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"Caje, take the point"

TV's longest-running World War II drama, Combat! aired on ABC between 1962 and 1967. "It was really a collection of complex 50-minute movies. Salted with battle sequences, they follow [US Army King Company's travails during the invasion of France, starting with the landing at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 -- D-Day. It's] a gritty, ground-eye view of infantrymen trying to salvage their humanity and survive." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 2, 2013 - 33 comments

Those years have accomplished very little.

The A-Team Killings
"Last spring, the remains of 10 missing Afghan villagers were dug up outside a U.S. Special Forces base – was it a war crime or just another episode in a very dirty war?"
posted by andoatnp on Nov 6, 2013 - 16 comments

FYI, We Just Won a War in the Philippines

Did you know the U.S. was at war in the Philippines? An excerpt from David Axe's new book. Previously.
posted by destrius on Jul 1, 2013 - 15 comments

Other than Honorable

"A Gazette investigation shows an increasing number of soldiers, including wounded combat veterans, are being kicked out of the service for misconduct, often with no benefits, as the Army downsizes after a decade of war."
"Disposable: Surge in discharges includes wounded soldiers"
"Left Behind: No break for the wounded"
"Locked Away: Army struggles with wounded soldiers"
posted by andoatnp on Jun 2, 2013 - 26 comments

"Never, ever let anybody use your gender as an excuse."

"Women get flustered under fire. They're too fragile, too emotional. They lack the ferocity required to take a life. They can't handle pain. They're a distraction, a threat to cohesion, a provocative tease to close-quartered men. These are the sort of myths you hear from people who oppose the U.S. military's evolving new rules about women in combat. But for women who have already been in combat, who have earned medals fighting alongside men, the war stories they tell don't sound a thing like myths" [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 25, 2013 - 49 comments

Another Hard Day of Trying to Stay Alive

Almost as soon as we got back to Dash-e Towp, I overheard some U.S. officers loudly complaining about the inability of Afghan soldiers to make appointments on time. Afghan soldiers do have difficulty making appointments on time, it’s true. They also don’t like to stand in straight lines or dress according to regulation or march in step or do so many of the things intrinsic to a Western notion of professional soldiering. When a lieutenant calls a formation of Afghan privates to attention, they will inevitably resemble, as my drill sergeant used to say, “a soup sandwich.” But they will also accept a much higher level of risk than any coalition force ever has. Their ranks are filled with tough and brave men who run toward the fight without body armor or helmets or armored vehicles and sleep on the frozen ground without sleeping bags and dig up I.E.D.’s with a pickax and often go hungry and seldom complain. - A week in the life of an Afghan National Army battalion, on its own in the wilderness. (NYTimes)
posted by beisny on Jan 26, 2013 - 13 comments

Women in combat

Today, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will announce that the Pentagon has lifted its 19 year old ban on women serving in combat roles in the military. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 24, 2013 - 73 comments

"You can cause a lot of discomfort and some people will talk but interrogation is not about talking. It’s about the search for the truth."

"But the technique that all of us in Aden listened to agape was a method that had been developed allegedly very recently, which was to suspend the prisoner in a tank of liquid gelatine which was at 94.8 degrees Fahrenheit. Naked. With your arms and legs tied and your head encased in a sort of diver’s helmet, through which you were breathing. You were hung into this tank, so all you could hear was the [breathing noise] of your own breath. And in theory you would go bonkers. Because you didn’t know which way was up, you had no sense." -Interview with British Interrogator #1 [more inside]
posted by univac on Oct 21, 2012 - 57 comments

Aye mere watan ke logo

Given how little thought India’s contribution to the World Wars gets in our collective historical memory, it is almost strange to think that in the First World War India made the largest contribution to the war effort out of all of Britain’s colonies and dominions. Close to 1,700,000 Indians – combatants and non-combatants – participated in WWI. My own area of interest is India’s role in the Mesopotamian theatre. [more inside]
posted by infini on Jul 8, 2012 - 7 comments

"The biennial exposition, said to be the largest in Asia"

India's DEFEXPO 2012, is 'not a carnival in the truest sense', but rather ' the seventh in the series of biennial Land, Naval and Internal Security Systems Exhibition . . . clearly steering the path of steady growth . . . receiving overwhelming and unprecedented international response.' As for arms dealers? 'On arms dealers, the minister [India’s Defence Minister AK Antony] insisted, “There are none I am aware of.”' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 12, 2012 - 3 comments

Chrysler Blue from World War II

"Tanks Are Mighty Fine Things!" And Other Tales Of Truthiness... At the end of World War II, Chrysler sent small hardbound books to shareholders chronicling ways the company had contributed to the war effort. Two have now been placed online at the Chrysler Imperial Club's website: "Tanks are Mighty Fine Things" and "A War Job 'Thought Impossible' (The story of the Chrysler-Sperry Gyro-Compass)" (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 6, 2011 - 15 comments

"They asked us who we were, and we told them we were civilians from Kijran district."

