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Tag: Pentagon

Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops in Iraq

According to data from the State and Defense departments, there are more than 180,000 civilian contractors on America’s payroll in Iraq.  That’s about a surge’s worth more than the current troop count, and it doesn’t fully include private security contractors.  The L.A. Times takes an exhaustive look at the “coalition of the billing.”

Posted on Jul 4, 2007 READ MORE


Eddie Slovik
detnews.com

Pentagon Mostly Ignores Deserters

Although desertions from the Army have gone up, the military has apparently taken little interest.  There is no active program for finding those who simply walk away, and when deserters are caught (usually they turn themselves in), most face merely a less than honorable discharge.  According to the AP, just 5 percent of Army deserters were court-martialed in 2006.

Posted on Jun 29, 2007 READ MORE


soldiers
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ben Brody

Military Chiefs Have ‘Surge’ Doubts

At the core of the “surge” strategy is the notion that once U.S. troops clear a particularly hostile patch of Iraq, the Iraqi army and police will move in to maintain order. But senior American officers are now raising serious doubts about Iraqi forces’ ability to take over.

Posted on Jun 26, 2007 READ MORE


The Pentagon vs. Peak Oil

What if wars of the future are fought just to run the machines that fight them?  That’s just the alarmingly ironic point that Klare, author of “Blood and Oil,” takes on in this essay, sizing up the Pentagon’s huge energy expenditure—which will only increase exponentially if America’s imperialist globe-trotting continues.  Note:  Originally posted on TomDispatch.

Posted on Jun 15, 2007 READ MORE


Pentagon Report: ‘Surge’ Only Shifts Violence

Further evidence that the U.S. military buildup in Iraq is failing to quell violence in the country came Wednesday with the release of a Pentagon report detailing the sobering statistics about widespread bloodshed in Baghdad and other areas.

Posted on Jun 14, 2007 READ MORE


White House Boots Joint Chiefs Chairman

The Bush administration has announced plans to oust Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace and Vice Chairman Adm. Ed Giambastiani. Pace was involved with the planning and execution of the Iraq war from the beginning, and his reappointment would likely spark a debate and raise uncomfortable questions in the Senate during his reconfirmation.

Posted on Jun 8, 2007 READ MORE


Joint Chiefs Chairman Has Trouble Counting

Gen. Peter Pace, speaking to CBS’ Harry Smith on Memorial Day, said: “When you take a look at the life of a nation and all that’s required to keep us free, we had more than 3,000 Americans murdered on 11 September, 2001. The number who have died, sacrificed themselves since that time, is approaching that number.” In actuality, 3,455 U.S. military personnel had been killed in Iraq alone at the time of Pace’s blunder.

Posted on May 29, 2007 READ MORE


The Next Cold War?

The Pentagon, possibly suffering from a superpower complex, has accused China of spending substantially more on its military buildup than publicly stated. In a report to Congress, the U.S. military also warns of advanced nuclear capability and a possible conflict over Taiwan. Still, even if China spends two or three times the $46 billion on defense it claims, it couldn’t hope to keep pace with the hundreds of billions the U.S. throws at the military every year.

Posted on May 25, 2007 READ MORE


Lute
news.bbc.co.uk

Meet the War Czar

Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute has agreed to be President Bush’s first “war czar.” Lute will answer directly to the president, although it’s still not entirely clear how much authority he’ll have. The White House had offered the job to a number of nominees who turned it down.

Posted on May 15, 2007 READ MORE


What Price Slaughter?

In New York and Jalalabad, human life is valued differently by the U.S. government.  A loved one lost in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack was worth about $1.8 million, according to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.  The life of a 16-year-old Afghan girl is set, by tragic contrast, at $2,000.

Posted on May 15, 2007 READ MORE


Search for Missing Troops Continues Despite Threats

U.S. and Iraqi forces are continuing their search for three missing American soldiers, despite threats from the Sunni insurgent coalition that claims to have taken them as hostages. Some 4,000 troops along with helicopters, jets and unmanned aerial vehicles are involved in the effort. The Pentagon said on Monday that it believed the soldiers had fallen into enemy hands.

