Special Operations

Area 51, Revisited

Why does people’s skepticism go out the window when it comes to military matters — especially any that are secret? Granted, the recent dispatch of Osama bin Laden does make the U.S. military look all-but-omnipotent. But it’s important to note that grand success was striking…because it was so rare.

Annie Jacobson’s new book — …

The Good bin Laden-Busting SEALs of Approval


OK — admit it. It’s been awhile since the nation had such a sense of accomplishment. But the Navy SEALs — admired not only for their bravery, but for their willingness to do so invisibly — have touched a lot of folks around the country. What lawmaker …

Why Wasn’t bin Laden Where We Thought He Was?

If our dealings with Pakistan are hampered by the same flawed assumptions we used in our hunt for Osama bin Laden, the road ahead for Washington and Islamabad is likely to be rocky. Over at Small Wars Journal, Will Chalmers, a research assistant at the Centre for Security, Armed Forces and Society at the Royal Military College of …

Whew…Secret SEALs Can Win Secret Medals

Stars and Stripes’ Rumor Doctor(the U.S. military has just about as many rumors as it does secrets, and believe me — the rumors tend to be more interesting) Jeff Schogol was told that the military doesn’t award secret commendations. Does that mean the SEALs who took out Osama bin Laden — in addition to not being able to …

The Outing of the SEALs Has SecDef Ticked Off

Remember when then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld got that question about “hillbilly armor” in 2004 from a soldier in Kuwait complaining about lousy protection for troops in the war in Iraq? And Rumsfeld’s timeless response: “As you know, you go to war with the Army you have.”

It turns out the question, from a member of …

Dear Diary: Which bin Laden Scares You Most?

The U.S. government can’t make up its mind when it comes to Osama bin Laden. Last Saturday, it held an unusual press conference where it released a snippet of video showing a feeble, aging terrorist staring at his flickering image on a small TV screen. On Wednesday, government officials were whispering about bin Laden’s bloody diary …

Inside Navy SEAL Team 6

The first rule of Navy SEAL Team 6 is you don’t talk about SEAL Team 6. In fact, the U.S. military has never publicly acknowledged its existence. But over the past week, tales of the Navy’s most elite squadron have blazed like wildfire, as the SEALs’ takedown of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, has generated white-hot …

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