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-obtained transcripts of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
posted by zarq on Apr 10, 2011 - 59 comments

More Truths to Handle

German news magazine Der Spiegel has published trophy photos taken by a U.S. Army "kill team" in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by clarknova on Mar 22, 2011 - 193 comments

.

Today is the 8th Anniversary of the beginning of the War in Iraq. Protesters around the country are trying to bring attention to our nation's continued involvement.
posted by whimsicalnymph on Mar 20, 2011 - 38 comments

Thanks for your service, killer.

War veteran barred from college campus for frank words on killing. After publishing essay on addiction to war, Charles Whittington must obtain psychological evaluation before returning to classes
posted by fixedgear on Nov 24, 2010 - 115 comments

A G.I.'s WWII Memoir

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]
posted by zarq on Nov 23, 2010 - 7 comments

The Battle of Stalingrad

In the scale of its intensity, its destructiveness and its horror, Stalingrad has no parallel. It engaged the full strength of the two biggest armies in Europe and could fit into no lesser framework than that of a life-and-death conflict which encompasses the earth. - The New York Times, February 4, 1943 [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 27, 2010 - 61 comments

The Future of Border Defense: Robot Sentries

The Korean DMZ (pdf) / PLZ has been a hot tourist attraction for years, featuring must-see sites like the Third Infiltration Tunnel, Dora Observatory, the Dora Mountain Train Station, the Freedom Bridge and the Imjingak Tourist Site, complete with its statue of Harry Truman. And now, South Korea's border with North Korea -- the most heavily militarized border on Earth, -- will be patrolled by killer robots. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 15, 2010 - 50 comments

A Russian army recruit's scrap book

Selections from a handmade military discharge scrap book and comic made by a USSR army recruit, 1984-1986.
posted by Rumple on Jan 22, 2010 - 5 comments

"When the day's activities include the likelihood of getting your brains shot out, maybe a little slap and tickle - while not desirable - is not the end of the world."

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]
posted by oinopaponton on Dec 28, 2009 - 138 comments

How An American Soldier Is Made

This is how an American soldier is made. A fascinating photo essay that details 27 months in the life of new US Army recruit Ian Fisher. It chronicles his recruitment, induction, training, deployment and finally, his return from combat.
posted by Effigy2000 on Nov 3, 2009 - 65 comments

"Meet the Afghan Army: Is It a Figment of Washington's Imagination?"

"Meet the Afghan Army: Is It a Figment of Washington's Imagination?"
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 21, 2009 - 55 comments

LTTE Is No Excuse For Killing Vanni Civilians

"A young mother is injured and her three month old baby killed by shell fragments as she breastfeeds the child in the government declared no fire zone. Parents hide their children in roughly dug bunkers to escape LTTE press gangs who comb the no-fire zone for conscripts. A woman loses her husband to sniper fire and the toddler he was carrying too drowns when they attempt to wade across a lagoon to escape the no-fire zone. A father is shot in the head by LTTE members as he attempted to flee with his family." - The University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) discuss the situation in Vanni, Sri Lanka, in their 47th information bulletin.
posted by chunking express on Apr 17, 2009 - 25 comments

“There’s culture shock, and then there’s the culture shock of moving to a country that started a war in your home.”

"The war has uprooted 4.7 million people from their homes. So where are they?" With the election of Obama and the economic crisis, the topic of Iraq has fallen by the wayside. As hard as things may be right now, Iraqis have been going through far worse for years now. If you're curious about what they have to say, hear them tell it in their own words. Iraqi Refugee Stories. [more inside]
posted by wander on Mar 23, 2009 - 16 comments

Large and white.