Posted on May 15, 2007 READ MORE


YouTube Banned on Military Computers

YouTube, MySpace and 11 other popular websites will no longer be accessible via U.S. military computers. A military spokesman says the move is meant to address bandwidth issues, but it’s no secret the military has been less than thrilled with the content sometimes posted by soldiers. Service members with personal computers will be unaffected, free to visit the Pentagon’s own YouTube channel.

Posted on May 14, 2007 READ MORE


Bush
aftonbladet.se

Bush Has Veto Fever

President Bush has already decided to veto a second war funding bill that the House Democrats haven’t even finished drafting. The measure would require the White House to report on progress in Iraq in order to free up funds past July.

Posted on May 9, 2007 READ MORE


Is Gates on a Different Page?

While the Bush administration has repeatedly referred to the Democrats’ timetable for withdrawal from Iraq as a recipe for failure, Defense Secretary Robert Gates has praised the measure. He’s also urged an assessment of the troop escalation by this summer—sooner than supporters of the “surge” would like—and indicated support for a withdrawal as outlined by the Iraq Study Group, which he was once a part of.

Posted on May 6, 2007 READ MORE


Survey: Many Soldiers Approve of Torture

An Army survey of troops in Iraq has found some disturbing attitudes, and recommends shorter deployments for the mentally exhausted soldiers. Asked whether civilians should be treated with dignity and respect, less than half said yes and more than a third found torture acceptable.

Posted on May 4, 2007 READ MORE


Congress Probes White House Over Tillman Affair

The House Oversight Committee has sent requests to the White House and Pentagon asking for all documents related to the death of Pat Tillman. The committee is investigating why the Army misrepresented the circumstances of the Ranger’s death. Key to that effort is a letter sent by a top general urging Gen. John Abizaid to warn the White House.

Posted on Apr 27, 2007 READ MORE


Testimony

Tillman Family, Jessica Lynch Challenge Pentagon Misinformation

Testifying before the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman’s brother and mother criticized the Pentagon and the government, which they said manipulated the truth for the sake of political gain.

Posted on Apr 24, 2007 READ MORE


World Shocked That Wolfowitz Has Girlfriend

The satirist writes that the most improbable aspect of the Wolfowitz scandal is that the World Bank president actually has a girlfriend.

Posted on Apr 20, 2007 READ MORE


Congress to Investigate Tillman Cover-Up

From documents already released, it has become clear that the Army acted inappropriately following the death of Pat Tillman, destroying evidence, instituting an “information lockdown” and possibly even discussing a PR strategy. Congress will now investigate the matter, with the aid of uncensored documents and testimony from the Tillman family.

Posted on Apr 20, 2007 READ MORE


Jon Stewart

War Czar Gets a Makeover

The White House is having trouble finding someone to be the new “war czar,” and it has apparently decided the problem is the name. The position will now be called “execution manager.” Is it just us, or has this administration lost its flair for snazzy Orwellian lingo? Bonus: Jon Stewart catches Bush in a lie obstruction of the truth.

Posted on Apr 20, 2007 READ MORE


Wolfowitz
AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

Heck of a Job, Wolfie

Paul Wolfowitz, the former deputy secretary of defense who helped sell a stupid war, now finds himself in a bit of trouble. As head of the World Bank, he secured a cushy pay raise for his girlfriend, lied about it and alienated his staff in the process. Not to worry—President Bush still thinks he’s doing a bang-up job.

Posted on Apr 17, 2007 READ MORE


Jim Lehrer

Shortchanging Veterans

Jim Lehrer reports that the Army may be underestimating the severity of disabilities, denying servicemen and -women lifetime benefits. The Veterans Disability Benefits Commission found that disability ratings made by the Veterans Affairs Department were typically higher than those of the Army.

Posted on Apr 16, 2007 READ MORE


Soldier
AP Photo / Darko Vojinovic

Stretched Military Extends Tours to Keep Surge Going

Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Wednesday that the Pentagon is likely to extend the tours of duty of some 100,000 soldiers currently deployed in Iraq by three months. The new policy would enable the surge to last for a year.

Posted on Apr 11, 2007 READ MORE


Tillman and Lynch

Congress Will Investigate Misinformation on Tillman, Lynch

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will investigate the Pentagon’s handling of the death of Pat Tillman and the rescue of Jessica Lynch to determine “why inaccurate accounts of these two incidents were disseminated, the sources and motivations for the accounts, and whether the appropriate administration officials have been held accountable.”

