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"The basic problem is that no one gets fired."

Your Favorite Army General Actually Sucks. Tom Rick's new book The Generals focuses on professional shortcomings of high-ranking Army officers, and offers a new (old) solution: fire them. "But as far as I can tell, no general has been fired for incompetence in combat since Maj. Gen. James Baldwin was fired as commander of the Americal Division in 1971." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 18, 2013 - 35 comments

Fight and Flight. And Cars, too.

AIRBOYD.tv 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, Pontiac, Chevy and Ford. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 8, 2012 - 2 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

Deal of the Century

How two American kids became big-time weapons traders - "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via; previously on arms contractors)
posted by kliuless on Mar 21, 2011 - 69 comments

Defense firms lure retired generals

From the Pentagon to the private sector - In large numbers, and with few rules, retiring generals are taking lucrative defense-firm jobs [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jan 10, 2011 - 56 comments

Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

Slightly ahead of schedule, the Pentagon has released its Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (PDF).
posted by Joe Beese on Nov 30, 2010 - 136 comments

Inside Mind Control

More than 30 years after it was written, the Pentagon has released a memorandum detailing its involvement in the CIA’s infamous Cold War mind-control experiments. The entire document, as linked to in the article, is available as a pdf.
posted by gman on May 11, 2010 - 18 comments

Public Apathy Enables Leaders To Ignore Voters. . .

Leaked CIA Report: "Public Apathy Enables Leaders To Ignore Voters" (pdf / Scribed link here) outlines possible public relations / propaganda strategies to shore up public support in Germany and France for a continued war in Afghanistan.
posted by zarq on Mar 29, 2010 - 18 comments

Military Contractor Insurance: Great business, if you can get it. AIG gets 85% of it.

"Early in the Iraq War, it cost taxpayers $100,000 per year to insure a civilian contractor who was paid $100,000 per year. So the insurance was the same amount as the salary." "Another very peculiar part of this particular story is that because of another law, the U.S. actually reimburses the insurance companies for any civilians who are injured in a combat situation. So at the very end, the insurance company will ultimately submit the bill to the U.S. government, and they will get paid back for any injury involving a combat wound." "Let me ask a stupid question: What is the point of the insurance company if taxpayers are paying for the premium and then also paying for the medical bill?" [more inside]
posted by webhund on Jan 12, 2010 - 51 comments

Goo

Amorphous blob robot takes first steps (SLYT)
posted by mhjb on Dec 2, 2009 - 51 comments

The C-17 Globemaster III

January: Newly sworn-in President Obama says, "We need greater investment in... essential systems like the C-17 cargo... aircraft, which provide the backbone of our ability to extend global power." April: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says, "Our analysis concludes that we have enough C-17s, with the 205 already in the force and currently in production." May: The Office of Management and Budget proposes the termination of the C-17 program with a savings of $17 billion. July: The 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill includes funding for the program. September 29: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) proposes an amendment to strip that funding - "You can't walk through these hallways without bumping into a lobbyist from Boeing." September 30: By a vote of 64 to 34, the Senate defeats the amendment.
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 1, 2009 - 113 comments

What Is And What Should Never Be

The Pentagon plans to spend $400 million to develop a giant blimp that will float 65,000 feet above the Earth for 10 years, providing unblinking and intricate radar surveillance of the vehicles, planes and even people below. [more inside]
posted by gman on Mar 13, 2009 - 106 comments

How The Pentagon Bankrupts America

America's Defense Meltdown: Pentagon Reform for President Obama and the New Congress (2.3 MB PDF). A new report from the Center for Defense Information on the DoD's wastefulness, and suggested solutions. Recommended holiday reading from James Fallows and Andrew Sullivan.
posted by homunculus on Nov 26, 2008 - 29 comments

US Military Presence Worldwide

Mission Creep: "Bush and Rumsfeld may be history, but America's new global footprint lives on." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 26, 2008 - 33 comments

Cyber Command Über Alles

Attention Geeks and Hackers: Uncle Sam's Cyber Force Wants You! [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jun 5, 2008 - 29 comments

Can you trust a television military analyst?

Television military analysts are wooed, courted, and privileged by the Pentagon. An in-depth investigative report by the New York Times uncovers logrolling, shilling, touting, back-scratching, and just plain bias on the part of the experts that television networks put on the air to talk about the war. Some of them appear to be as good as owned by the Defense Department. "The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air. Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves."
posted by Mo Nickels on Apr 19, 2008 - 37 comments

Secret Military Patches

I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me is a new book by author and interesting person Trevor Paglen. He collects patches designed by military personnel to commemorate secret "black-ops" projects.
posted by Miko on Feb 7, 2008 - 34 comments

No Child Left Unrecruited

As if a looming draft isn't enough, we now have a military recruitment web site nearly masquerading as commercial (.com) job-placement web site run by the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) from the Pentagon. ASVAB stands for Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a test administered for career placement for all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. Will there be any children left behind in America. Is our past our future?
posted by augustweed on Sep 7, 2005 - 35 comments

Oh, You Mean Those Records

Oh, You Mean Those Records The Pentagon released "newly discovered payroll records from President Bush's 1972 service in the Alabama National Guard." The earlier statement that the records were inadvertently destroyed was an "inadvertent oversight." [Previously discussed here and here.]
posted by kirkaracha on Jul 23, 2004 - 39 comments

Well. of course.

