Pentagon

Afghani-plan

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 …

TM for PTSD

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 …

“The future ain’t what it used to be” — Admiral Yogi Berra

Congress can’t deal with the Pentagon’s annual budget in a timely way, yet it wants the U.S. military to keep churning out regular reports detailing how many ships and airplanes it plans on buying for the next 30 years. The House Armed Services Committee’s investigative subcommittee looked into the topic this week. What was …

The Few, the Proud, the Broken

There’s an easy way to figure out which military service has the toughest basic training — all you have to do is count how many recruits break their legs. Using that standard, there’s no competition: the U.S. Marine Corps crushes its recruits’ lower-leg bones far more often than the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard or Navy.

The data …

Oprah v. Gates: The Long Goodbye

Oprah Winfrey recently concluded her farewell tour as America’s most popular television talk show. Her exit from the show spanned two calendar years, with the farewell season beginning in September 2010.

After heading the Department of Defense for four and a half years, Robert Gates seems intent on following Oprah’s lead. For …

Why So Few Medals of Honor?

The White House has announced that President Obama will award Sergeant First Class Leroy Arthur Petry the Medal of Honor on July 12th. SFC Petry, a Ranger, lost a hand and received other significant wounds during a firefight in Afghanistan during which he tried to throw a hand grenade back at the enemy. (See my colleague Mark Thompson’s …

Different Wars, Same Reaction: Grenade-Throwing Heroes

The White House has announced that Army Staff Sergeant Leroy A. Petry is the second living post-9/11 Medal of Honor recipient (seven others have been awarded posthumously). President Obama is slated to bestow the light-blue-beribboned medal — the nation’s highest — at the White House on July 12. Petry earned the honor for what …

AfPak: Simply Swapping Sanctuaries

The U.S. military has long complained that Taliban and al Qaeda forces have sanctuary inside Pakistan along the Afghan border, and can launch attacks on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and then scoot safely back into Pakistan. So it seems only fair to note, as Long Wars Journal does Wednesday, that al Qaeda and Taliban forces have begun …

Sometimes Tough Telling Friend-from-Foe In Current U.S. Wars

The Pentagon has long had troubles developing an IFF system — a sophisticated electronics box aboard an aircraft that tells the pilot if the blip on her heads-up display represents a friend or foe many miles away (IFF stands for identification friend or foe). Now it seems to be having the same challenge in the wars it’s …

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