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Afghanistan

Combat Outpost. "As US and the UK forces struggle for a way forward in Afghanistan, John D McHugh's unique film from one of the US military's most dangerous outposts shows just how western forces are losing ground to the Taliban." Where are Afghanistan's missing millions? "Clancy Chassay hears charges of corruption levelled against the UN and aid agencies after millions earmarked for a Kabul hospital disappear."
posted by homunculus on Feb 19, 2009 - 21 comments

That was too close: RAF Tornado comes within 30ft of mid-air collision

That was too close. RAF Tornado comes within 30ft of mid-air collision.
posted by nthdegx on Feb 16, 2009 - 50 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

Urban Legends In War

Now that the fighting in Gaza is over for the time being, it's time for urban legends to arise out of the morass. One story now making the rounds on the Israeli side involves soldiers claiming the Biblical matriarch Rachel warned them of Hamas ambushes and guided them away from booby-trapped homes. Strangely, Rachel supposedly appeared as an Arabic-speaking older woman. Meanwhile, American soldiers during the second Iraq war spawned their own urban legends. But these stories are just the latest entries in a long tradition. [more inside]
posted by huskerdont on Jan 21, 2009 - 27 comments

JOE 2008 examines changes/trends in the geopolitical and military landscape

"Authored by the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), the Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008, pdf) outlines a strategic framework and forecasts possible threats and opportunities that will challenge the future joint force." One portion picked out by the media: Mexico and Pakistan are the two countries most likely to undergo "sudden collapse". [more inside]
posted by 445supermag on Jan 15, 2009 - 7 comments

Air Flow

How to blog, or counter-blog, for the US Air force, in handy flow chart form.
posted by Artw on Jan 6, 2009 - 40 comments

Samuel Huntington Dies

Samuel Phillip Huntington, best known for his work "Clash of Civilizations," died on December 24. Previously on the blue (here, here, here, and here)
posted by Glibpaxman on Dec 27, 2008 - 20 comments

Lockheed Martin's Multi-Kill Vehicle

Lockheed Martin's Multi-Kill Vehicle.
posted by odinsdream on Dec 9, 2008 - 95 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

Friendly fire coverup

New friendly fire coverup: Army shreds files on dead soldiers. "Hours after Salon revealed evidence that two Americans were killed by a U.S. tank, not enemy fire, military officials destroyed papers on the men."
posted by homunculus on Nov 19, 2008 - 46 comments

Team Lioness - Female Soldiers in Combat in Iraq

Team Lioness 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."
posted by nooneyouknow on Nov 14, 2008 - 22 comments

Groundbreak Much?

"I have never considered myself anything but a Soldier." The U.S. names its first female four-star general: Ann E. Dunwoody. [more inside]
posted by jabberjaw on Nov 14, 2008 - 40 comments

Spy Pigeons

Iran says it caught two pigeons spying on it's nuclear reactor. It sounds crazy, but it's not as farfetched as you might think. The lowly pigeon has been used in military operations since the 12th century. Commando the Pigeon flew 90 missions in German-occupied France during WWII. Pigeons like Commando, Winkie, and Paddy had a lock on the Dickin Medal for animal bravery during WWII. Then again, maybe it's just crazy. Last year Iran said it had arrested 14 squirrels for espionage.
posted by up in the old hotel on Oct 20, 2008 - 40 comments

Military-Grade Moe-Anthropomorphism

Military equipment drawn as anime girls. Probably SFW, but good luck explaining it to the boss. Wikipedia explains.
posted by mccarty.tim on Oct 19, 2008 - 34 comments

I Can Has Mind Control?