The dog ate my service records. The Pentagon has announced that the payroll records for National Guard service for three months between 1972 and 1973 have been accidentally destroyed. These three months coincidentally cover the disputed period of George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard. (Similar Google link here, via dKos)
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Jul 9, 2004 - 71 comments

Ignorance Is Truth.

"Now America is reappraising the battlefield, delaying the war, maybe a week and rewriting the war plan. The first plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance. Now they are trying to write another plan." Seems patently obvious, no? But tell Iraqi state television that and suddenly you're speaking from "a position of complete ignorance," according to the White House.

Peter Arnett, highly respected, Pulitzer Prize winner and the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Laden on film, wouldn't back down the last time a network caved into craven submission at hands of the American military, and he's been sacked by NBC/MSNBC for again refusing to do so. There's no First Amendment case, obviously, and no real surprise that the military would be exerting pressure to maintain control over information, but does the firing of high-profile Arnett for the repeating the obvious increase anybody's confidence that we're hearing anything resembling the truth?
posted by JollyWanker on Mar 31, 2003 - 30 comments

"The only thing that Berretta has is the sales people."

"The only thing that Berretta has is the sales people." The Standard issue M-9 has left Afghanistan vets feeling shafted. Some Marines have opted to carry .45s. But it's not just the pistol that's under-powered. The M-16 and its 5.56mm round lack stopping power too. It doesn't have the greatest track record from its first adoption during the Vietnam War. Despite the glowing report of Project Agile. How many times do we have to witness penny-pinching Pentagon Wars putting our armed forces at greater risk?
posted by john on Oct 16, 2002 - 38 comments

Military may take part in DC Sniper Hunt

Military may take part in DC Sniper Hunt The Pentagon is making some noise about possibly using military personnel and equipment in the hunt for the DC area sniper. I am normally not a paranoid conspiracy type but... Would it be unthinkable that the government could be behind the whole thing. First they put out trained snipers to kill random victims and scare the hell out of the public. Then the military come in and save the day. At the same time they set a precedent for using the military to "fight crime" in the country. While I don't think this is the case, would you put it past the current administration?
posted by Blubble on Oct 15, 2002 - 76 comments

Filmmakers let the Pentagon edit their scripts

Filmmakers let the Pentagon edit their scripts in exchange for rights to use government land and military equipment. Great article complete with hilarious "military mind" quotes. Need more government/pop culture collusion? N'SYNC is getting $800,000 in tax payer's money for an anti-drug campaign.
posted by skallas on Aug 31, 2001 - 6 comments

Pentagon fraud

Pentagon fraud $9,000,000,000. I hope this is a misprint. More inside.
posted by rdr on Jul 27, 2001 - 35 comments

M.I.T. Physicist Says Pentagon Is Trying To Silence Him.

M.I.T. Physicist Says Pentagon Is Trying To Silence Him. (NYTimes, registration required) So, it appears that the Pentagon commissions a panel to "review" ("refute"?) a contrary assessment of antimissile technology, but when an unintended byproduct of that review is more criticism of said technology, they pull this little snow job? I guess we've heard this song before, but it's still laughable. Interesting comment from the Brass: "just because it is made public doesn't mean it's declassified." I guess he must mean "authorized", because for my money, that's exactly what it means.
posted by topolino on Jul 27, 2001 - 13 comments

Hmm, should we maybe reduce funding for the Pentagon?

Hmm, should we maybe reduce funding for the Pentagon?
posted by snakey on Oct 31, 2000 - 8 comments

Pentagon to modify gay policy

Pentagon to modify gay policy They have instituted a policy that attempts to prevent mistreatment or harassment against people who aren't even allowed to say who they are. I'm sure the gay men and women serving our country are sleeping much easier tonight.
posted by brian on Jul 22, 2000 - 3 comments

Another Penatagon report

Another Penatagon report indicates that there is no forseeable relief for gays in the military? When 85% of respondents (of the 71,500 U.S. military service personnel polled worldwide) state that they believe that anti-gay words and behavior is tolerated and 80% claim that they've heard an offensive remark (in the ranks) about homosexuals in the past year, is another onslaught of talking heads and pointless summits the answer? will it take another barry winchell to shake this administration into real action?
posted by jburr on Mar 25, 2000 - 6 comments

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