814 posts tagged with military.
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Mort pour la France

Mort pour la France Setting aside partisan differences and arguments re: Iraq for the moment, and at the risk of offending the more cynical of the denizens that lurk within with what they may consider the smarminess of this link, we would do well to remember during the upcoming weekend, what Memorial Day should be about - a tribute to those who have served & fallen in uniform.
posted by Pressed Rat on May 23, 2003 - 13 comments

Wag the dog?

The alleged truth about how Private Jessica Lynch was saved.
This is a pretty amazing story, coming originally from the BBC and now a front page story on the Guardian. There's a program on it on BBC on Sunday.

Story courtesy of Karlin Lillington, where I picked it up.
posted by tomcosgrave on May 16, 2003 - 10 comments

Ernie Pyle, the original embedded reporter

I just read an article about a one-man off-Broadway play based on the war reporting of Ernie Pyle. Meanwhile, the IU School of Journalism is reprinting three dozen of his dispatches. It is interesting that Pyle, perhaps the original embedded reporter managed to report honestly about the horrors of war in spite of perhaps a more sweeping censorship department that read everything coming from the front. Pyle's description of Normandy (previously discussed) is a classic contrasting a beautiful day on the beach, the human and material wreckage, and even empathy for German prisoners of war. And then there was some black humor of surviving near misses that could have come out of Catch 22 or Slaugherhouse 5. His unfinished final dispatch reads like poetry:
"Dead men by mass production--in one country after another--month after month and year after year. Dead men in winter and dead men in summer.
"Dead men in such familiar promiscuity that they become monotonous.
"Dead men in such monstrous infinity that you come almost to hate them."
posted by KirkJobSluder on May 6, 2003 - 8 comments


The Defense Medical Surveillance System (DMSS). The "engine" of the DMSS is a continuously growing relational database of up-to-date and historical data related to medical events, personal characteristics, and military experiences of all Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine service members over their entire military careers. [It] is available to all military and civilian researchers, policy makers and others with a need to evaluate the health of active duty service members.
posted by the fire you left me on Apr 25, 2003 - 1 comment


So who really did save Private Jessica? An interesting backside to military propaganda.
posted by the fire you left me on Apr 21, 2003 - 39 comments

After wars end, then what?

How to police Iraq, and where to sign up. The US Army Peacekeeping Institute site is full of useful information for understanding the nuts-and-bolts of putting together a successful military occupation. Even though this is exactly the kind of material that journalists, students, and policymakers ought to be reading these days, some of it may be about to disappear. The Peacekeeping Institute website is shutting down on May 1. Will the Google cache preserve its contents for us?
posted by sheauga on Apr 14, 2003 - 5 comments

Shock and 'Awww...' Continues

Military Hamsters With Cpt. Carl and Sgt. Murphy spear-heading the advance, and with able support from Sgt. Scruffy and Sailor Seymour, the troops of secretary of defense Gemmy (Flash-enabled ruckus inside) meet with little resistance at toy-store cash registers.
posted by LinusMines on Apr 6, 2003 - 7 comments

new mayor of baghdad

washington picks a new man to run iraq, is this guy really the most qualified man for the job? apparently some people think so.
posted by specialk420 on Apr 6, 2003 - 17 comments

Sending the pregnant to fight Saddam

Sending the pregnant to fight Saddam: The dramatic rescue of GI Jessica brings up the issue [preemptive post justification]. This article has a nice historical overview of women's role in the military, in the form of a time-travel dialogue between today's soldier and a Vietnam era grunt.
posted by hairyeyeball on Apr 3, 2003 - 22 comments

Bring on the Pax Americana!

