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Watch President Trump’s First Major Address to Congress

Although not exactly a State of the Union address, the speech before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night bore a close resemblance to one.

Posted on Feb 28, 2017 WATCH & LISTEN

As Election Day Nears, Military Hawks Circle to Promote New Wave of War


A slew of bipartisan reports are hoping to push the former secretary of state to increased military action in the Middle East, particularly Syria.

Posted on Oct 23, 2016 READ MORE

Weapons Industry Revenue Forecaster Enthuses Over Global Turmoil


Contrary to expectations that revenues would fall as the U.S. downsized its military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, the professional services firm Deloitte gushes in a new report that “the resurgence of global security threats” promises a lucrative “rebound” in military spending.

Posted on Jan 11, 2016 READ MORE

A Most Unhappy New Year at Guantanamo


As the clock counts down to the new year, another clock will continue ticking, counting the days, hours, minutes and seconds since May 23, 2013, the day President Barack Obama promised to free all those prisoners at the U.S. base at Guantanamo Bay who have been cleared for release.

Posted on Dec 31, 2015 READ MORE

The Pentagon Spent $43 Million on a Project That Should Have Cost $300,000


The Department of Defense claims it is unable to provide an explanation for the high cost of the project—a compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan—according to a special inspector general’s report released Monday.

Posted on Nov 2, 2015 READ MORE

Defense Officials Preparing for Civil Breakdown


“A U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various U.S. military agencies,”  international security scholar Nafeez Ahmed writes at The Guardian.

Posted on Jun 13, 2014 READ MORE

Poor Kids









Posted on Nov 28, 2013 ENLARGE

Incentives Often Skew Justice in the American Courts, Study Finds


bixentro (CC BY 2.0)

In a disturbing new report, two academics argue that incentives—from career gains to lab test payments—may be leading to high numbers of false convictions in American courts. They call for more study, but also for a systemic overhaul.

Posted on Sep 9, 2013 READ MORE

Ryan’s Budget Is Good for the Rich, Bad for Everyone Else


Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Rep. Paul Ryan has figured out a way to balance the budget: Give corporations and wealthy people tax breaks they don’t need while aggressively cutting health and social programs that middle and lower-income Americans do.

Posted on Mar 12, 2013 READ MORE

Beyond Bayonets and Battleships

During its years in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon has begun to fuse biometrics, cyber-warfare, and a potential future aerospace shield into a robotic information regime that could produce a platform of unprecedented power for the exercise of global dominion—or for future military disaster.

Posted on Nov 8, 2012 READ MORE

A Failed Formula for Worldwide War


Skley (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Several times this year, America’s war chiefs have assembled at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico to conduct a futuristic war-game-meets-academic-seminar about the needs of the military in 2017. There, a giant map of the world, larger than a basketball court, was laid out so the Pentagon’s top brass could shuffle around the planet.

Posted on Oct 26, 2012 READ MORE

Ryan Meets Adelson, White House Race Gets Nastier, and More


A look at the day’s political happenings, including Romney budget specifics and why the 2012 Congress could be one of the worst ever.

Posted on Aug 15, 2012 READ MORE

Can Government Create Jobs or Not?

For most of President Obama’s term, Republicans have ignored the millions of jobs the Congressional Budget Office says the 2009 stimulus legislation created and instead argued that the government is incapable of boosting employment. Now the same GOP is barnstorming the country telling us the government can, in fact, create jobs—lots of them.

Posted on Aug 10, 2012 READ MORE

The Case of the Missing Cuban Internet Cable


The promised $70 million project to quicken Cuba’s Internet connection speed was never delivered; German voters are on Angela Merkel’s side when it comes to the European economy; meanwhile, a vial with Ronald Reagan’s blood is being auctioned, along with one of Scarlett Johansson’s used tissues. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on May 28, 2012 READ MORE

Missiles on Rooftops During London Olympics?


clry2 (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Residents of an apartment complex in east London are asking if they will be made the targets of attacks if the Ministry of Defense goes through with a plan to station soldiers and surface-to-air missiles atop their building to deter airborne terrorist threats during the Olympic Games.

