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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

An Inconvenient Audit

The Pentagon's $1 Trillion Problem. Even as the Defense Department prepares to send Congress its $481.4B FY2008 budget request, it also prepares to admit -- for the 18th year in a row -- that its finances are in such poor shape that it is effectively impossible to audit or account for over a trillion dollars in past expenses. [more inside]
posted by Kadin2048 on Apr 16, 2008 - 38 comments

"[P]ropaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state...."

Need money? Have a blog? Well, your troubles may be over: "Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering." Of course, if you don't want to play along, there are other ways to make your blog useful:
Hacking the site and subtly changing the messages and data—merely a few words or phrases—may be sufficient to begin destroying the blogger’s credibility with the audience.... If the messages are subtly tweaked and the data corrupted in the right way, the enemy may reason that the blogger in question has betrayed them and... take down the site (and the blogger) themselves....
Who might you be interested in "clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers"? Oh, the US military.
posted by orthogonality on Apr 5, 2008 - 20 comments

"The highest award for valor in action"

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society offers a wealth of information on recipients of the United States' highest military honor. To read some amazing tales, check out this full list, or maybe just this list of recently deceased recipients. [more inside]
posted by Bookhouse on Mar 31, 2008 - 17 comments

Insignia of Armed Forces in WW2

The Armed Forces of World War II, a flash presentation of rank insignia. The creator implies that it's a work in progress, but what I've clicked through seems pretty complete to me. Bonus Babylon 5 link on the left.
posted by adamdschneider on Mar 26, 2008 - 11 comments

I Am The Eye In The Sky

Discoveries made using satellite imagery, particularly via Google Earth, have made headlines in the blue and green before. Increasingly high-resolution photos, combined with obsessive interest, have lead inevitably to the next step: interpretation and analysis of spots on the Earth's surface for which information is restricted, censored, or classified, such as the preparedness of military defenses in North Korea and Iran, or the viability of Saudi Arabia's next big oil play. Of course, not all mapping is benevolent.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Mar 13, 2008 - 9 comments

Winter Soldier

Winter Soldier: Iraq & Afghanistan. "Like Vietnam vets did decades ago, a group of soldiers are poised to speak out about atrocities they say the U.S. committed in Iraq and Afghanistan."
posted by homunculus on Mar 13, 2008 - 45 comments

Frightening new military technology

Presented in a way that is familiar to gimmicky kitchen appliances, this frightening weapon can fire 120,000 rounds per minute without a human operator. It makes no noise or flash, and can be mounted anywhere and is operated remotely. [more inside]
posted by hellslinger on Mar 10, 2008 - 84 comments

Move, Shoot, and Communicate

Warrior Writers express themselves using Combat Paper made from their old military uniforms. FAQ. Videos. An associated RI art show has its opening reception tonight. Sunday night there’s a program as well at The Beat Museum in San Francisco.
posted by LeLiLo on Mar 6, 2008 - 5 comments

Admiral Fallon

The Man Between War and Peace. "As head of U. S. Central Command, Admiral William 'Fox' Fallon is in charge of American military strategy for the most troubled parts of the world. Now, as the White House has been escalating the war of words with Iran, and seeming ever more determined to strike militarily before the end of this presidency, the admiral has urged restraint and diplomacy. Who will prevail, the president or the admiral?" [Via Think Progress.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 5, 2008 - 50 comments

Biplanes are for sissies

How would the military really kill a giant monster? The excellent Danger Room blog considers the problem in a two part post. Of course, if you want to find out how giant your monster is first, you may want to consult this discussion comparing monster heights.
posted by blahblahblah on Mar 5, 2008 - 36 comments

The shot not heard around the world.

Did you know that two weeks ago - last Valentine's Day - a pact was signed in Texas allowing cross-border military activity between Canada and the US? I'd supply more links but there's not much out there.
posted by stinkycheese on Feb 27, 2008 - 56 comments

Video of USA193 satellite being shot down

A video has been posted showing the shooting down of satellite USA193 high over the Pacific! [more inside]
posted by 6am on Feb 21, 2008 - 54 comments

The Pritzker Military Library

The Pritzker Military Library, a "public institution for the study of the citizen-soldier as an essential element for the preservation of democracy." Found while doing some after-film research on Charlie Wilson's War, the site is a trove of largely non-partisan, often refreshingly candid military perspectives. Particular highlights are video and audio interviews with Jim Lovell and Congressional Medal of Honor winners.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Feb 11, 2008 - 5 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

The Saddam Sessions

Saddam's Confessions - Given Saddam Hussein's central place in the American Consciousness over the last couple decades and particularly in recent years, I found 60 minutes' interview with FBI interrogator George Piro pretty fascinating.
posted by kliuless on Jan 27, 2008 - 24 comments

Nellis AFB Air Show.