Is this World War IV, and is it for a just cause? Former CIA director James Woolsey says the U.S. is engaged in World War IV, to democratize the Arab world. It's not propaganda, but a reasoned argument that the U.S.'s long-term objective should be to give the people of Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Egypt the right to self rule. Self-congratulatory or visionary?
posted by darren on Apr 3, 2003 - 39 comments

Objecting to war

The first conscientious objector of the war? Marine Lance Cpl. Stephen Funk said he had had a lapse in judgment when he signed up as a 19-year-old, swayed by his recruiter's pitch of new skills, camaraderie and a naive belief that it would be "like the Boy Scouts."
posted by bitdamaged on Apr 2, 2003 - 66 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


“Takoma, the Atlantic bottle-nosed dolphin, had been in Iraq for 48 hours when he went missing on his first operation to snoop out mines… Takoma has now been missing for 48 hours and the solitary figure of Petty Officer Whitaker could be seen yesterday patting the water, calling his name and offering his favourite fish, but there was no response.”
posted by raaka on Mar 29, 2003 - 21 comments

Lessons from Urban Operations Journal

Risks and realities of urban warfare Urban Operations Journal collects "open-source information on urban military operations," including military doctrine, an image library, war game reports, a quotes collection and much more. Lessons from Grozny, Hue City and Beirut shed light on what might be coming in Baghdad. The training section links to a number of documents noting the "scarcity of training resources" the U.S. devotes to urban warfare, including this PBS story in which an urban warfare specialist makes the claim U.S. forces are "not proficient" on the urban battleground, where the casualty rate is "about 30 percent."
posted by mediareport on Mar 27, 2003 - 13 comments

Books For Soldiers

Books For Soldiers If you don't know what to do with your old Clan of the Cave Bear paperbacks or want to take the boredom out of post-war deployment for those in uniform, send the soldiers a book! Soldiers can request a book or you can post the military address of a loved one and people send them their requests. I wonder if my selection would be well received?
posted by StormBear on Mar 21, 2003 - 8 comments

US and Gassing Iraqis

Military use of Gas
Top US military planners are preparing for the US to use incapacitating biochemical weapons in an invasion of Iraq. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, revealed the plans in February 5th testimony before the US House Armed Services Committee. This is the first official US acknowledgement that it may use (bio)chemical weapons in its crusade to rid other countries of such weapons.

Would someone explain to me again why we're attacking Iraq? Was it something about use and/or possession of chemical weapons?
posted by nofundy on Mar 21, 2003 - 60 comments

Military History Online ("... the best and most interesting of the web ...")

The War Times Journal is an on-line magazine which covers all periods of military history and military science. Within you'll find content ranging from illustrated articles to dispatch and memoir reprints to interactive maps and timelines, all well presented and totally free.
posted by ewagoner on Mar 17, 2003 - 1 comment

POW/MIA's - Another Viet Nam War Fantasy

MIA Facts Site

Prisoners of Hope: Exploiting the POW-MIA Myth in America.

Let's Sell The Bones : The Marketing of America's Missing In Action              (More Inside)
posted by y2karl on Mar 15, 2003 - 37 comments

Advice for Conscientious Objectors in the Armed Forces

Advice for Conscientious Objectors in the Armed Forces (html version). "A comprehensive, step-by-step guide to applying for conscientious objector status. This edition....builds upon a tradition which began in 1970 with the First Edition. Advice has since reached over 40,000 military men and women who had decided that they could no longer in good conscience remain in the military. The 1970 Advice spoke to a generation troubled by the war in Vietnam. This generation of conscientious objectors, too, has seen war--most recently in the Persian Gulf, and before that in Panama. It has experienced the end of the Cold War and the flowering of hopes for peace; and it has watched as those hopes turned to disappointment in the chaotic, dangerous post-Cold War world." The G.I. Rights Hotline has recently reported they "fielded a record number of calls, mostly from military personnel and families seeking advice on conscientious-objector and other discharges."
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Mar 14, 2003 - 7 comments

Navy sea lions

Unleash the sea lions of War! The use of animals in war is an old story. Some of them, such as the WWI carrier pigeon Cher Ami, have become famous. The charismatic critter in the impending war in Iraq is Zachary, a 19-year-old California Sea Lion who has been trained to locate enemy frogmen. Other animal conscripts in the Gulf include chickens; the Iraqis are rumored to have kamikaze camels.
posted by SealWyf on Mar 6, 2003 - 14 comments

Do anti-war films glorify conflict?

