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Finnish Wartime Photograph Archive

The Finnish Defence Forces have put their archive of 170,000 WWII photographs online.
Some "night fighters".
Some American prisoners, probably from the ill-fated Convoy PQ 17 [more inside]
posted by Authorized User on Apr 29, 2013 - 20 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

Military test(e)s

Jalopnik gathers ten videos of shock, awe and oopsie [more inside]
posted by maggieb on Mar 28, 2013 - 34 comments

"As the hymn says, you can lay your burden down."

The Things They Leave Behind. "When the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened 30 years ago, something unexpected happened: People started leaving things at the wall. One veteran has spent decades cataloging the letters, mementos, and other artifacts of loss — all 400,000 of them." (Via.) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 15, 2013 - 26 comments

The Minerva Controversy

The Department of Defense recently announced the creation of the Minerva Research Initiative (PDF), also known as Project Minerva, providing as much as $75 million over five years to support social science research on areas of strategic importance to U.S. national security policy. The initiative indicates a renewal of interest in social science findings after a prolonged period of neglect, but it also prompts concerns about the appropriate relationship between university-based research programs and the state, especially when research might become a tool of not only governance but also military violence. The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) has invited prominent scholars to speak to the questions raised by Project Minerva and to address the controversy it has sparked in academic quarters.
posted by infini on Mar 7, 2013 - 17 comments

Anthropologist denounces militarization

Marshall Sahlins, a leading American anthropologist, resigned last week from the National Academy of Sciences. This may come as a shock to the scientific community and even to students at NYU. Anyone taking an introductory course to anthropology at NYU, for example, is bound to encounter several readings of Sahlins’s work. Among his more influential works are “Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities,” a case study of the murder of Captain Cook in Hawaii and how it was the result of underlying social factors. Normally, when a scientist or scholar resigns from such a prestigious position, one assumes that he probably committed an irrevocable and egregious error that forever taints his credibility as an academic. However, our assumptions sometimes deceive us. If we explore the reasoning and motivations behind Sahlins’s resignation, we may arrive at deeper insights into the issues at play.
posted by infini on Feb 27, 2013 - 14 comments

Coming to Canadian military ration packs: poutine in a pouch?

Included in this Canadian government call for alternate bids for "boil in a bag" rations is a request for +60,000 servings of poutine in a pouch - for those who don't know, that's french fries, gravy and cheese curds. Wonder how that'll hold up in a boil-in-a-bag pouch?
posted by MILNEWSca on Feb 21, 2013 - 91 comments

A literary character with the actual power to kill

How To Write Drone Fiction: "One can easily and self-righteously claim the merits of writing non-fiction about drones by asserting a primacy of fact over “false fiction”. The problem is that one does not write non-fiction about drones." [more inside]
posted by not_the_water on Feb 20, 2013 - 21 comments

Silent No More: Women In The Military Speak Out Against Sex Crimes

Sexual Assault In The U.S. Military is the focus of a serious contender for Best Documentary Feature at this year's Academy Awards. The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative doc that sheds light on the under-reported epidemic of sexual abuse against female members of the military, as well as the lack of punitive action in these crimes: of the 8 percent of sexual assault cases that are prosecuted in the military, only 2 percent result in convictions. A female soldier in a combat zone is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.

By official estimates from The Department of Defense, 19,000 violent sexual crimes occurred in the military in 2011 alone. Sexual assault is grossly under-reported in the military. In 2011, 3,191 assaults were reported when its likely that somewhere between 19,000 and 22,000 assaults occurred. The women in the film speak about the physical and mental abuse they underwent while serving in the military - and about the the lawsuit they joined and the verdict in which their experiences were labeled "occupational hazards". The film is already garnering much attention, especially as front-running Oscar Nominee - and lawmakers are taking notice. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic on Feb 19, 2013 - 46 comments

"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

Is this the secret US Drone Base in Saudi Arabia?

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]
posted by Nelson on Feb 8, 2013 - 75 comments

Les Militaribles

A Korean airforce parody/tribute to Les Miserables
posted by Artw on Feb 7, 2013 - 10 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

"We want you to take a picture."