Wednesday morning plane pr0n.
posted by saladin on Dec 19, 2007 - 46 comments

Charlie 1-26

Blood Brothers: 15 months of combat hell forever change the members of Charlie 1-26. Part 1: To Adhamiya and back. Part 2: ‘I’ve seen enough. I’ve done enough.’ Part 3: ‘Not us. We’re not going.’ Part 4: Picking up the pieces. [Via Danger Room.]
posted by homunculus on Dec 16, 2007 - 27 comments

Repression in Burma

Crackdown: Repression of the 2007 Popular Protests in Burma.
posted by homunculus on Dec 9, 2007 - 32 comments

High speed, wave-piercing catamaran

The USNS Swift (HSV-2) looks like something a Bond villian would own, but it's actually one of the most advanced ships owned by the US Navy. Highly manueverable and having a top speed of 51mph, it's heavily automated, capable of handling helicopters, carrying cargo, and launching both manned and unmanned vehicles -- all with only 42 people. It's assisted with relief efforts in Indonesia, Lebanon, and after Hurricane Katrina. But the best thing about the ship? It can be remote controlled through a web browser.
posted by QuestionableSwami on Nov 29, 2007 - 28 comments

Child Soldiers in Burma

Sold to Be Soldiers: The Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers in Burma. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Oct 30, 2007 - 6 comments

Taiwan military scraps loving hug policy

"We are not that close!" The Taiwan military scraps its loving hug policy for new recruits. Soldiers need hugs, and perhaps insurgents do too?
posted by gemmy on Oct 24, 2007 - 9 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

Participating in UN peacekeeping missions made Fiji prone to coups

Without participating in peacekeeping missions overseas, it is unlikely that Fiji's army would ever have become strong enough to seize power. So says the Economist: "When the British left Fiji in 1970, there were only around 200 serving military personnel. UN peacekeeping operations in Lebanon and Sinai generated a tenfold increase by 1986. The next year, Fiji witnessed its first military coup." The series of coups since then haven't stopped Fiji from continuing to participate in UN missions.
posted by jstruan on Sep 29, 2007 - 12 comments

The V-22 Osprey - A Flying Shame

The V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft is going to combat. The aircraft cannot autorotate to safe landing if it loses power in helicopter mode, and has only a rearward facing gun. previously
posted by exogenous on Sep 27, 2007 - 55 comments

Defending the Constitution

Never in History Have Generals Revolted Against a War Like They are About IRAQ. "I (insert name), having been appointed a (insert rank) in the U.S. Army under the conditions indicated in this document, do accept such appointment and do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God." Unlike the enlisted folks, officers only swear an allegiance to the Constitution.
posted by augustweed on Sep 26, 2007 - 50 comments

This Thread Has Been Pre-Godwin'd For Your Convenience.

An Unfortunate View From the Sky. The U.S. Navy has decided to spend as much as $600,000 for landscaping and architectural modifications to obscure the fact that one its building complexes looks like a swastika from the air.
posted by brain_drain on Sep 26, 2007 - 70 comments

Military baiting, killing Iraqis

"Hey look at this shiny trinket, I think I'll pick it up and see what it---OH GOD MY FACE." A Pentagon group has encouraged some U.S. military snipers in Iraq to target suspected insurgents by scattering pieces of "bait," such as detonation cords, plastic explosives and ammunition, and then killing Iraqis who pick up the items, according to military court documents.
posted by null terminated on Sep 24, 2007 - 77 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

Kerr Magee had applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to call their waste an "experimental fertilizer" and just spread it over the top of the land.