It is well that war is so terrible, or we should grow too fond of it. Platoon. Full Metal Jacket. The opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan. It's surprising that anyone volunteers for the armed forces after a steady diet of Hollywood depictions of the horrors of war. In "Jarhead" Gulf War sniper Anthony Swafford contends that these"...Vietnam War films are all pro-war, regardless of what... Kubrick or Coppola or Stone intended. Filmic images of death and carnage are pornography for the military man." Does the terrible beauty of Apocalypse Now actually help military recruitment?
posted by spotmeter on Mar 3, 2003 - 44 comments

A Beautiful Post

The Ultimate Game. Game theory was applied extensively by US foreign policy-makers during the Cold War, and many would credit those "moves" with the triumph of the West. But can it work now? Are rogue states and terrorists "rational actors?" Are we seeing a classic two-player game playing out with the US and Iraq? What does it even mean to "win" in the post-Soviet era? If these theories interest you, try these online simulations.
posted by _sirmissalot_ on Feb 28, 2003 - 20 comments

Untested Missile System?

Bush wants to deploy a new missile system - without testing it. Seems like a relatively bad idea, considering the numerous things that can do terribly awry with such a complex situation.
posted by tatochip on Feb 24, 2003 - 40 comments

The government's solution for ruling Iraq? Let the military do it.

The government's solution for ruling Iraq? Let the military do it. Looks like Iraq will be under the military rule of General Tommy Franks for at least two years. (This explains how members of the administration can threaten to cut other countries out of Iraqi oil deals in a future Iraq.) But how will the rest of the Islamic world react to a prolonged US military occupation of in excess of 50,000 troops, where the US would have to feed, supply, and rebuild an entire country?
posted by insomnia_lj on Feb 13, 2003 - 46 comments

Tiny Books for Lonely, Nervous Men.

Armed Services Editions. Printed in the millions, publishing incredibly diverse authors and subjects, now semivaluable. What (besides this tiny project) are our servicemen reading today? This is the closest thing I can find, and it’s linkless and referenceless.
posted by interrobang on Feb 6, 2003 - 6 comments

The insidiousness of goose down revealed...

A Brief History of Goosestepping. Shades of Busby Berkley perhaps? Or something much more sinister? To some, goosestepping is a fun and comical activity. But what about these guys?
posted by The Michael The on Jan 30, 2003 - 8 comments

Honor Guard

A military honor guardsman has been fired for saying God bless you, while he presented a folded American flag to the family of a deceased veteran, during the burial service. By way of obscurestore.
posted by Beholder on Jan 23, 2003 - 38 comments

Front-line troops disproportionately white

Front-line troops disproportionately white, not black. While blacks are 20% of the military -- compared with 12% of the U.S. population -- they make up a far smaller percentage of troops in combat jobs on the front line. In a host of high-risk slots -- from Army commandos to Navy and Air Force fighter pilots -- blacks constitute less than 5% of the force, statistics show. Blacks, especially in the enlisted ranks, tend to be disproportionately drawn to non-combat fields such as unit administration and communications. ''If anybody should be complaining about battlefield deaths, it is poor, rural whites,'' says Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University in Illinois.
posted by dagny on Jan 22, 2003 - 48 comments

Canada's forgotten weapons of mass destruction.

Canada's forgotten weapons of mass destruction. Shortly after the end of World War II, the Canadian navy began to dispose of its surplus chemical weapons by dumping them off the shore of Atlantic Canada. Large quantities of chemical agents, including mustard gas, were loaded onto barges and scuttled at undisclosed locations. Over 50 years later, some of these military dumpsites have become lost due to poor record keeping. With increasing offshore oil exploration and a commercially successful shellfish industry, there's a possibility that these forgotten chemical agents could return to the coasts of "Canada's Ocean Playground".
posted by Caffine_Fiend on Jan 13, 2003 - 14 comments

Yankee go home!

