6:44 AM, Sep 30, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
President Obama was counting strokes on the golf course at Fort Belvoir in northern Virginia last Saturday, but the day before a $91,318.76 contract was awarded to count something quite different at Fort Belvoir: bats. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation will conduct the "Bat Population Survey" as part of Fort Belvoir's Threatened and Endangered Species Surveys:
At least part of the reason for the population survey is to determine if the "little brown bat" or other bats should be placed on the endangered species list. Were this to happen, the listing could impact "mission related activities" and "development" on the Army base. The documents say:
The little brown bat is being evaluated for listing under the endangered species act. Listing of this bat or other bats that are known to occur could have impacts on development and mission related activities. This survey is to identify roost locations and collect population information that can be used to monitor the bat populations on the installation in the future. Also, this information will be invaluable if any of the bat species on the installation will be listed under the endangered species act.
Also of interest to the Army in the survey is evidence of "white nose syndrome," which has been devastating bat colonies throughout the country in recent years.
The contractor's duties include "perform[ing] site investigations, preparation of reports and maps to assess the locations of bat roosts, determine the number of bats and species, population density and biological data collection, and population dynamics." The contract term is one year.
10:03 AM, Aug 11, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Can the United States maintain a "limited" military force in Iraq to stop the Islamist militants targeting ethnic minorities in that country? At Politico, Philip Ewing notes how difficult that strategy may be for President Barack Obama:
2:19 PM, Aug 4, 2014 • By ADAM J. WHITE
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.
"So he's a bad father?" "Yes!"9:42 AM, Jun 5, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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."
1:21 PM, Jun 4, 2014 • By DENNIS P. HALPIN
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.
The soldiers in Bowe Bergdahl's platoon speak up.
3:45 PM, Jun 2, 2014 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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.
1:22 PM, Jun 2, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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.
7:00 AM, Jun 2, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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:
Mar 10, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 25 • By GARY SCHMITT and THOMAS DONNELLY
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.
The Army is making great strides reforming ROTC, and it's a task too important to be neglected.5:00 PM, Feb 11, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
The Army’s venerable Reserve Officer Training Corps program is finally getting rebooted.
7:17 AM, Oct 3, 2013 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
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.