Posted on May 4, 2012 READ MORE

China Wary of Obama’s New Military Plan


bbc.co.uk

Republicans weren’t the only ones irked at our nation’s leader this week. President Obama has also ruffled some feathers in the Chinese government with his newly hatched military strategy, which he announced in a rare news conference at the Pentagon on Thursday, and which apparently strikes the Chinese as a potentially unwelcome display of U.S. prowess on their side of the globe.

Posted on Jan 6, 2012 READ MORE

Senate Votes to Keep Detention Clauses in Military Bill


Wikimedia Commons / Scrumshus

Pointing to the threat of terrorist groups like al-Qaida, Sen. Carl Levin and 60 of his colleagues voted Wednesday in favor of keeping provisions in the proposed National Defense Authorization Act that would grant the military the ability to detain terrorist suspects abroad and at home under controversial circumstances.

Posted on Nov 30, 2011 READ MORE

10 Warnings for Arab Democracies


Flickr / Erik - parked in Cairo these days

Truthdig columnist Juan Cole has some sobering words of caution for those in the Arab world with a “once-in-a-century” shot at making their nations into thriving, functional democracies.  (more)

Posted on Jul 10, 2011 READ MORE

Report: Drunk Drivers Hit the Road With Nukes in Tow


Composite: Wikimedia Commons/Flickr m.a.r.c. (CC-BY-SA)

As if driving drunk wasn’t deadly enough. On Monday the Office of Secure Transportation released a report spanning 2007 to 2009 that disclosed some seriously unsettling findings about drivers hired to tote nuclear weapons and materials around the country ... (continued)

Posted on Nov 22, 2010 READ MORE

Wars Went MIA From Midterm Debates


Flickr / DVIDSHUB (CC-BY-SA)

Despite the exit of some U.S. troops from Iraq, the war there and in Afghanistan is still vibrant. But you certainly wouldn’t know it from the public debate that led up to the Nov. 2 midterm elections.

Posted on Nov 17, 2010 READ MORE

Pentagon Survey: Dropping ‘DADT’ Wouldn’t Cause Wartime Strife


Flickr / The U.S. Army (CC-BY)

The findings summarized in a lengthy report that the Pentagon is preparing to send to President Obama about the potential effects of repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy have been relayed to The Washington Post ahead of the game, and ... (continued)

Posted on Nov 11, 2010 READ MORE

U.K. to Slash Defense Spending


Royal Air Force / Cpl. Paul Saxby

The United States spends more on its military than every other country in the world combined. That’s not likely to change, with British Prime Minister David Cameron announcing plans to cut military spending by 8 percent over four years. (continued)

Posted on Oct 19, 2010 READ MORE

Pressure Is On to Tighten the Pentagon’s Waist

Pentagon
Flickr.com / mindfrieze

Does the Defense Department’s budget make the Pentagon look fat? Some officials believe so, as political and economic pressure to cut the U.S. military’s bloated spending habit has stirred the first serious debate on the Pentagon’s budget since 2001’s terrorist attacks.

Posted on Jul 23, 2010 READ MORE

Obama Rewrites America’s Nat’l Security Strategy

Obama
White House / Pete Souza

The first-strike mentality of the Bush years, along with the attendant unilateral military exploits, has fallen from favor in President Barack Obama’s revised national security scheme for the U.S.—or so goes the spin on that plan.

Posted on May 27, 2010 READ MORE

Obama Outlines National Security Doctrine


AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Eight years ago President George W. Bush went to West Point to declare a new, bomb-a-holic course for American security. Now, President Barack Obama has used the same platform to declare a revised doctrine, one that roots security in diplomatic engagement and international alliances.

