PTSD? “There’s An App For That”

Troops back from war and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder can download a new app put together by the Veterans Affairs and Defense departments to help them cope. PTSD Coach lets users track their symptoms and links them to local agencies that can offer assistance. It provides accurate information and individual strategies …

Deciphering Obama’s Pentagon Remarks

President Obama was sharpening his Pentagon ax in remarks at a town hall meeting in northern Virginia earlier today. Defense contractors hang on every word when the government is in a cutting mood like this. They’re eager to adopt any strategy to blunt the impact of the coming cuts on their programs. So let’s look at what the President …

Chilling Report From Afghanistan

A Taliban suicide bomber reached deep into the Afghan defense ministry Monday — one of the most secure buildings in the country — before he was discovered, The Long War Journal reports.

The bomber reached the third floor of the Ministry of Defense and came close to the Afghan defense minister’s inner circle. He was stopped by Afghan

Troops’ Mental Health: Bills To Come

Here’s a sentence in a new report, The Psychological Costs of War: Military Combat and Mental Health, that should give any soldier, or soldier’s loved one, or taxpayer, pause:

Our preferred estimates suggest that combat-induced PTSD in the Global War on Terror imposes two-year costs of $1.5 to $2.7 billion on the U.S. health care system.

Surprise! Weapons’ Costs Continue to Rise

They’re called “SARs” inside the Pentagon, and they’re not referring to what the doctors called severe acute respiratory syndrome nearly a decade ago. Nope, these are the Pentagon’s quarterly reports on how well the military is doing at buying weapons. The latest SARs – it stands for Selected Acquisition Reports in the Pentagon – …

Tempest in a Teapot

Greg Mortenson and his book, Three Cups of Tea, may literally be, alas, a parable, or perhaps a fable, for the modern age. Now that 60 Minutes has asserted that his accounts of his days in deepest Pakistan were fabricated or exaggerated, there are the denials from the author and the bitter aftertaste of another idol smashed.

Of …

The Strange Case of the (Nearby) But Missing F-22s Over Libya

So the Air Force’s latest and greatest warplane – the $412 million per copy F-22 – has now been MIA in Iraq, Afghanistan and – most surprisingly – in imposing the no-fly zone over Libya. How come? Especially when it was already in the neighborhood on the eve of that conflict? It raises a whole new version of the so-called …

“The Libyan Stalemate”

That’s the take-no-prisoners title of the lead editorial in Sunday’s Washington Post. It could have been written by many of the national-security wonks I’ve spoken to in the past several weeks, both inside and outside of government:

Let’s see if we can sum this up: Mr. Obama is insisting that NATO’s air operation, already four weeks

Army Mental Health: Better Screening Yields Better Results

Just how closely should the nation be screening its troops for mental fitness before they’re shipped off to war? We are seeing, again and again, that bad things — depression, divorce, suicide, murder — can happen in combat’s wake. If there is a way to weed out — that may not be the right word — the folks who might be driven to such …

Back Home: Traumatic Heart Injuries

Traumatic brain injury — TBI — is one of the current plagues affecting the U.S. military. Medical care has gotten so good that troops can survive even a penetrating brain wound. But they’re never the same. That’s what led Shannon Maxwell to write Our Daddy Is Invincible for her two kids, 7 and 10, after her husband — their father …

Advice To The Next Defense Secretary

As Defense Secretary Robert Gates heads toward the exit, there’s a blivet‘s worth of challenges facing his successor. Unlike Gates, the next secretary of defense won’t be following the unpopular Don Rumsfeld. Just as Jerry Ford benefited from not being Richard Nixon, Gates benefited from not being Rumsfeld. Despite such historical …

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