Army Funds Synthetic Telepathy Research Inspired by video game research [previously] the army has issued funding to research the possibility of sending/receiving e-mail via brainwaves. Some progress has been made using EEGs already, although the army's motives don't seem so pure.
posted by jnaps on Oct 14, 2008 - 29 comments

wartime paratrooper dummies and decoys

Burlap paradummies called Ruperts were dropped during D-Day, later depicted in the film The Longest Day. But prior to D-Day, both the British and the Germans had used straw-filled decoys in various locations. Later in the war, the U.S. tested "Oscar" but found him lacking, adopting instead the PD Dummy. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Oct 5, 2008 - 11 comments

Make-Believe Maverick

Make-Believe Maverick. "A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty."
posted by homunculus on Oct 4, 2008 - 120 comments

The Wars of John McCain

The Wars of John McCain. "John McCain believes the Vietnam War was winnable. Now he argues that an Obama administration would accept defeat in Iraq, with grave costs to American honor and national security. Is McCain’s quest for victory a reflection of an antiquated pre-Vietnam mind-set? Or of a commitment to principles we abandon at our peril? Is there any war McCain thinks can’t be won?"
posted by homunculus on Sep 26, 2008 - 93 comments

Active Army unit to be stationed within US

"Beginning in October, the Army plans to station an active unit inside the United States for the first time..." (SLthisisveryscaryYT)
posted by allkindsoftime on Sep 24, 2008 - 170 comments

Baghdad Nights

Baghdad nights: evaluating the US military ‘surge’ using nighttime light signatures (PDF). A team of UCLA geographers using satellite imagery to track the amount of light emitted in Baghdad at night found that electricity use in Sunni neighborhoods fell prior to the surge and never returned, indicating that ethnic cleansing by Shiite militias drove the Sunnis away before the surge began and was largely responsible for the subsequent decrease in violence. [Via Passport]
posted by homunculus on Sep 23, 2008 - 33 comments

APA bars participation in military interrogations

Psychology Group Changes Policy on Interrogations. The American Psychological Association has adopted a measure prohibiting its members from participating in interrogations of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay and other military prisons where detainees have been tortured (previously). [Via Paper Chase]
posted by homunculus on Sep 20, 2008 - 36 comments

We regret to inform you.

In Their Boots is a new online "magazine show" about the impact of the wars on US servicemembers and their families. The latest episode features the founder of the American Widow Project, a new documentary and an organization dedicated to helping out other war widows across the country.
posted by lullaby on Sep 13, 2008 - 5 comments

Afghanistan Civilian Deaths

Some new and disturbing footage following an air raid on Azizabad seems to be forcing the US military to do a U-turn on civilian deaths in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by vodkaboots on Sep 8, 2008 - 37 comments

Documentary about a rescue helicopter crew on their tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Above Enemy Lines (youtube 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) is a BBC Documentary about a RAF Chinook crew on their tour of duty in Afghanistan. Part 4 and 5 of the film deal with the crew attempting to rescue a wounded 19 year-old soldier from a combat zone.
posted by krautland on Sep 8, 2008 - 7 comments

The new Nazi army: How the U.S. military is allowing the far-right to join its ranks.

Nazis in the military is dedicated to the investigative project undertaken by journalist Matthew Kennard while studying for a MS in Investigative Journalism at Columbia University in New York. It was completed over six months and explores the increasingly liberal attitude of the U.S. military to neo-Nazis and white supremacists serving in the armed forces. via [more inside]
posted by hortense on Sep 6, 2008 - 81 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

Hearts and Minds

The US military has been putting more attention into brain science research, covering such potential applications as mind reading, mind control, cognitive enhancement and brain-machine interfaces. This is detailed in the report "Emerging Cognitive Neuroscience and Related Technologies" (also available in an abridged PDF version), authored by a National Research Council committee convened by the Department of Defense.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Aug 18, 2008 - 28 comments

The American Military Crisis

Illusions of Victory: How the United States Did Not Reinvent War… But Thought It Did. Is Perpetual War Our Future? Learning the Wrong Lessons from the Bush Era. Two excerpts from The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism, the new book by Andrew Bacevich (previously: 1, 2, 3, 4).
posted by homunculus on Aug 14, 2008 - 21 comments

