Incoming: Reviewing the Previewing of the Review

The Pentagon is forever reviewing everything — from lead-free bullets (a more environmentally-friendly way of killing) to improving chow for America’s ever-expanding Army (on a per-capita BMI scale, of course). But the biggie – for the past generation of Pentagon denizens – has been the QDR, or Quadrennial Defense Review. It’s …


If you read enough stories of war and mayhem, your eyes tend to roll along from start to finish (assuming you get that far). But every once in awhile you’re stopped cold by a sentence, like this one. What brings you up short is that it surfaces without warning in the middle of a pretty positive story, kind of a reader’s IED. This one …

Rule of Law: Unintended Consequences

The New York Times is reporting this morning that the U.S. and its allies are quietly seeking a nation that might become a new home for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in exile. There’s just one teeny-tiny complication (beyond the fact that he has shown no willingness to pull up his [tent] stakes and leave):

Libya: What’s a Superpower To Do?

Hard to imagine a more striking pair of stories to define Battleland’s mission than a pair this morning – one on the front page of the Washington Post, and the second on Page 1 of the New York Times. They’re flip sides of the same coin, and get to the heart of the debate I hope we can have here.

The Post‘s grim headline says it all:

On Seabees…And Building a New Blog

Seabees Caleb Baker and Seaman Eric Hofmans, of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 74, take a recent break as they finish building a school in Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa. Their sense of pride comes through loud and clear. It reminds me of my late father-in-law, who was a Seabee for 42 years. He too built stuff all over the …

Hot Stuff


Always impressive to see young Americans responding to an emergency, like this engine fire Monday  aboard an F-18 during a touch-and-go exercise on the USS Carl Vinson.

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