This iconic photo of the first Aboriginal woman to enlist in the Canadian Women’s Army Corps was used as a recruitment tool, and "appeared all over the British Empire [in 1942] to show the power of the colonies fighting for King and country." Its original caption in the Canadian War Museum read, "Unidentified Indian princess getting blessing from her chief and father to go fight in the war." Its current caption in The Library and Archives of Canada reads: "Mary Greyeyes being blessed by her native Chief prior to leaving for service in the CWAC, 1942." But as it turns out, the two people in the photo had never met before that day. They weren't from the same tribe or even related and Private Mary Greyeyes was not an "Indian Princess." 70 years after the photo was taken, her daughter-in-law Melanie made sure the official record was corrected. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 22, 2013 - 13 comments

Persistence prays

Chagos Islanders Lose the European Court Battle but the Struggle Continues Former residents of the Chagos Islands have lost their latest legal bid for the right to return following a European ruling. What next for the islanders? James Wan recaps the decades long struggle and the implications of the latest ruling on the fate of the former residents of Diego Garcia. Previously in 2002, 2003 2006 and some archives.
posted by infini on Jan 5, 2013 - 32 comments

"We Just Witnessed a War Crime"

The first thing we learned about war re-enactment is that it's fucking terrifying having guns fired at you, even ones loaded with blanks. The second thing we learned is a common re-enactor's dilemma called "The G.I. Effect", which is basically that people playing Americans don't like to die. So sometimes they just don't.
It's Like Vietnam All Over Again, pt 1. Part 2
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 4, 2013 - 61 comments

Scuds on Steroids

Unha-3, Pyongyang's first successful orbital launch vehicle, dropped her first stage into the Yellow Sea after December 12's launch. Analysis of debris salvaged by the South Korean Navy suggests the scud-derived, crudely assembled rocket is actually an ICBM with enough range to theoretically reach the U.S. (should North Korea somehow manage to miniaturize their nuclear weapon technology and develop re-entry ability).
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Dec 27, 2012 - 55 comments

'Homeland,' Obama’s Show.

'Homeland,' Obama’s Show. The award winning TV show does little to alleviate the myths and misconceptions about Arabs and Muslims, writes Joseph Massad, a scholar at Columbia University. "The racist representation of Arabs is so exponential, even for American television [..] that one does not know where to begin." [more inside]
posted by kiskar on Dec 12, 2012 - 84 comments

Operation Delirium

Operation Delirium. "The military’s secret Cold War experiment to fight enemies with clouds of psychochemicals. Decades after a risky Cold War experiment, a scientist lives with secrets." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Dec 10, 2012 - 44 comments

This place is such a dive.

What's life like aboard a nuclear submarine? For starters, here's over eight hours of C-SPAN 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]
posted by cthuljew on Dec 7, 2012 - 23 comments

"Look At Me Now"

American paratrooper Arthur Boorman suffered debilitating injuries during the first Gulf War. Doctors told him he'd never walk unassisted again. 15 years later.... [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 27, 2012 - 16 comments

Out of the Closet and Into a Uniform

For their club’s big debut this semester, the cadets at the United States Air Force Academy hammered out talking points, printed fliers and hung their logo, a rainbow-colored globe, in their booth in Arnold Hall. Then they held their breath.

On the day known as Blue Rush, when incoming freshmen learn about extracurricular activities, Lydia Hill and Brandon Reams were making history, introducing their fellow cadets to Spectrum, the academy’s first club for gay, lesbian and bisexual students and their straight friends and supporters.
[SLNYT]
posted by hippybear on Nov 19, 2012 - 20 comments

We Are Not the Dead

Portraits of Soldiers Before, During, and After War "Photographer Lalage Snow, who is currently based in Kabul, Afghanistan, embarked on an 8-month-long project titled We Are The Not Dead featuring portraits of British soldiers before, during, and after their deployment in Afghanistan."
posted by sweetkid on Nov 12, 2012 - 25 comments

Go to War. Do Art. (II)

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.)
posted by zarq on Nov 12, 2012 - 1 comment

Feathered Veterans

In France, a Mission to Return the Military's Carrier Pigeons to Active Duty — Grounded After Modern Communication Devices Soared, Birds May Offer Low-Tech Solutions; No Round Trips [WSJ]. Let us not forget Le Vaillant, Cher Ami, and the other birds that save lives.
posted by cenoxo on Nov 11, 2012 - 13 comments

Mr. President was fascinated by gunfighters.