West Point: Combating Terrorism Center publications

The Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at the United States Military Academy, West Point, has published another report in their analysis of captured al-Qa'ida documents: Bombers, Bank Accounts, and Bleedout: al‐Qa`ida’s Road In and Out of Iraq [pdf] (note to UK readers). [more inside]
posted by acro on Aug 8, 2008 - 1 comment

Global Domination: The Missing Manual

Learning from history's mistakes? In the summer of 2002, the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment (ONA), run for 35 years by a man nicknamed Yoda, published an 85-page report titled "Military Advantage in History" (PDF). Drawing on Sun Tzu, Jared Diamond and Roman historian Titus Livius, the book analyzes the rise & fall of the empires of Alexander the Great, Imperial Rome, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon's France and attempts to plot a course for a Pax Americana that can avoid the pitfalls that led to the collapse of those earlier kingdoms. (via)
posted by scalefree on Aug 5, 2008 - 36 comments

The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume Illustration

The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Costume Illustration has drawings of uniforms and regimental regalia from all over the world. Assembled by one of these great, eccentric collectors of the late 19th Century, Dr. H. J. Vinkhuijzen, a Dutch medical doctor who started out as an army physician and eventually rose to the position of official court physician to Prince Alexander of Netherlands. He pulled plates out of books, colored in black and white drawings and painted his own watercolor illustrations. His collection includes pictures of the soldiers of many different nations and eras, from military superpowers like the Roman Empire, France and Great Britain, to lesser known, but no less formidable forces, like Byzantium and Persia and even taking in such minnows as Luxembourg, Monaco and Montenegro. Due to Vinkhuijzen's unusual classification system it can be hard to find some of the more interesting images, such as pictures of Etruscan cavalry, Spanish military musicians and 1830's Belgian ambulance.
posted by Kattullus on Aug 4, 2008 - 11 comments

Put simply: it could be taken out by a WWII Japanese kamikaze pilot.

What's as big as a battleship, looks like a star destroyer, and can't do much of anything? [more inside]
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow on Aug 3, 2008 - 62 comments

"Are we in the midst of a coup?"

2009: A True Story. "My name is Sara Ford and I am 18 years old. I moved to California at the end of last year. Before the first attacks... before everything changed." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 3, 2008 - 74 comments

Soldier's Legacy

"The blogger Andrew Sullivan linked to the Blade account and encouraged readers to complain to the Post. “I can see why outing someone who is alive and closeted is unethical,” he wrote. “Inning someone who is dead and was out is a function of utterly misplaced sensitivity, rooted in well-intentioned but incontrovertible homophobia.”" A Soldier's Legacy.
posted by wittgenstein on Aug 2, 2008 - 16 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

Victorians, eminent and otherwise

The Victorian Web is your one-stop resource for England in the Victorian era (1837-1901). The site is much too extensive to give but a flavor. It is divided into 20 categories, including Technology, Gender Matters, Economic Contexts, Authors, Political History, Theater and Popular Entertainment, Science and Genre and Technique. Here are a few examples of the articles inside: Inventions in Alice in Wonderland, The Role of the Victorian Army, Earth Yenneps: Victorian Back Slang (and a glossary of same), Algernon Charles Swinburne and the Philosophy of Androgyny, Hermaphrodeity, and Victorian Sexual Mores, Evolution, progress and natural laws and, of course, Queen Victoria.
posted by Kattullus on Jul 28, 2008 - 10 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

Suspect Soldiers

Suspect Soldiers. "A Sacramento Bee investigation finds the military let in applicants with risky backgrounds -- with sometimes tragic results." Part 1: Troubled histories follow some troops to Iraq war. Part 2: Is there a link between postwar stress and crime? Part 3: Iraq doctor's shooter had long record. Part 4: Patriotic Texas city mirrors nation's recruiting troubles.
posted by homunculus on Jul 16, 2008 - 30 comments

