World War I in Color
is a documentary designed to make the Great War come alive for a 21st-century audience. The events of 1914-18 are authoritatively narrated by Kenneth Branagh, who presents the military and political overview, while interviews with historians add different perspectives in six 48 minute installments annotated within. [more inside]
Noah Shachtman of Wired has published Bing/Nokia satellite maps
that shows what appears to be a previously unknown US drone airbase deep in the desert in Saudi Arabia. [more inside]
What's life like aboard a nuclear submarine? For starters, here's over eight hours
2, as they took their cameras aboard the USS Wyoming SSBN
back in 2000, co-hosted by Rear Admiral Malcolm Fages and writer Robert Holzer. [more inside]
The permanent collection of the (US) National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago contains more than 2,500 pieces of art by 250 artists, all of which can be seen at NVAM Collection Online
. The site includes biographical material on the artists who created the work. Featured Artwork
. A small selection
. (Via. Images at links in this post may be nsfw, and/or disturbing to some viewers.)
Why We Fight is a series of seven documentary films commissioned by the United States government during World War II whose purpose was to show American soldiers the reason for U.S. involvement in the war. Later on they were also shown to the general U.S. public to persuade them to support American involvement in the war.
Each of them is in the common domain having been produced by the US government, available online, and linked below the fold: [more inside]
has three Youtube channels: The eponymous AIRBOYD features 2000+ videos for "aviation and aerospace enthusiasts
. Then there's the Nuclear Vault
: Vintage Military, War and News Videos, with 1200+ full-length documentaries, news reels and other assorted footage, including 200 episodes of "The Big Picture (Army Signal Corps)
" and a variety of Atomic and Nuclear energy films
. Last but not least is US Auto Industry
, an archive of over 450 vintage automobile films
, including commercials from Buick
. [more inside]
"Every day in the U.S., about 500 people lose a limb. About 1,800 amputation surgeries are performed each year in Oklahoma. More than 1,600 of those — about 90 percent — are lower body amputations. So every day in Oklahoma, four people lose part or all of a leg." (Nationally, the most common procedure is toe amputation.) "These are the stories of four people living in Oklahoma — a mother, a senior, a Marine and a student — all living life on at least one prosthetic leg": Standing Tall [more inside]
Between 2004 and 2005, "Rocky Mountain News reporter Jim Sheeler and photographer Todd Heisler spent a year with the Marines stationed at Aurora's Buckley Air Force Base who have found themselves called upon to notify families of the deaths of their sons in Iraq. In each case in this story, the families agreed to let Sheeler and Heisler chronicle their loss and grief. They wanted people to know their sons, the men and women who brought them home, and the bond of traditions more than 200 years old that unite them. Though readers are led through the story by the white-gloved hand of Maj. Steve Beck, he remains a reluctant hero. He is, he insists, only a small part of the massive mosaic that is the Marine Corps." The full story
ran on Veteran's Day, 2005 and won two Pulitzer Prizes: one for Feature Photography
, another for feature writing
in 2006. A nice single-page version of one section: Katherine Cathey and 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey
.) The Rocky Mountain News closed in 2009. [more inside]
A Tragedy of Errors.
On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools
in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail
in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA
of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature
provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
USMC Warrant Officer (ret.) Michael D. Fay served as a combat artist from 2000 through January 2010 under the History Division of the Marine Corps University.
He once described his orders from them as "Go to War. Do Art
." Fay was deployed several times to Iraq and Afghanistan, and has been keeping a blog of his sketches since 2005
. [more inside]
Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt,"
told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside]
An Arlington Lady does not cry. An Arlington Lady is not a professional mourner. She is not a grief counselor, according to their strict Standard Operating Procedure. She is there simply so that somebody is.
But before the Arlington Ladies, there was Gladys Rose Vandenberg, wife of Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg
. Starting in 1948, she was a constant attendant, sometimes the only one to join the the chaplain and the honor guard
. Her dedication spread to others and to other branches of the US armed forces, and continues to this day
. [more inside]
The New York Times examines
several reports of sexual harassments and assaults on women in the US Military. In the article's comments, current and former troops chime in to suggest that this is an inevitable result of including women in combat zones
. [more inside]
The Department of Veterans Affairs has reported that military scientists tested hundreds of chemical and biological substances on them, including VX, tabun, soman, sarin, cyanide, LSD, PCP, and World War I-era blister agents like phosgene and mustard. The full scope of the tests, however, may never be known. As a CIA official explained to the GAO, referring to the agency's infamous MKULTRA mind-control experiments, "The names of those involved in the tests are not available because names were not recorded or the records were subsequently destroyed." Besides, said the official, some of the tests involving LSD and other psychochemical drugs "were administered to an undetermined number of people without their knowledge."
is the name given to a group of female soliders, (and the documentary
about them) who were some of the first women
in modern American warfare to engage in frontline combat — something that is officially forbidden by the military. "The
female support soliders were assigned to the 1st Engineer Battalion and they were recruited to accompany Marine units during raids. Originally, the female soldiers were there to search and detain any women they came upon and to guard the unit's Arabic interpreter. Over time, however, as the situation in Ramadi deteriorated, the Marine units transitioned into a more offensive role, baiting insurgents into firefights in order to draw them out. Until officers higher up the chain got spooked over the possibility of a female soldier killed in combat and quietly disbanded the unit, members of Team Lioness were often right in the thick of things, including some of the fiercest urban firefights of the Iraq War."