Coyote Man, Mr. President & the Gunfighters. A prose poem, written by Gary Snyder, that should be required reading for whoever is in the White House on January 20.
posted by John of Michigan on Nov 3, 2012 - 14 comments

Coronet Instructional Films

From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2012 - 41 comments

The "50-50" Proposition

Inside Osama Bin Laden's final hours
posted by Artw on Oct 29, 2012 - 103 comments

Possessing these documents without authorization would violate the national security laws of two nations: Canada (where it was built) and the United States (who footed the bill).

Government report on secret flying saucer program (pdf) made available.
posted by joannemerriam on Oct 18, 2012 - 26 comments

"As long as you're breathing, life is worth living."

Six years ago, US Army Captain Ivan Castro was severely wounded in a mortar attack in Iraq that left him permanently and completely blinded. Today, he's one of only three blind active duty Army officers, and the very first to serve in the US Army Special Forces. Thirteen months and 36 surgeries after the attack, Castro ran the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon in 4:14 and the Army Ten Miler in 1:25. And he's still going: In the last 15 months, he's completed 14 marathons. Why? "Because I still can. Because people need to see what's possible." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 13, 2012 - 17 comments

One way to deal with hostile media...

US calls Assange 'enemy of state'. The US military has designated Julian Assange and WikiLeaks as enemies of the United States - the same legal category as the al-Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban insurgency. Declassified US Air Force counter-intelligence documents, released under US freedom-of-information laws, reveal that military personnel who contact WikiLeaks or WikiLeaks supporters may be at risk of being charged with "communicating with the enemy", a military crime that carries a maximum sentence of death.
posted by jaduncan on Sep 26, 2012 - 234 comments

Use the enemy's own films to expose their enslaving ends. Let our boys hear the Nazis and the Japs shout their own claims of master-race crud—and our fighting men will know why they are in uniform.

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]
posted by Blasdelb on Sep 16, 2012 - 24 comments

“I used to take them at their word. I can’t do that anymore.”

824,273 disabled veterans are currently awaiting a response on claims from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. On average, it takes the government 257 days to respond, and there has been a 7.2% growth in claims over the last 1.3 years -- so the delays are growing. While they wait, veterans often cannot access health care from the agency or receive disability compensation. Plus, the backlog on claim appeals is at least 3.5 years. So how can veterans avoid the backlog? A special investigation by the Bay Area Citizen shows that processing speed is a matter of geographic location: veterans in sparsely populated areas have their claims filled faster than those living in urban centers. Interactive Map: Where is Worst Backlog? Related video and transcript.
posted by zarq on Aug 30, 2012 - 33 comments

Let There Be Light

"A post-World War II documentary, banned by the military in 1946 but lately released online, is one of the earliest depictions of psychotherapy." Let There Be Light, a film by John Huston. [more inside]
posted by bluefly on Aug 20, 2012 - 9 comments

"Captains Courageous"

'While they never met, they had some things in common. Both were Army captains, engaged in important work for the nation, their costly educations paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Ian Morrison, 26, returned to Fort Hood, Texas, last December after nine months flying 70 combat missions over Iraq. Dr. Michael McCaddon, 37, was an ob-gyn resident at Hawaii’s Tripler Army Medical Center. The pilot and the doctor shared one other thing: they found themselves in a darkening, soul-sucking funnel that has trapped some 2,500 military personnel since 9/11. Like them, each died, at his own hand, on March 21, nearly 4,000 miles apart.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 16, 2012 - 27 comments

The boat with two captains sinks.

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy sacks the head of the Army. Hussein Tantawi (head of the Egyptian Army and SCAF) has been dismissed as the Egyptian president asserts his power over the traditionally dominant military. Morsy has also cancelled the SCAF memorandum keeping legislative powers with the military council, and it's widely thought that the fight over that will end up at the constitutional court again. If the cancellation stands, Morsi will also have almost complete control of the constitutional drafting process.
posted by Hosni Mubarak on Aug 13, 2012 - 36 comments

A Day Job Waiting for a Kill Shot a World Away

A Day Job Waiting for a Kill Shot a World Away (SLNYT)
posted by destrius on Jul 30, 2012 - 79 comments

"He is no longer his own person."

