Mark Thompson

Pulitzer Prize-winner Mark Thompson has covered national security in Washington since 1979, and for Time since 1994. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkThompson_DC

Articles from Contributor

Battleland Battleland

There's No Business Like the Arms Business

Earlier this week, Congress learned U.S. arms sales around the world fell by nearly half from 2008 to 2009 — from $38.1 billion to $22.6 billion. Apparently the world’s flagging economy affects air forces and ministries of defence just as much as it does Main Street car dealers and hardware stores. But taking some of the edge off that …

Battleland Battleland

A Growing Trend: Special Courts for War Vets

The nation tends to calculate the cost of wars in blood and treasure — how many of our troops have been killed and wounded, and how much did the Treasury and taxpayer have to spend — or borrow — to prosecute the campaign. One thing a decade of fighting reveals clearly are the hidden costs of combat that only become evident as they …

Battleland Battleland

At Last, A Living Hero…

On Thursday, the White House announced the seventh Medal of Honor to be awarded to troops killed in either Afghanistan or Iraq. No living soldier, sailor, airman or Marine had earned the medal since Vietnam, something that has raised question about the military’s MOH-vetting process among veterans, the military and Congress. But the same …

Battleland Battleland

The Press as Accelerant

The Associated Press is kind of the nation’s arbiter of what’s happening. It has the most reporters in the most places, both here and abroad. On Thursday, the AP’s Tom Kent, the deputy managing editor for standards and production, sent out a memo saying the wire service would do its best to play down Terry Jones’ Koran-burning, if it …

Battleland Battleland

"What If" Redux…

What if they gave a war and nobody came? It was a popular saying during the late 1960s, as the Vietnam war continued and the draft, alas, made it a rhetorical question.

But it does make you wonder: what if they threatened to burn a Koran and no one paid attention?

Battleland Battleland

Illuminating the Dark Afghan Tunnel

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen slipped in and out of the White House Tuesday like some ancient daguerreotype, his brief visit memorialized only in still photographs — no video, no reporters, no questions, no answers. Perhaps President Obama’s handlers didn’t want another round of bashing like last week’s, when critics — …

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