Posted on Apr 10, 2007 READ MORE


Keeping Up With the Surge

In an effort to meet the demands of the administration, Defense Secretary Robert Gates plans to send 12,000 National Guard troops to Iraq, according to a report from NBC News. In other news, the Pentagon said Monday that roughly 4,500 troops would soon redeploy without getting their full year off.

Posted on Apr 5, 2007 READ MORE


Gitmo Legal Process Questioned After Hicks Trial

The handling of Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks’ war-crimes trial has triggered widespread criticism and speculation about politically motivated maneuverings that could undermine the entire legal operation at the Cuban prison camp. 

Posted on Apr 1, 2007 READ MORE


Pentagon briefing
AP Photo / Haraz N. Ghanbari

Pentagon Cowers Behind Wordplay

The military covered its ass on Monday, with a report on the investigation into the exploitation of Pat Tillman that stank of non-denial denials. After three years of lies and obfuscation, the Tillman family deserves better.

Posted on Mar 27, 2007 READ MORE


Tillman
news.bbc.co.uk

Nine Officers Blamed in Tillman Cover-Up

The findings of an investigation into the cover-up of the circumstances of Pat Tillman’s death won’t be officially released until Monday, but details are leaking out. According to Defense Department officials, the report will recommend holding nine officers, including up to four generals, accountable.

Posted on Mar 23, 2007 READ MORE


Lessons From Walter Reed

Linda Bilmes, the Harvard finance expert who helped establish the true cost of the war, including veteran healthcare, turns her attention to the Walter Reed scandal, and the bureaucratic quagmire that keeps our soldiers from getting help. Bilmes offers four lessons to avoid future problems. We can only hope someone takes her advice.

Posted on Mar 22, 2007 READ MORE


cole
globalsecurity.org

More Confessions From Gitmo

The Pentagon released a transcript Monday of a confession by Walid Mohammad bin Attash, a Guantanamo detainee who allegedly said in a private meeting that he had a hand in the deadly 2000 attack on the U.S. Navy destroyer Cole in Yemen.  While he was at it, he also ‘fessed up to aiding in the 1998 American embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

Posted on Mar 19, 2007 READ MORE


ENTER_ALT_TEXT

Andrew Cockburn’s Rumsfeld Revelations

The storied journalist speaks to Truthdig about his new book, “Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall and Catastrophic Legacy,” which offers fresh insight into the real force behind the Iraq debacle.

Posted on Mar 15, 2007 READ MORE


Revisiting ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network put together this collection of testimonials about the impact of “don’t ask, don’t tell” on the military and the prevalence of discrimination against gay and lesbian soldiers.

Posted on Mar 12, 2007 READ MORE


More Fallout From Walter Reed Scandal

Army Surgeon General Kevin C. Kiley has resigned, the third military official to lose his job in the Walter Reed scandal. An anonymous defense official says Kiley was asked to step down by the acting Army secretary, who got his job only two weeks ago after another abrupt dismissal.

Posted on Mar 12, 2007 READ MORE


troops
latimes.com

Pentagon Looks Beyond the Surge

Military commanders have begun to develop a contingency plan for Iraq that envisions a drawdown of troops. The strategy is based in large part on past American machinations in El Salvador, and will focus on training locals rather than providing the main force.

Posted on Mar 12, 2007 READ MORE


Escalating the Surge

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the Pentagon has agreed to a request from our man in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, to send an additional 2,200 military police. Gates said the number would not count against the 21,500 combat troops or the 2,400 support troops Bush plans to send. Earlier, Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England said the number of support troops could jump to 7,000.

Posted on Mar 7, 2007 READ MORE


Generals
vanityfair.com

Revisiting the ‘Insurgent’ Generals

Vanity Fair has an interesting profile of six retired generals—all of whom voted for George W. Bush—who famously and courageously condemned the administration’s conduct of the Iraq war. Find out why they went against years of military tradition to speak out, and how they feel about the current state of affairs.

Posted on Mar 5, 2007 READ MORE


The War at Home

Share
Posted on Mar 4, 2007 READ MORE


90 Percent of Guard Units ‘Not Ready’

An independent commission established by Congress has found that the Defense Department is not adequately equipping and funding the National Guard. Roughly 90 percent of U.S. National Guard units are designated “not ready.” The commission determined that the Guard is ill-prepared to meet its obligation to defend the homeland and respond rapidly and effectively in a crisis.