The Checkpoint. An essay which looks inside the conflicted mind of an Israeli soldier, stationed at a West Bank checkpoint. By Oded Na'aman, currently a student in the Philosophy PhD program at Harvard University, who served in the Israeli Defense Forces from November 2000 to October 2003. Mr. Na'aman is also a member of Breaking the Silence, a website that gathers and publishes anonymous testimonials from IDF soldiers -- combat veterans -- about their experiences and the realities of life in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
posted by zarq on Jul 24, 2012 - 6 comments

A Nuclear Group of Observers

NPR show us and tells the story of five men who agreed to stand directly below and observe a nuclear explosion.
On July 19, 1957, five Air Force officers and one photographer stood together on a patch of ground about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. They'd marked the spot 'Ground Zero. Population 5' on a hand-lettered sign hammered into the soft ground right next to them.

posted by gilrain on Jul 18, 2012 - 42 comments

Fantasyland delenda est

Optimal siege tactics for taking Cinderella Castle (via)
posted by prize bull octorok on Jul 18, 2012 - 55 comments

The Most Outstanding Camouflage $5 Billion Can Buy

After spending $5 billion dollars to develop the Universal Camouflage Pattern (UCP), the US Army is abandoning the grey-green pixelated camouflage because it has routinely failed to hide soldiers from view in nearly every environment it has been tried in, and considers adopting the UCP "a colossal mistake" and a "fiasco". [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jul 8, 2012 - 171 comments

The Last Full Measure of Devotion

"The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the President in the name of Congress, and is conferred only upon members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through 'conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.'" The U.S. Army Center of Military History lists every citation for a Medal of Honor award since they were first issued. Most are awarded posthumously, to those who "gave the last full measure of devotion", as Lincoln called it. It's Memorial Day in the U.S., and reflecting upon these is perhaps a reasonable way to spend a bit of it. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned on May 28, 2012 - 59 comments

That smile will come, sooner or later. But I promise you, it will come.

For Memorial Day weekend, at TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), Vice President Joe Biden talks about grief, and loss, and how "there will come a day, I promise you, and you parents, as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye."
posted by Guy Smiley on May 26, 2012 - 58 comments

The Sea Shadow goes quietly into the night

The Sea Shadow is a prototype stealth ship built thirty years ago for the US Navy, and the only ship ever designed by the Lockheed Skunk Works. Like its airborne cousin, the F-117 Nighthawk, it is nearly invisible to radar. It is extremely stable in high seas, has no conventional rudder, and requires a minimum crew of only four to operate.
Despite the successful field trials and futuristic technology, the Navy passed on the program and the boat sat largely unused. At 5PM central time, the auction ends that will send the Sea Shadow to the scrapyard. Pictures will soon be all that is left, but check out this extensive virtual tour. [more inside]
posted by startled on May 4, 2012 - 54 comments

“He just has some things on his mind he’s trying to work out.”

Why Noah Went to the Woods: He was a proud Marine who survived three ­brutal tours in Iraq and had plans to redeploy with the ­national guard. But when 30-year-old Noah Pippin ­vanished inside Montana’s remote Bob ­Marshall ­Wilderness, he left behind a trail of haunting secrets—and a mystery that may never be solved. "The Pippins were alarmed. Given their son’s strict adherence to his moral code, a scenario in which Noah had intentionally shirked his military duty was nearly inconceivable. After several calls to his phone went straight to voice mail, they began to investigate, discovering that they knew far less about their son than they had imagined."
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 3, 2012 - 46 comments

President Obama cracks down on for-profit recruiting of veterans.

Today, President Obama signed an executive order which places stricter disclosure requirements on recruiters for for-profit schools looking to recruit veterans and soldiers. The move comes amid growing concern among state and federal legislators that for-profit educational institutions are doing more harm than good and are employing predatory recruiting practices especially on veterans who are exiting the military and looking to improve their education through the Post-9/11 GI Bill. [more inside]
posted by Scientist on Apr 27, 2012 - 52 comments

Getting pepper sprayed > enlisting

"I was wrong about Don't Ask, Don't Tell." A discharged military activist and, lately, Occupy protester, now says, "The reason I’m wrong isn’t because gay people shouldn’t join the Army. It’s because no-one should join the Army."
posted by liketitanic on Apr 19, 2012 - 48 comments

Honor your enemy

Who was the greatest foe the British Empire ever faced? George Washington, according to the UK's National Army Museum.
posted by Chocolate Pickle on Apr 15, 2012 - 59 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

Call of Apathy: Violent Young Men and Our Place in War

People need to realise that their wars are not fought by the guy on the news that lost a leg and loves his flag — he was the FNG [f--king new guy] that got blown up because he was incompetent, who left the fight before it turned him into one of us. A private military contractor and former infantryman talks about the military PR complex. [more inside]
posted by bumpjump on Mar 2, 2012 - 64 comments

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