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 -
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 -
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 -
An interesting project
from the latest Vectors Journal. "Legend has it that Paglen, who has been called the Fox Mulder of cultural geography, was personally instrumental in provoking the military to extend the perimeter around Area 51 by several miles in an attempt to thwart one of his counter-surveillance efforts" [via]
posted by tellurian
on Feb 16, 2007 -
The President's call for a troop surge
in Iraq will likely be a headache for military recruiters, who have already had to relax standards
to (barely) meet their quotas. But just how desperate are they for warm bodies? Radar prank called recruiting stations around the country disguised as a veritable Breakfast Club
of misfit would-be soldiers, all dramatically unqualified or unattractive for service in some way. The resulting transcripts are hysterically funny
(the writer poses as a flamboyantly gay man, a mama's boy, a martial arts freak, a junkie, an IBS sufferer and a lobotomy patient). The recruiters turn out not to be quite as sleazy as you might imagine, but the conversations are priceless.
posted by P-Soque
on Jan 30, 2007 -
Twenty-one years ago today
a plane crashed in Gander, Newfoundland. The flight carried American soldiers
heading home for the holidays, returning from a mission in the Sinai
. Called the worst aviation disaster on Canadian soil,
the crash killed the 248 soldiers and 8 crew members aboard
. On December 16th, mere days after the crash, President Ronald Reagan gave a speech
at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, to comfort the victims' families.
As time passed, however, some of the families demanded answers from the US Government regarding the circumstances of the crash. In 1989, Robin Tallon, member of congress from South Carolina, assisted the families' by bringing the matter before Congress
- and also sending a letter to then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney (scroll down page). In 1992, a Time Magazine article
addressed forensic evidence which supported the idea of an on-board explosion prior to impact, as well as the flight's connections to Iran Contra
and the terrorist group Islamic Jihad. This article also discusses the book
written on the crash by Les Filotas, a dissenting member of the air safety board. The question was brought forth again in 1993, with a bill
introduced requesting that a commission be formed to further investigate the circumstances of the crash.
As with any disaster with unanswered questions, conspiracy theories abound
To this day, many of the questions surrounding Flight 1285 remain unanswered
. While the crash may never be fully explained, one certainty remains - for the families whose loved ones never came home for Christmas, the twelfth day of the twelfth month
will never be forgotten
posted by SassHat
on Dec 12, 2006 -
Wierd tanks: Tank design has pretty much come to the point where all tanks are alike. They are mostly 60 ton machines with single turret with a 120-125 mm main gun. A number of different approaches has been tried through history, tough. One is the the heavy multiturreted Soviet T-35
from the 30s. Another take is the Swedish S-tank
from the 60s, which did away with the turret altogether. A bit more conventional, but pretty much a one-nation tailor-made design is the Israeli Merkava
, which is balanced heavily in favour of crew survivability with the engine in front and the ability to carry along a few infantrymen. The strangest of the bunch is the Russian WWI Czar tank
, but just a tad impractical, standing 9 meters tall.
posted by Harald74
on Nov 21, 2006 -
US Military Papers open fire on Rummy.
Tomorrow, the Army Times -- and all other Military Times papers, including Navy and Air Force Times -- will run an editorial calling for Donald Rumsfeld to tender his resignation or be fired, due to his gross incompetence in handling the Iraq quagmire.
posted by lazaruslong
on Nov 5, 2006 -
A Doonesbury driven non-partisan non-policy community blog on the details of being human in a global war on terror.
posted by srboisvert
on Oct 10, 2006 -
So Much Fire To Roast Human Flesh
from Arthur Magazine
--an 18-track, multi-artist compilation CD curated by Foster featuring exclusive contributions from some of the more outspoken members of the nation's burgeoning psychedelic folk scene, ... All profits will be distributed to specific counter-military recruitment and pacifist organizations and programs who effectively advise high school students and other Americans at risk of being taken advantage of ...
(and you can listen here
). Some might remember Arthur vs. Godsmack
--their music is heavily featured in recruiting ads.
posted by amberglow
on Sep 1, 2006 -
The Great War on Terror shall be won with Powerpoint.
[Army Lt. General David] McKiernan had another, smaller but nagging issue: He couldn't get Franks to issue clear orders that stated explicitly what he wanted done, how he wanted to do it, and why. Rather, Franks passed along PowerPoint briefing slides that he had shown to Rumsfeld: "It's quite frustrating the way this works, but the way we do things nowadays is combatant commanders brief their products in PowerPoint up in Washington to OSD and Secretary of Defense…In lieu of an order, or a frag [fragmentary order], or plan, you get a bunch of PowerPoint slides…[T]hat is frustrating, because nobody wants to plan [img] against PowerPoint slides."
(Here's briefing standards *.ppt
, and some earlier governmental [pdf]
uses of PowerPoint [Cryptome
, along with one from ABCNEWS making the case against Iran
.) Also, here are previously related MeFi PowerPoint threads on the Downing Street Memos
and the Columbia disaster
posted by rzklkng
on Aug 17, 2006 -
This is a list of known or suspected U.S. Underground Bases, the purpose of each (hey, I'm just passing on the reports...), how they're set up and any other info known about them. Although most of these are supposed to be a secret, this list is culled from publicly available records (is that good or bad?) and of course people who worked in them, live by them or those who have retired and offer info. Some wish to remain anonymous. Some have written to me with stories that have been terrifying - just to tell me things - not meaning for me to put them up.
posted by Postroad
on Jul 21, 2006 -
If you're interested in military geography, this
ebook from the National Defense University website should be good reading for you.
posted by Heywood Mogroot
on Jul 11, 2006 -
The largest gathering
of Navy ships in the Pacific since the Vietnam war is happening right now, off the coast of Guam. Valiant Shield 06
, the first in a series of proposed biennial joint war-games
, is a massive military training exercise
involving three Carrier Strike groups
, more than 300 air craft, and 22,000 personnel. While primarily an ASW event
, all branches of the military are there practicing one thing
. The Department of Defense has invited a number of other counties to watch the games, including China
for the first time ever. Some believe
the game was just designed to put a scare into North Korea
(Not true, it's been in planning for a year).