Posted on May 22, 2010 READ MORE

Iran Rattles Its Missiles

Iran's nuclear missile
AP / Vahid Salemi

Iran claims it is about to deploy a new short-range missile defense system aimed at shooting down cruise missiles and is in the “design and production phase” of several other defensive systems.

Posted on May 2, 2010 READ MORE

Tweeting War


facebook.com

The U.S. military is allowing its troops access to social media websites, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, after a review of Internet use and security. The ruling follows a Pentagon decision in 2007 to block those sites.

Posted on Feb 27, 2010 READ MORE

Digging In in Afghanistan


AP / Rafiq Maqool

Though some analysts thiink the military conflict in Afghanistan will “trail off” by 2011, the United States’ BFF—the British army—has announced it will maintain a presence, and be “militarily engaged,” in the war-torn country for at least an additional five years

Posted on Feb 27, 2010 READ MORE

‘Star Wars’ Technology Sees First Hit


U.S. Missile Defense Agency

In news that would make Han Solo proud, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency has shot down a ballistic missile using a high-powered laser. The technology, which never, ever worked in the past, is criticized by some as weaponizing space and others as a colossal waste of resources.

Posted on Feb 13, 2010 READ MORE

British Arms Maker Pays Up


Flickr / davemacvac

British defense giant BAE has agreed to pay the UK and U.S. governments almost $800 million in penalties after it finally admitted guilt in the face of long-running corruption allegations. The deal allows the company to avoid being placed on an international arms trade blacklist.

Posted on Feb 6, 2010 READ MORE

Romania to Host U.S. Missile Shield

Fake Missile
nytimes.com

In an announcement more apt for a dinner party than a defense memorandum, Romania has agreed to host a new U.S. missile shield in its territory aimed at protecting Western interests from the “emerging threat” of Iranian ballistic missiles.

Posted on Feb 5, 2010 READ MORE

Blair: ‘I’d Do It Again’

Tony Blair
Flickr / World Economic Forum

Sticking with a position that appears based more on pride than empirical reasoning, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair waded through six hours of questioning at an inquiry in London with a resilient defense of the decision to invade Iraq in 2003.

Posted on Jan 29, 2010 READ MORE

More Money for War, Through the Back Door

WAR FUNDING$$$!!!!
9-508.com

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Adm. Mike Mullen, expects the Pentagon to request emergency financing for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a Bush-era tactic that uses “supplemental funding” to flesh out the already massive Pentagon budget to pay for the conflicts.

Posted on Nov 5, 2009 READ MORE

Iran’s Sacred Defense Week

Missile
Agence France-Presse

Iran’s “Sacred Defense Week” is a time when Iranians can appreciate the natural awesomeness of military weaponry and missile tests, including the just-completed test-firing of long-range missiles able to hit both Israel and U.S. bases in the Persian Gulf.

Posted on Sep 28, 2009 READ MORE

Russia to Strengthen Presence In Abkhazia

Russian Tanks in South Ossetia
AP / Musa Sadulayev

Russia has announced it will spend half a billion dollars upgrading its military presence—reinforcing bases, strengthening borders—in Abkhazia, the breakaway region of Georgia that, along with South Ossetia, was a focal point in last year’s war between the two countries.

Posted on Aug 12, 2009 READ MORE

Russia: No Rebuilding of Georgia’s Military

Georgia
rferl.org

Russia has announced it will take “concrete steps” to hinder any attempt by Georgia to rebuild its military capability, claiming it is “deeply worried” that its small neighbor might be preparing for yet another conflict. The stern words come as Vice President Joe Biden pays a visit to Georgia just ahead of the first anniversary of its war with Russia over South Ossetia.

Posted on Jul 24, 2009 READ MORE

Hearts and Minds Redux

McChrystal
wordpress.com

“Decapitation strategies don’t work.” Those words, uttered by the newly named U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, mark a shift in the military strategy in Afghanistan. Yes, indeed—it seems to have taken the Pentagon eight years to realize that “you’re going to have to convince people, not kill them.”