The Fovant badges, "an historic and unique cluster of military badges cut into the chalk hills of Wiltshire", are one of many hill figure sites in the UK. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Jan 31, 2009 - 4 comments

to take brass and fire into his mouth

Army reports highest rate of soldier suicides for three decades in 2008. [more inside]
posted by batmonkey on Jan 29, 2009 - 20 comments

Anthropology Goes to War, and Bad Things Happen

Paula Loyd, a 36 year old anthropologist and US Army reservist, is the third social scientist to be killed within the last 8 months while working for the US Army's controversial Human Terrain System project in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by fourcheesemac on Jan 9, 2009 - 63 comments

Battlemind

Battlemind: Armor for Your Mind is a U.S. Army website designed to help, in part, families deal with deployment, including a series of cartoons and videos intended for children whose parents may be sent to or be returning from warzones. Part of the Army's Behavioral Health program, these give intriguing insight into military culture. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Jul 29, 2008 - 6 comments

Први светски рат

Prvi svetski rat - Gritty and poignant Serbian postcards from the First World War. Just one of the seriously interesting (e.g. check out the collection of 78s) holdings at the Digital National Library of Serbia.
posted by tellurian on Jul 20, 2008 - 12 comments

The War Will Be Televised

Like a YouTube for soldiers in the Middle East, this site boasts lots of large explosions, night vision footage, dawn raids, night-time firefights, desert shootouts, and convoy ambushes. There is one film of a failed IED that is breathtaking. Astonishing movies, whether you're for or against the war. [more inside]
posted by Sully on Nov 17, 2007 - 35 comments

Abu Ghraib Interrogator Becomes Conscientious Objector

A riveting ten-minute interview with playwright and former US Army interrogator Joshua Casteel. He discusses how a particular interrogation with an Iraqi prisoner--and an exchange of views on Islam and Christianity--motivated him to leave the armed forces and become a conscientious objector.
posted by dbarefoot on Nov 14, 2007 - 42 comments

Meeting Resistance

Know Thine Enemy. "In a video Op-Ed by documentary filmmakers Molly Bingham and Steve Connors, Iraqis explain the roots of the insurgency." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 18, 2007 - 15 comments

"And I am even supposed to love our enemies.”

"Killing others is not loving them.” --meet US Army Captain Peter D. Brown, just granted Conscientious Objector status due to his religious beliefs and honorably discharged after first being denied and taking them to court---only 224 applicants were approved for it during 02-06, out of 2.3 million serving. [more inside]
posted by amberglow on Oct 18, 2007 - 63 comments

Left of Boom - The struggle to defeat roadside bombs

Left of Boom - The struggle to defeat roadside bombs. [washpo - flash & flash video]
posted by srboisvert on Sep 30, 2007 - 22 comments

We Were Abandoned.

An elite unit of Canadian snipers went from standouts to outcasts -- victims, many say, of a witch hunt driven by jealousy and fear.
posted by chunking express on Sep 12, 2007 - 64 comments

The killing of Jamie Dean

The killing of Jamie Dean. "Police in rural Maryland staged a military stakeout and shot a troubled Army vet. As his family plans to sue, they are asking how a soldier being treated for PTSD could be shipped to Iraq."
posted by homunculus on Sep 4, 2007 - 27 comments

A soldier speaks out

Chief of the General Staff General Sir Richard Dannatt has given an interview to the Daily Mail in which he says that the presence of British troops makes the security problems in Iraq worse . The General won the MC aged 22 in an action in Northern Ireland, so he presumably knows a thing or two about insurgency, never mind courage. Mr Blair has agreed...
posted by A189Nut on Oct 13, 2006 - 36 comments

The Sandbox

The Sandbox A Doonesbury driven non-partisan non-policy community blog on the details of being human in a global war on terror.
posted by srboisvert on Oct 10, 2006 - 22 comments

...another less attractive but probably more realistic version of modern warfare in Iraq today ...

Pentagon to Soldiers: Don't Post those Trophy Videos Online ... another said it made him feel good to bring the gruesome reality of a soldier's life in Iraq to those living safely behind their "clean, white picket fences at home". ...the taking and posting of trophy video served as some kind of relief from the psychological stresses of serving as a soldier in such a violent and acutely dangerous place. ... and from PBS' Mediashift: Your Guide to Soldier Videos From Iraq
posted by amberglow on Aug 5, 2006 - 13 comments

I Love the Smell of Sim-Napalm in the Morning

The Smell of War -- the Institute for Creative Technologies preps Quake-happy teens to become first-person shooters in the non-virtual war on terror. Now in Odorama.
posted by digaman on Jul 25, 2006 - 22 comments

"playing" America's Army

In Memoriam and in Protest --why not use an online deathmatch as a pedestal for speaking out against a war? Artist/Professor uses US Govt-developed America's Army (...placing Soldiering front and center within popular culture and showcasing the roles training, teamwork and technology play in the Army. ... ) as protest and art space. DeLappe's homepage (and jpgs) here
posted by amberglow on May 30, 2006 - 135 comments

Gen. McCaffrey: We can (and should succeed in Iraq) -- though it will take 10 years.