Depleted uranium is now understood to have many medical consequences unique to its modern application as munitions, due to its incendiary, aerosolizing behavior when pulverized. (Rosalie Bertell explains, youtube) It has become a leading candidate for the cause of Gulf War syndrome, and was associated with massive increases in cancer and birth defects in Basra. The EU has called for a moratorium on its use four times, and WHO is deeply concerned with its consequences, but the USA (with Canadian complicity) and Russia continue to use it in Iraq and elsewhere. (prev: 1 2 3 4 5)
posted by mek on Aug 22, 2007 - 52 comments

The War as We Saw It

The War as We Saw It. A powerful op-ed about Iraq written by seven infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division who will soon be heading home, it has received surprisingly little attention.
posted by homunculus on Aug 21, 2007 - 72 comments

Food Critics in Camouflage

Reviews of MRE's, at times unintentionally hilarious. Kosher MRE reviewed. Also, the LA Times. Previously.
posted by Xere on Aug 21, 2007 - 35 comments

Genetic discrimination

U.S. military practices genetic discrimination in denying benefits. "Those medically discharged with genetic diseases are left without disability or retirement benefits. Some are fighting back."
posted by homunculus on Aug 20, 2007 - 43 comments

Outsourcing Intelligence

The numbers are classified, the dollars are classified, but there's no doubt that the number of "Green Badgers" are catching up to, and sometimes surpassing, that of "Blue Badgers" in some of the US's most sensitive national security positions. Bob Baer is talking about it. Others have been, too. R.J. Hillhouse has been writing a blog for roughly six months now on the phenomenon: The Spy Who Billed Me.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze on Jul 8, 2007 - 17 comments

Air Force drops gay bomb

Make love not war? The Pentagon confirms that it was researching the possibility of a "gay bomb" that could "turn enemy soldiers into homosexuals and make them more interested in sex than fighting." BBC discusses this and other unorthodox U.S. weapons proposals.
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 9, 2007 - 86 comments

Don't Tread On Me

Dinos' might in army sights. The Comanche National Grasslands located near The Sex Change Capital of the World is under threat by an expanding Piñon Canyon Maneuver Site [attached to Fort Carson]. Home to countless fossils, and Native American cave art, the Purgatoire River could end up like The Stronghold Unit of the Badlands in South Dakota with one of the largest dinosaur tracks site in the world damaged or destroyed and rendered inaccessible to scientists.
posted by Stynxno on May 31, 2007 - 12 comments

AWOL W/PTSD? FUBAR

Court martialed for PTSD? "But I'm very concerned that, in a time when the Army is going out there and saying, we're trying to make sure that we provide good counseling for the troops, that, when someone has asked for help, they're potentially facing a court-martial. "
posted by Smedleyman on May 25, 2007 - 20 comments

We Reap What We Sow

Reaping What We Sow? Right now, White House lawyers are working up new rules that will govern what CIA interrogators can do to prisoners in secret. Those rules will set the standard not only for the CIA but also for what kind of treatment captured American soldiers can expect from their captors, now and in future wars. Before the president once again approves a policy of official cruelty, he should reflect on that.Charles C. Krulak was commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999. Joseph P. Hoar was commander in chief of U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994. (Washington Post)
Some other opinions. (youtube) Thoughtful commentary. More.
posted by spitbull on May 17, 2007 - 75 comments

No web for you, Army Boy!

Soldiers may no longer use MySpace to communicate with family. The Defense Department will begin "worldwide" blocking access, as of today, to YouTube, Metacafe, IFilm, StupidVideos, FileCabi, MySpace, BlackPlanet, Hi5, Pandora, MTV, 1.fm, live365, and Photobucket on its computers and networks, according to a memo sent Friday by Gen. B.B. Bell, the U.S. Forces Korea commander. Note that most soldiers deployed in war zones don't have access to any network outside of the military network.
posted by dejah420 on May 14, 2007 - 76 comments

Dirty Sanchez: The Truth About A Conservative Gay Porn Star and Prostitute

Cpl. Matt Sanchez is the BFF of Ann Coulter and gay porn consumers. "Former journalist" Charles Wilson has launched an exhaustive site all about him and his alter ego, Rod Majors. Check out his biography, a filmography, an "evidence locker," a discussion forum, articles, forums posts, and transcripts of radio interviews. This is the most comprehsenive site about this dude the world will ever need.
posted by sneakin on May 4, 2007 - 183 comments

"Of 10 governments worldwide implicated in the recruitment or use of children as soldiers, nine receive US military assistance."