Did you know that two weeks ago - last Valentine's Day - a pact was signed
in Texas allowing cross-border military activity between Canada and the US? I'd supply more links
but there's not much
Dinos' might in army sights. The Comanche National Grasslands
located near The Sex Change Capital of the World
is under threat by an expanding Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site
[attached to Fort Carson
]. Home to countless fossils
, and Native American cave art
, the Purgatoire River
could end up like The Stronghold Unit of the Badlands
in South Dakota with one of the largest dinosaur tracks
site in the world damaged or destroyed and rendered inaccessible to scientists.
Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798 - 2004
This report lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its armed forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes. It was compiled in part from various older lists and is intended primarily to provide a rough survey of past US military ventures abroad, without reference to the magnitude of the given instance noted. The listing often contains references, especially from 1980 forward, to continuing military deployments especially US military participation in multinational operations associated with NATO or the United Nations. Most of these post-1980 instances are summaries based on Presidential reports to Congress related to the War Powers Resolution. A comprehensive commentary regarding any of the instances listed is not undertaken here.
The argument I make in my book is that what I describe as the new American militarism arises as an unintended consequence of the reaction to the Vietnam War and more broadly, to the sixties... If some people think that the sixties constituted a revolution, that revolution produced a counterrevolution, launched by a variety of groups that had one thing in common: they saw revival of American military power, institutions, and values as the antidote to everything that in their minds had gone wrong. None of these groups — the neoconservatives, large numbers of Protestant evangelicals, politicians like Ronald Reagan, the so-called defense intellectuals, and the officer corps — set out saying, “Militarism is a good idea.” But I argue that this is what we’ve ended up with: a sense of what military power can do, a sort of deference to the military, and an attribution of virtue to the men and women who serve in uniform. Together this constitutes such a pernicious and distorted attitude toward military affairs that it qualifies as militarism. An interview with Andrew Bacevich
, international relations professor and former Army colonel, and author of The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War
--and here is a review
. Recently by Bacevich: We Aren't Fighting to Win Anymore - U.S. troops in Iraq are only trying to buy time
John Edwards: "No military draft if Democrats win"
- which comes as a relief to me today as my own son turns eighteen. However, as it stands, the Selective Service System has been ramping up its ability to begin a draft as early as Spring 2005
, especially a possibility should Congressional Bills S. 89
and H.R. 163
, known as the "Universal National Service Act of 2003
" pass in the House and Senate. Many people who have been in the military feel a draft would actually degrade the quality of our military forces
. Nonetheless, this time around, a draft would include men and women. And the Selective Service is also looking for a few good people to become a Selective Service System Local Board Member
, one of the tasks of which is to guarantee
"that each CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR is properly CLASSIFIED, PLACED, and
On the night of April 27th, 1805,
US Marine Lt. Presley O'Bannon
led a ragtag army of Greek, Arab and Berber mercenaries in a desperate charge
into the teeth of the fortifications of
(now Libya). The
defenders inexplicably turned and ran, leaving behind loaded cannons which,
turned around, secured victory for the US in its first land battle in the old
In recognition of his bravery, Lt. O'Bannon was given a
(no, the other
) had led O'Bannon,
six other US Marines, and the five hundred odd mercenaries across six hundred
miles of North African desert in order to replace the usurping
of Tripoli, Yusef, with the rightful heir, his pro-American older brother
Shortly after the battle, Yusef reached a peace with Col. Tobias Lear, the
American Consul to Tripoli, and hostilities between the US and Tripoli ceased. Eaton, O'Bannon, and
Hamet Karamanli, along with the Marines and most of the Greeks, departed
aboard American warships, leaving the Muslim mercenaries behind in Derna.
Special forces 'prepare for Iran attack'
British and American intelligence and special forces have been put on alert for a conflict with Iran within the next 12 months, as fears grow that Tehran is building a nuclear weapons programme.
The pursuit of permanent military supremacy.
"The question facing all Americans, therefore, is whether the expenditure of hundreds (later thousands) of billions of dollars to defend against hypothetical enemies that may not arise until thirty or forty years from now is a sensible precaution, as contended by the President and Defense Secretary, or whether it eventually will undermine US security by siphoning off funds from vital health and educational programs and by creating a global environment of fear and hostility that will produce exactly the opposite of what is intended by all these expenditures."