"Do we have the political will, do we have the military power, will we spend the resources required to achieve our aims [in Iraq]?" writes retired Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey in a memo addressed to the heads of the social science department at West Point summarizing his findings after a week-long fact-finding trip in Iraq. It will take ten years and billions of dollars, but the McCaffrey Memo claims that to leave Iraq prematurely would risk "a ten year disaster of foreign policy in the vital Gulf Oil Region." Fred Kaplan thinks the costs are too high.
posted by shivohum on May 3, 2006 - 18 comments

DisCHARGEd

Dear First Lieutenant Rebrook: Thank you for your service to your country. Here's your medical discharge, and here's a bill for $700 to cover the loss of the armor you ruined by bleeding all over it when you got shot.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Feb 7, 2006 - 63 comments

For young deserters, refuge is hard to find

For young deserters, refuge is hard to find It seemed like a drastic but simple solution: a step over the border into a country that had offered sanctuary before to Americans fleeing their homeland. Instead, the growing band of US soldiers who have sought political refuge in Canada after defying orders to serve in Iraq have found themselves in a political limbo.
posted by Postroad on Apr 25, 2005 - 83 comments

On The New American Militarism - How Americans Are Seduced By War

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.
posted by y2karl on Feb 21, 2005 - 37 comments

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty

Above and Beyond the Call of Duty The St. Petersburg Times reported this week that Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, killed in action in Iraq on April 4, 2003, will be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Sgt. Smith had always said he would give "all that I am to make sure all my boys make it home." The Medal of Honor is awarded "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty." Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham, killed in Iraq in April 2004 after he threw himself on top of a grenade to protect his fellow Marines, has been nominated for the Medal of Honor.
posted by mlis on Feb 5, 2005 - 6 comments

Fine Print: Contract is Void if US Military Say So

Soldiers Challenge Enlistment Extensions
You sign a contract for a specific period of service, when that service is up you're supposed to be done but that doesn't happen if its a contract with the US government. Soldiers are now suing to try and get out of their extended duties.

Yes, there is the Pentagon's "Stop Loss" program but "The lawsuit contends the policy [stop loss] is a breach of the service contract because it extends the length of service without a soldier's consent. It also alleges the contracts were misleading because they make no reference to the policy, said Staughton Lynd, an attorney for the soldiers."
posted by fenriq on Dec 6, 2004 - 41 comments

Letter from Fallujah.

Letter from Fallujah. From an anonymous Army medic's journal entry.
posted by insomnia_lj on Nov 12, 2004 - 40 comments

the wrong morons

The Wrong Morons. (from the Army Times) "Around the halls of the Pentagon, a term of caustic derision has emerged for the enlisted soldiers at the heart of the furor over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal: the six morons who lost the war...But the folks in the Pentagon are talking about the wrong morons."
posted by Ty Webb on May 11, 2004 - 23 comments

Stop Loss Orders: It's not your President's National Guard...

Army Stops Many Soldiers From Quitting According to their contracts, expectations and desires, all three soldiers should have been civilians by now. But Fontaine and Costas are currently serving in Iraq, and Eagle has just been deployed. On their Army paychecks, the expiration date of their military service is now listed sometime after 2030 -- the payroll computer's way of saying, "Who knows?" The three are among thousands of soldiers forbidden to leave military service under the Army's "stop-loss" orders, intended to stanch the seepage of troops, through retirement and discharge, from a military stretched thin by its burgeoning overseas missions. As Helena Cobham notes, They don't want to call it a draft but it sure ain't your father's "all-volunteer military" any more... Marine's Girl, Cobham's cause celebre of some time ago, writes about stop-loss here and here. See also Army reservists choosing to be citizens, not soldiers.
posted by y2karl on Dec 30, 2003 - 37 comments

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