Politics

Sequestration. So Far…

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction’s failure to come up with a dime – never mind $1.2 trillion – in deficit reduction over the coming decade has set the stage for both tragedy – if you’re a defense secretary given to supersonic flights of rhetoric – and farce, if you’re an American taxpayer.

That failure …

War (un)Planning

You can always tell the rookie Pentagon reporter. He, or she, is the one who whispers: “They told me they’re planning for war with Iran!” That’s when the vets around the building have to say: “They’ve been doing that for decades. Somewhere along these 17 miles of corridors, they have plans for everything.”

At least until last …

Missile Defense: The Sky Continues To Fall…

Many mornings you can hear Boeing boasting over the Washington airwaves about how its ground-based missile system is protecting the United States. From what? There is no nation primed to attack the U.S. with I.C.B.M.s — or even close to it — in any military significant way. Yet we’re spending billions of dollars annually against …

Who is at War?

I arrived in Afghanistan about nine years ago, in the first week of November 2002. It took a couple days to get there. We left Fort Benning and drove to Atlanta. From there we flew commercial to Baltimore and had a seven-hour layover. My wife drove up to the airport and we spent the day together before she dropped me off to catch a …

An Army Apart: The Widening Military-Civilian Gap

The U.S. military and American society are drifting apart. It’s tough inside the civilian world to discern the drift. But troops in all the military services sense it, smell it — and talk about it. So do their superiors. We have a professional military of volunteers that has been stoically at war for more than a decade. But as the …

Is This Fair? Or a Cheap Shot (Across the Bow)?

Despite our best efforts, we keep hearing that we’re a year out from the next presidential election. Not sure if that means it’s time to start paying attention, but we’ll be citing some of what the candidates say about defense in the coming months. Last week, GOP candidate Mitt Romney went after the Navy:

Let me give you an

Turning Off Doomsday

A flurry of speculation in recent days that the dreaded doomsday cuts that would hit the Pentagon if the so-called super committee fails to come up with $1.2 trillion in savings are unlikely to happen. Says Saturday’s New York Times, echoing similar reports in Politico and the Washington Post:

Several members of Congress, especially

Impact of U.S. Troop Drawdown in Afghanistan Already Being Felt

Bill Ardolino over at Small Wars Journal reports the impact the already-underway U.S. troop pullout from Afghanistan is having in the violent eastern part of the country. He doesn’t like what he sees:

…in truth, the Obama administration’s accelerated drawdown of US forces has undercut a needed infusion of forces from RC South to

Why Are Today’s Anti-War Protests So Muted?

For folks of a certain age, the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations bring back memories of Chicago (“The whole world is watching”) 1968, and the anti-war protest I covered in Boston. How come there is scant protest about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars now?

Is it because they have been waged so brilliantly and economically that …

Winding Down the War: A Cynical Look Ahead

It appears that we are finally withdrawing from Iraq after eight years there. It is about time. We went in with the stated objective of finding and destroying nuclear weapons and Iraq’s other weapons of mass destruction. We also decided to topple the Saddam Hussein regime with the stated objective of bringing democracy (and

Libya’s Lessons

Moammar Gaddafi’s death makes for an interesting punctuation mark in the ever-evolving U.S. approach to war. The key choice: should it be an exclamation point (“We got him! And not a single American died!) or a question mark (“Did we just get lucky? Is this a template for how the U.S. should wage future wars?”).

We shouldn’t …

A Terrorist by Any Other Name

Normally I would have let this go. But, wow, sometimes the level of stupidity demands a comment.

Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh took President Obama to task for sending troops to central Africa in an effort to take out Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army. This in itself isn’t newsworthy. Limbaugh would take the President to task …

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