When Ash Carter stood at the podium on December 3 to reveal the most profound social change in military policy in at least a half-century, he stood alone. Absent from the defense secretary's announcement that all ground combat jobs were to be opened to women were the uniformed service chiefs and their civilian service secretaries, and especially conspicuous by his nonattendance was General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs and Carter's military counterpart.
In one respect, Carter's solitude might seem strange.Read more
Back in the day when it was fashionable for the press to criticize the president and senior military officials for mismanaging a war--that is, from 2003 to 2009--such stories often focused on the colonels, majors, and captains who saw firsthand the practical problems with their superiors' approach and who pushed hard to change policy based on that hard-fought experience.Read more
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough got in a heated debate with colleague Chuck Todd Thursday morning over whether the father of recently released POW Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl should be subject to criticism over his actions. Scarborough criticized the Obama administration for including Bob Bergdahl in a Rose Garden announcement on Saturday to announce the release of Bowe in exchange for five Taliban officials who had been detained at Guantanamo Bay.
“Joe, Joe, let's not. Don’t criticize the parents,” Todd replied. “Don’t criticize the parents in here."Read more
A U.S. Army soldier goes missing at night from a remote post on the edge of enemy territory. Depressed and anxious, he has expressed doubts about the U.S. mission and disillusionment with the war. He allegedly leaves behind a note recording these doubts. There are some reports that he consumes alcohol before he disappears. He crosses enemy lines and is detained by hostile forces who subsequently publicly announce his conversion to their anti-American cause.Read more
The Obama administration is facing mounting questions about the controversial prisoner swap that freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from jihadists in Pakistan in exchange for the transfer and ultimate release of five senior Taliban commanders previously held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.Read more
Six American soldiers died in their search for Bowe Bergdahl, the Army sergeant freed by the Taliban in exchange for five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay. Time magazine's Mark Thompson provides the names, photos, and stories of the men who did not return from their mission: staff sergeant Clayton Bowen, private first class Morris Walker, staff sergeant Kurt Curtiss, second lieutenant Darryn Andrews, staff sergeant Michael Murphrey, and private first class Matthew Martinek.Read more
Several men who served with Army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl in Afghanistan say Bergdahl deserted in 2009 before being captured by the Taliban. Bergdahl's release this weekend as part of an exchange with the U.S. for five top Taliban operatives who were being held in Guantanamo Bay has prompted those servicemen to speak out. Jake Tapper at CNN reports:Read more
America’s chattering classes seem at last to have awoken to the fact that the U.S. military ain’t what it used to be. Even the New York Times allows that “the Pentagon’s proposals to reduce the Army to pre-World War II levels” could “seem unsettling to a nation that prides itself on having the world’s most capable military.” It could also unsettle the world, and most of all those allies who rely on the United States to keep a variety of dangers at bay.Read more
The partial federal government shutdown is certainly serving to illuminate the stark divide between what everyday Americans care about—being free to visit monuments to American heroes on the National Mall, watching the Air Force-Navy football game—and what the modern Democratic party cares about—forcing other people to buy health insurance against their will.Read more
Sometimes timing is everything.Read more
The Pentagon has been on a long and expensive quest to make its personnel invisible. Or something close to it. So new camouflage patterns have been researched. Several of them, in fact. At least one for every branch of the service, including the Air Force, most of whose people do not need to hide from anyone. Still, as David A.Read more
Stephen D. Abney, the chief public affairs official for the Army’s Joint Munitions Command, recently sent a message to all 6,000 employees he speaks for: Don’t criticize President Barack Obama or any political party to members of the press. The message was received by civilian contractors as well.Read more
For three years, a private citizen named Steve LeBard has led the effort to build a privately funded memorial in Orcutt, California—a tranquil small town located on the Golden State’s gorgeous Central Coast—to honor military veterans. And for the better part of those three years, he has run into a toxic blend of political correctness, anti-Americanism, and bureaucratic senselessness. Today, the memorial, which was to be built with private funds on a small piece of public land, remains unbuilt.Read more
On Thursday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the U.S. military would lift its long-standing ban on women in combat. The national media, as can be expected, is popping the champagne corks in celebration.Read more
The official Twitter account of the United States Army sent out a message to its more than 186,000 followers recognizing the 47th anniversary of the "first public burning of a draft card." Here's the tweet:Read more
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