Another reason why we can't win. If we stay, we are labeled as imperialist agressors, keeping the two Koreas apart. If we leave, the South Korean economy will collapse as investors flee (and the North might well take the opportunity to invade again); we will then be blamed for causing South Korea to collapse. The only winning move is not to play. I say leave them to it and shrug when they come crying back to us for help.
posted by mrmanley on Jan 9, 2003 - 32 comments

Missile Defense and Theodore Postol

It's about Time this guy was recognized with accolades as the premiere whistleblower in the US. Just think of all the tax money that could be saved if everyone learned what Postol already knows!

Is NMD more theology than science? It would appear so.
posted by nofundy on Jan 3, 2003 - 9 comments

Should military service become mandatory?

Should military service become mandatory? New York's Democratic representative Charles Rangel thinks so. Would this help curb the enthusiasm our elected leaders have in using our armed forces? Obviously, the details need to be explained and hashed out... but does this effort have any substantial support?
posted by cinematique on Dec 29, 2002 - 48 comments

coming for us while we sleep

Apparently "Total Information Awareness" doesn't extend to the TIA project's own website.
posted by artifex on Dec 23, 2002 - 13 comments

military pay raises

"Hang in there, help is on the way."

The director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., recently asked the Defense Department to lower the 2004 pay raise from its expected 3.7 percent to 2 percent. Daniels also wants future raises tied to inflation, rather than basing boosts on what civilians doing comparable jobs in the private sector might make.

Many of our military families already qualify for welfare and food stamps. Pay raises are out of the question when there's NMD and tax cuts to the wealthy needing funding.
posted by nofundy on Dec 23, 2002 - 7 comments

Bombing campaigns - what do you bomb?

"Hitting Home: Coercive Theory, Air Power and Authoritarian Targets" will answer your questions on how aerial bombardment fits into the range of options between coercive diplomacy and total war, questions such as: -- What should be targeted for bombing? -- Exactly how much do you need to destroy to achieve your government's political objectives?
posted by sheauga on Dec 17, 2002 - 5 comments

Short-Term Military Enlistment

I hope this isn't a double post. I've searched but couldn't find anything. It has special relevance to me since I am joining the Air Force in five months. John McCain (R-AZ) and Evan Bayh (R-IN) are pushing a bill through Congress that will allow for a short-term enlistment of 15 months into the military. Being 25 and wanting to pay off my loans, I may have taken this route had it been available to me. It would be especially helpful to college burn-outs to step out of college for a little over a year. Unless you are very anti-military, does this make signing "the dotted line" any more attractive?
posted by mychai on Dec 14, 2002 - 29 comments

Every 30 years (ish) America gets itself into war. Time's up!

Take a peek at this military timeline. And let's figure that the time from when Johnny, sergeant, age 25, gets home from fighting the war and tells 5 year old Junior about the experience to when Junior, Major/Lt.Col, grows up and wants to CAUSE a war, averages 30 years.

Now let's do some math...starting with the French and Indian War, 1754-1763. Add 30-ish years (21). American Revolution, 1775-1783. Add 30-ish years (38). War of 1812, 1812-1814. Add 30-ish years, numerous Indian wars. Add 30-ish years. American Civil War, 1861-1865. Add 30-ish years (37). Spanish-American War, 1898. Add 30-ish years (19). America in World War I, 1917-1918. Add 30-ish years (25). America in World War II, 1942-1945. Add 30-ish years (20). Vietnam War, 1964-1973. Add 30-ish years, and it's the turn of the millenium....it's now.