"Of 10 governments worldwide implicated in the recruitment or use of children as soldiers, nine receive US military assistance."
posted by chunking express on Apr 27, 2007 - 24 comments

John Arquilla interview re: the future of military technology and hardware

“[O]ur military today oversees spending of about a billion and a quarter dollars every day. Most of that is misspent. Over this past quarter-century, we've reinforced an old industrial-policy military with hardware that makes increasingly less sense, spending most on things that provide the least return. The principal argument for that is: ‘We have to keep the big, old-style military because we might fight a big, old-style war one day.’ But in the future the bigger you are, the harder you're going to fall to ever-more accurate weapons.”
posted by jason's_planet on Apr 10, 2007 - 58 comments

Charlie Foxtrot.

Embrace the Suck. Intensive military activity creates an incubator for slang. By bringing together people from geographically diverse backgrounds, putting them into stressful circumstances, and teaching them a new language of jargon and acronym, the armed forces create fertile ground for new idioms - many of which return home in civvies when the conflicts are over. In the Civil War, World War I and World War II, in Korea and in Viet Nam, servicepeople created or popularized now-familiar terms like shoddy, hotshot, cooties, tailspin, fleabag, face time, joystick, SNAFU, FUBAR, flaky, gung ho, no sweat, flame-out, and many, many others. Now, the GWOT brings us a new generation of 'milspeak'. Military columnist Austin Bay has published an early collection of neologisms from Gulf War II. On NPR, Bay explains what The Suck is, how to identify a fobbit, and why Marines look down on the attitude of Semper I.
posted by Miko on Mar 31, 2007 - 66 comments

Dr. Noori ... stayed home the day of the strike to prevent his workers from finding out that he knew many of the soldiers.

"I thought, 'Why don't we just raid the place?' " --the newest and only currently viable way to check up on how the billions and billions we're spending on reconstruction in Iraq is being spent--fake raids by the US military, making it seem like the recipients aren't receiving aid from us, and in fact are being targeted by us.
posted by amberglow on Mar 23, 2007 - 35 comments

Legio Patria Nostra

Like most boys, I grew up dreaming of a life filled with action and adventure. Unlike most men, I was able to live out those boyhood dreams during my five years in the French Foreign Legion. Previously.
posted by Sticherbeast on Mar 22, 2007 - 11 comments

"I miss Iraq. I miss my gun. I miss my war."

A Soldier's Lament by Brian Mockenhaupt in Esquire, brought to you via MSN. We've seen a similar post by a Marine officer recently, but I liked the tone of this one a bit more because it does a better job of showing us the inside of a warrior's head.
posted by pax digita on Mar 21, 2007 - 43 comments

Vet Kills Himself After VA Turns Him Away

Vet Kills Himself After VA Turns Him Away Marine veteran Jonathan Schulze survived the war in Iraq but almost two years after he came home, it ended up killing him, reports The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith. He had one of the toughest jobs in the war: taming the insurgent hotbed of Ramadi in 2004.
posted by Postroad on Mar 15, 2007 - 59 comments

Rape within the US military.

The private war of women soldiers. "Last year, Col. Janis Karpinski caused a stir by publicly reporting that in 2003, three female soldiers had died of dehydration in Iraq, which can get up to 126 degrees in the summer, because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being raped by male soldiers if they walked to the latrines after dark."
posted by Sticherbeast on Mar 8, 2007 - 187 comments

Confessions of an Army Torturer

Confessions of an Army Torturer "...as an army interrogator, he tortured detainees for information he admits they rarely had. Since leaving Iraq he’s taken this story public, doing battle on national television against the war’s architects for giving him the orders he regrets he obeyed...
posted by Postroad on Mar 3, 2007 - 42 comments

Born to War

Born to War is a series of paintings of American women killed in Iraq. The combination of the increasing role of women in the American military and the blurring of lines between combat and non-combat roles in Iraq have made this the first war in which female US soldiers have died in direct combat. The focus on a smaller number of women provides a more approachable view of casualties than more general sites like Iraq Body Count and raises some interesting questions about the role of women in the US military.
posted by scottreynen on Feb 23, 2007 - 13 comments

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