But how does one run a massive war simulation
? Well, you just find yourself a copy of OneSAF
] or JSAF
(uh, among others
]) and you're good to go. (Previously on Metafilter: MC '02
posted by Fidel Cashflow
on Jun 22, 2006 -
a Eugene soldier, has been arrested for refusing to return to Iraq after leave. She reports that she was sexually harassed
by superiors. She was picked up at home by Homeland Security agents (according to local heresay) and held in Lane County Jail overnight, before being transferred to Fort Lewis in Washington.
More local news here.
(Disclaimer: I attempted to link a Military.com story on it, for balance, but was unable to.)
posted by Danf
on Jun 15, 2006 -
Never Coming Home
is about the families of five young men killed in Iraq. Slate
presents a short documentary that focuses on the bereavement of the parents, or in one case, a brother. This portrait of grief and sacrifice is brought to life through the use of still photography and the recorded voices of family members.
posted by ND¢
on Jun 12, 2006 -
When I Came Home:
Iraq War veteran Herold Noel suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and lives out of his car in Brooklyn. Using Noel's story as a fulcrum, this doc examines the wider issue of homeless U.S. military veterans-from Vietnam to Iraq-who have to fight tooth-and-nail to receive the benefits promised to them by their government.
posted by riley370
on May 21, 2006 -
Stitching Together Lives Torn Apart.
In a war with no fixed front, military hospitals in Iraq are closer than ever to the places where American troops are felled — most often by roadside bombs, but also by rockets, mortars and gunshots. Many of the most seriously wounded would have died in previous wars. In Vietnam, soldiers often bled to death before reaching a hospital. Because the wounded in Iraq are evacuated so quickly, 96% of those who make it alive to the Balad and Baghdad hospitals are saved. On the battlefield, medics are better-prepared. The lowliest grunt is given specialized lifesaver training. New blood-clotting agents and improved field bandages have helped save lives.
The amputation rate in Iraq is double that of previous wars. Many soldiers face the rest of their lives without arms or legs, or with severe brain damage. The LATimes special reporting: The Lifeline (graphic photo)
, part one of three.
posted by PenguinBukkake
on Apr 1, 2006 -
US Troop poll results in: 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and nearly one in four say the troops should leave immediately
. In other news, 58% of Americans think the troops should stay
. Back to the troops: 85% said the U.S. mission is mainly “to retaliate for Saddam’s role in the 9-11 attacks,” 77% said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was “to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq.”
posted by caddis
on Feb 28, 2006 -
US Sgt enlists Canadian hackers to take down weblog?
Apparently a US chaplain posted some information about visiting a base that doesn't exist. Some networking people are concerned and since Canada's hockey team was out early in the Olympics, thought some Canadian hackers may be able to help...
posted by Coop
on Feb 24, 2006 -
UAE, Jolted by Port Deal, Is Key Western Arms Buyer
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), the centre of a growing controversy over its proposed management of U.S. port terminals, is one of the world's most prolific arms buyers and a multi-billion-dollar military market both for the United States and Western Europe.
posted by Postroad
on Feb 24, 2006 -
US Army Teaches Troops How to Pick a Spouse
"Army chaplains are trying to teach troops how to pick the right spouse, through a program called "How To Avoid Marrying a Jerk. ... It teaches the lovestruck to pace themselves with a R.A.M. chart — the Relationship Attachment Model — which basically says don't let your sexual involvement exceed your level of commitment or level of knowledge about the other person."
I can't decide if this is common sense or takes all the fun out of love. If, indeed, there is any fun in it. Details on the programme can also be found at www.nojerks.com
posted by badlydubbedboy
on Feb 7, 2006 -
He wasn't asked. He didn't tell. Now he's out — and discharged.
Eye-opening tale of Jeff Howe, courtesy of Raw Story. After 9/11, feeling personally unfulfilled and wanting to serve his country, Howe enlisted at the age of 29. Knowing he was gay but realizing that Army guidelines forbade his kind, he re-entered the closet, underwent basic training, and was shipped to Iraq. After a two-year stint on the front lines, with five commendations, he returned stateside. Then he was stop-lossed, shipped back to Iraq, and started writing a blog. That began a chain of events that, through no apparent fault of his own — or loose lip-flapping — led to Jeff Howe and the Army parting company.
posted by rob511
on Feb 7, 2006 -
Army officials are investigating allegations that as many as seven members of the 82nd Airborne Division
appeared on a gay pornography web site.
Authorities at Fort Bragg have begun an inquiry into whether the paratroopers' actions violated the military conduct code. Although the site in question has apparently now been removed
, the issue has once again highlighted the military's unofficial policy of "Don't ask, don't tell." Does this incident show that it is now finally time to drop this discriminatory policy, thus finally allowing homesexual officers to serve their country
without having to stay in the closet? Or is there a legitimate need for this policy to remain in use in the armed forces?
posted by Effigy2000
on Jan 30, 2006 -