on June 22 is going to reveal the way forward in Afghanistan — which, boiled down, means how many of the 100,000 U.S. troops now there will be coming home in short order. Then, some 24 hours later, the Senate Intelligence Committee plans to hold a confirmation hearing for General …

PTSD and Veterans: Jobs Are What Is Needed

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been a controversial diagnosis since its inception. Originally called by many names (“compensation neurosis”), it was not officially given the name PTSD until well after the end of the Vietnam War. By then, many veterans with PTSD also were bedeviled with substance abuse, joblessness, and …

Reinforcements Dispatched to Afghanistan to Salvage Soldiers’ Brains

The battle against the never-ending detonations of roadside bombs in Afghanistan — which is killing, as well as maiming, thousands of U.S. troops each year — has signed up two new recruits: a pair of state-of-the-art MRI machines are going to begin operating in Afghanistan in hopes of detecting, and treating, traumatic brain …

Iraq: Marine Pilot Lands…in Federal Prison

Sherlock Holmes famously spoke of the dog that didn’t bark as a key clue in a case of Silver Blaze, a missing racehorse. Then there’s the case of the supposedly missing cash intended to rebuild Iraq. It too involves a criminal case, as well as something absent. In this case, the perpetrator – a Marine jet pilot – seems to have …

Suspicious Vehicle Closes Roads Near Pentagon

UPDATE: Never mind. Move along. Nothing suspicious in backpack or car, police say. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Police took a person into custody Friday morning in connection with a vehicle containing a suspicious device stopped close to the Pentagon. Pentagon police say they are looking for accomplices who may have fled the …

Dr. Frankenstein — or Military Miracle Worker?

A U.S. military doctor deployed to Iraq subjected troops suffering from traumatic brain injuries to treatment with an unapproved drug, in which he had a financial stake, that may have harmed them, Pentagon investigators report. But a colleague of the doctor insists the probe is a perplexing witch hunt — and that the medication helps …

Harrier Jump Jets For Sale: Cheap!

Strange little story in Britain, where the Telegraph reports that the UK military is selling its used AV-8B Harrier jump jets to the U.S. Marines for spare parts. After pumping $1.6 billion into the jets over the past decade, the Ministry of Defence reportedly got only $55 million for 40 of the aging warplanes. Not true, the MOD

Afghanistan: A “Strategy of Tactics”?

Tom Barnett raised some eyebrows Wednesday with his grim prognosis on Battleland on the U.S. role in Afghanistan:

It’s a dependency – pure and simple. The longer we stay, the more we’ll infantilize the system. Ten years in and virtually everything we’ve set about to create is still described as “fragile” – meaning it collapses and

Army Uniforms: Everything But Uniform

First, the Army ditches the black beret for most soldiers at most times. Now it’s abandoning the wearing of combat fatigues inside the Pentagon. “Is it bad that this excites me more than the death of Bin Laden?” one soldier, apparently from Fort Drum, N.Y., writes on an Army Facebook page. “Kidding…Kind of.”

A decade after 9/11, …

Bless the “Battlefield Angels”

Soldiers call them “Doc,” but Scott McGaugh calls the military’s medics “Battlefield Angels” in his new book by the same name. Not actually doctors — but not really nurses, either –they’re out on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq, armed with guns as well as gauze, and are usually the first ones tending to the physical and …

Signs of a Changing World…Or Not

Every once in awhile, a spate of stories makes you sit up and pay attention. A trio just flitted across my screen:

— Vietnam wants U.S. help in defusing its growing tensions with China over Beijing’s encroachment into the resource-rich South China Sea, the Financial Times reports.

— Great Britain no longer has a navy capable of …

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