Don’t ask, don't tell - gays in the US military

[G]ays do not belong in the U.S. military because American troops need to be hardened warriors. "We aren't the Brits. We're not the Europeans. We're not the Swedes," says Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, who is the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee. The choicest quote from the 16 Dec 2007 60 Minutes investigation into gays in the military (recently updated). [more inside]
posted by wilful on Jul 14, 2008 - 109 comments

Iranian Photoshoping Skills

In response to Israel's show of might, Iran tested long range missiles capable of hitting Israel and other U.S. targets in the region. Was the image AFP used photoshopped?
posted by gman on Jul 10, 2008 - 78 comments

CDN military to gays: Join us!

Canadian military to gays: Join us! They're even setting up recruiting booths at Gay Pride events (when they are allowed) Note that CBC moderators deleted some of the comments on that first link, but you get a hunch on what they said from the other comments. You may also have heard about two gay soldiers who wed on a military base.
posted by SSinVan on Jun 29, 2008 - 15 comments

Military tattoos in the age of Iraq

The Skins They Carried. Military tattoos in the age of Iraq. [more inside]
posted by thatwhichfalls on Jun 22, 2008 - 32 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

Boullée in North Dakota

The Safeguard system consisted of three primary components, a Perimeter Acquisition Radar, Missile Site Radar and Remote Sprint Launchers. Boullée in North Dakota [via]
posted by xod on Jun 5, 2008 - 12 comments

International Efforts Still Failing Child Soldiers

Child Soldiers Global Report 2008. "Despite progress, efforts to end the recruitment and use of child soldiers are too little and too late for many children, according to the 2008 Child Soldiers Global Report, launched today by the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers."
posted by homunculus on May 26, 2008 - 9 comments

RIP Travis N. Twiggs, USMC PTSD Sufferer

PTSD: The War Within. A Marine writes about his PTSD experience. This article from the January issue of the Marine Corps Gazette was written by USMC Staff Sergeant Travis N. Twiggs. Twiggs killed himself and his brother after a long police chase in Arizona earlier this week.
posted by homunculus on May 17, 2008 - 66 comments

Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия

Comrades! Glory once again in the display of Soviet Russian military might at the revitalized May Day Victory Day Parade!
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 11, 2008 - 52 comments

Fragments of stealth

The F117A Swan Song, the Fall of the Belgrade Embassy...and China Rising China Matters blog offers a fascinating take on "the role that the Belgrade bombing seems to play as the creation myth of the birth of the 21st Chinese strategic military doctrine, founded on the assumption that the U.S. will unscrupulously use its military, diplomatic, and propaganda advantages not only to contain China but even to attack it when need, desire, and circumstances permit."
posted by Abiezer on Apr 29, 2008 - 41 comments

Paracord crafts! Lt. Stewart, report to the supply tent. Calling Lt. Martha Stewart...

Paracord is a perennial survival kit favorite, but why carry a boring ol' hank of it when you can get crafty? Parachute cord lanyards, bracelets, watchbands, belts, and other braided items are surprisingly easy and fun to make by following some simple instructions. But they're just the beginning! From water bottle carriers and camera tripods to knife handles, Khukri conversions, flashlight & stick wraps, pace beads, magazine pulls, rifle wraps and rifle slings, there are tons of useful things you can make out of paracord! [more inside]
posted by vorfeed on Apr 28, 2008 - 21 comments

The Rapture is Not an Exit Strategy

“People like you are not holding up the Constitution ..." Or so said Major Freddy Welborn, Specialist Jeremy Hall's commanding officer in Tikrit. "Last month, Specialist Hall and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, an advocacy group, filed suit in federal court in Kansas, alleging that Specialist Hall’s right to be free from state endorsement of religion under the First Amendment had been violated and that he had faced retaliation for his views. In November, he was sent home early from Iraq because of threats from fellow soldiers." (NY Times)
posted by fourcheesemac on Apr 26, 2008 - 123 comments

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