Posted on Jun 12, 2009 READ MORE

Defense Secretary Trims Fat Around the Edges


U.S. Air Force / Master Sgt. Kevin Gruenwald

Defense Secretary Robert Gates outlined his spending cuts on Monday, scrapping, among other boondoggles, the F-22, a fighter plane that apparently specialized in Super Bowl flyovers. Despite the cuts, America still spends more on defense than the rest of the world combined. And then there’s the cost of two wars to think about.

Posted on Apr 6, 2009 READ MORE

Daring to Utter the T Word

The most significant moment of Obama’s news conference concerned taxes: his defense of proposed limits on the benefits that the well-off get for their charitable contributions and mortgage payments.

Posted on Mar 26, 2009 READ MORE

Obama’s Fight Against the Politics of Evasion

Critics who argue that he is asking Congress to do too much are finding it far easier to talk about an overloaded system than to tell those without health insurance that they will have to wait a few more years.

Posted on Mar 22, 2009 READ MORE

The Point of Pointing Fingers

Obama speaks disdainfully of “ideology,” but there comes a time when first principles need to be articulated. Conservatives have entered this fight with guns blazing while progressives have hidden behind a Maginot Line armed only with the word pragmatism.

Posted on Mar 11, 2009 READ MORE

Congress for Sale


Flickr / debaird

Nearly a quarter of the members of the House of Representatives find themselves embroiled in a lobbying scandal, with Rep. John Murtha at the center. One hundred four representatives earmarked more than $300 million in just one bill, allegedly in exchange for campaign contributions from a lobbying firm founded by a former Murtha protégé.

Posted on Feb 19, 2009 READ MORE

Good Money After Bad


White House / Paul Morse / Pete Souza

Congressional Republicans, with the exception of that embarrassingly shrunken contingent of three moderates, will rue their legacy of deep indifference at a time of true national emergency, one that makes George W. Bush’s far more costly war on terror now seem an absurdly irrelevant exercise.

Posted on Feb 18, 2009 READ MORE

Avoiding Another Cold War

Putin
AP pool photo / Alexei Druzhinin

Relations with Russia haven’t been this frosty since there was an East Berlin. President Obama may be distracted by other priorities, but getting reacquainted with Vladimir Putin and his nuclear arsenal should be at the top of the list.

Posted on Feb 17, 2009 READ MORE

Pentagon Propaganda Is Booming


USAF / Tech. Sgt. Charlein Sheets

The military’s spin budget—covering recruitment, advertising and public relations—has jumped 63 percent over the last five years, to $4.7 billion, according to a yearlong investigation by the Associated Press. The Pentagon pays nearly as many people to influence public opinion as the State Department has in its entire work force.

Posted on Feb 5, 2009 READ MORE

Gates Changes Afghanistan Tune

Gates
flapsblog.com

Turning away from the nation-building exercises that defined Bush-era policies but maintaining the dubious “war on terror” frame, Defense Secretary Gates indicated Tuesday that he has changed his mind on the goals for Afghanistan. Gates declared that the U.S., instead of seeking democracy, should set more limited goals in the long war and occupation.

Posted on Jan 28, 2009 READ MORE

An Insanity Plea for Madoff?

Madoff
AP photo / Jason DeCrow

It might seem a stretch, but fallen financier Bernard Madoff’s legal team may be “exploring an insanity defense,” according to the New York Daily News.

Posted on Dec 28, 2008 READ MORE

James Blight on McGeorge Bundy

book cover

One of JFK’s “best and brightest” died wondering how the Vietnam War could have gone so wrong. Now, in an important new book, we have some answers.

Posted on Dec 19, 2008 READ MORE

Torture Report Points the Finger at Rumsfeld

A bipartisan report released by Sens. Carl Levin and John McCain blames former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other high-level officials for interrogation abuses. Based on an 18-month investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the report determined that prisoner abuse “was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own,” as the administration has claimed.

Posted on Dec 11, 2008 READ MORE

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