We haven't learned from 250 years of this cycle, and there's no reason to think we've learned anything since. I didn't count the Gulf War cause it wasn't much of anything, and I know the numbers are a bit forced...but I think this trend is worth discussing.
posted by taumeson on Dec 3, 2002 - 44 comments


Djibouti As the United States builds up its combat power in the Horn of Africa, tiny Djibouti has emerged as the staging area for Washington's campaign against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in the region. But Djibouti is also a telling example of a problem that has bedeviled the Bush administration's war on terror: the struggle to harmonize its own military goals with the needs of the countries in which it is operating. Put simply, the administration seems to be better at taking the fight to its enemies than helping its friends.(NYT)
posted by elwoodwiles on Nov 30, 2002 - 3 comments

A Bullet-Proof Mind?

A Bullet-Proof Mind? "Too much, and you end up with a My Lai.... Too little, and your soldiers will be defeated and killed." A balanced look at the reasons for, and consequences of, the reflex-based killing techniques in which U.S. Special Forces soldiers are trained. (NYTimes Magazine).
posted by josh on Nov 13, 2002 - 33 comments

Actors hired to heckle US troops in mock Arab town

Actors hired to heckle US troops in mock Arab town The military is taking pains to prepare naive recruits for the reality of their dirty work, and at the same time diminish the regard for native populations. Oh, people whining about being attacked is so routine. Don't they know we're trying to liberate them?
posted by letterneversent on Nov 13, 2002 - 44 comments

US Soldiers' dogtags

US Soldiers' dogtags are sold on the streets of Vietnam. An American backpacker bought as many as she could find and is now trying to find their owners. Interesting story.
posted by tomplus2 on Nov 11, 2002 - 6 comments

No Child Unrecruited

No Child Unrecruited Under the "No Child Left Behind Act" passed earlier this year, secondary schools must provide military recruiters with the names, addresses and phone numbers of their students or risk losing federal aid. [More Inside]
posted by EmergencyPenguin on Nov 8, 2002 - 47 comments

"According to a classified document prepared for Rumsfeld by his Defense Science Board, the new organization will carry out secret missions designed to 'stimulate reactions' among terrorist groups, provoking them into committing violent acts which would then expose them to 'counterattack' by U.S. forces. In other words - and let's say this plainly, clearly and soberly, so that no one can mistake the intention of Rumsfeld's plan - the United States government is planning to use 'cover and deception' and secret military operations to provoke murderous terrorist attacks on innocent people. "
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Nov 4, 2002 - 58 comments

The Quest for the Three Year Sandwich

The Quest for the Three Year Sandwich "This bad boy will last a minimum of three years at 80 degrees, six months at 100 degrees. They will travel to the swampiest swamp, the highest mountain, the most arid desert." Great. So glad my tax dollars are getting put to good use. If they want prepackaged food that's been around for ages, there's a corner store near my house that can fix them right up. Is this sort of thing really needed?
posted by slackdog on Oct 29, 2002 - 22 comments

United States Military Operations.

United States Military Operations. Quite a few.
posted by four panels on Oct 25, 2002 - 18 comments

Almost sixty years after the end of the Second World War, the battlefields of Western Europe, Scandanavia, Russia and the Pacific continue to reveal poignant relics of the men who fought and died. These links may be of interest to anyone with even a passing interest in military history.
posted by Doozer on Oct 25, 2002 - 7 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

That's "hearts and minds" to you, sunshine.

That's "hearts and minds" to you, sunshine. As a former PSYOPer my ownself, I found this Village Voice primer on the field reasonably accurate on the facts, if rather skewed as to their interpretation. But what's a nonviolently-inclined soldier to do? What other methods of "winning without fighting" might be acceptable to a leadership seemingly hell-bent on bloodshed?
posted by adamgreenfield on Oct 10, 2002 - 11 comments


"WAAABOOOOM!!! A flash of light followed by a concussion of air shook the RPG fence in front of me and the safe house windows behind me."
It seems like in the end, all good things come together. Blogging and WAR: united at last!
[via the null device]
posted by zerofoks on Oct 5, 2002 - 7 comments

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