Posted on Mar 2, 2007 READ MORE


Karen Kwiatkowski
abc.net.au

Pentagon Whistle-Blower on the Coming War With Iran

Lt. Col. Karen Kwiatkowski (ret.), a veteran of the Pentagon with firsthand experience of the administration’s cherry-picking of intelligence, reveals why Bush thinks he can win a war with Iran, why few politicians are serious about withdrawal and why “when they call Iraq a success, they mean it.”
Update: Full transcript added

Posted on Feb 27, 2007 READ MORE


Interceptor missile
mda.mil

Blair Seeks U.S. Missile Site in Britain

For months, Tony Blair has been secretly lobbying the U.S. to locate a missile defense site in Britain. Poland and the Czech Republic are also in the running. The $90-billion “son of star wars” program has performed poorly in the past, and is still under development as it’s deployed.

Posted on Feb 23, 2007 READ MORE


Pentagon Will ‘Welcome’ Cuban Migrants to Gitmo

The Department of Defense plans to build an $18-million facility at Guantanamo Bay in anticipation of mass migration following the eventual death of Fidel Castro. Administration officials say the housing center will be needed for interdicted Cuban migrants now that space normally used in such an event is taken up by the detention and interrogation facility that holds suspected terrorists.
(h/t: Boing Boing)

Posted on Feb 20, 2007 READ MORE


Prewar Slide Show Exposes Iraq Fantasy

Before the invasion of Iraq, Gen. Tommy Franks gathered with his top advisers to review their plans. The recently released slides from that meeting offer an insight into the startling optimism of the men who designed the war.  Four years post-invasion, the commanders expected Iraq to have a fully representative government, a functioning army and as few as 5,000 U.S. troops. Whoops!

Posted on Feb 14, 2007 READ MORE


Doug Feith
AP Photo / Evan Vucci

Before the Invasion, There Was Feith

The lies of Douglas Feith, exposed by the Pentagon’s inspector general, are the key to understanding the greatest intelligence fiasco in American history.

Posted on Feb 13, 2007 READ MORE


U.S. Accuses Iran of Supplying Militants

Two Defense Department officials and a mysterious analyst held an anonymous briefing for reporters Sunday to offer evidence of Iran’s involvement with hostile forces in Iraq. The three claimed Tehran is supplying militants with sophisticated weapons that they said had been used against U.S. forces for at least two years, but the analyst, whose exact job description was withheld, admitted the evidence was not a “smoking gun.”

Posted on Feb 11, 2007 READ MORE


Doug Feith
from npr.org

Pentagon Gives Cherry-Pickers a Slap on the Wrist

An internal review by the Pentagon found that the intelligence cherry-picking policy shop run by Douglas Feith (above), a group President Bush relied on to sell the war, acted inappropriately but not illegally. The inspector general’s findings will be made public at a Senate hearing Friday.

Posted on Feb 8, 2007 READ MORE


Gates
asashop.org

Defense Secretary: Surge Not Our ‘Last Chance’

Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that if the surge goes badly, the military will probably move troops “out of harm’s way.” Why wait? He also said the surge is not the “last chance” to get it right in Iraq. Let’s hope Congress stops quibbling and makes him wrong.

Posted on Feb 7, 2007 READ MORE


Military Fed Up With Civilian Agencies

The Pentagon has had it with picking up the slack from civilian agencies in Iraq, grumbling its concerns to the president and even Congress. The military has been forced to fill jobs that otherwise would be performed by civilians, mainly from the State Department, which, unlike the Army, can’t force people to work under the nightmarish conditions it helped to create.

Posted on Feb 6, 2007 READ MORE


defense expo
targikielce.pl

Bush Budget Delivers the Bacon

President Bush’s outrageous military budget has nothing do with fighting terrorism but everything to do with pumping up the profits of the administration’s generous political donors in the defense industry. So, the question is: Will the Democrats have the guts to stop this betrayal of the public trust?

Posted on Feb 6, 2007 READ MORE


F-14 Tomcat
globalsecurity.org

Senators Seek to Deny U.S. Jet Parts to Iran

Although the United States and Iran have a testy relationship at best, weaknesses in security protocol currently allow buyers for Tehran to procure valuable aircraft parts from the U.S. military. At least two Democrats in the Senate want to cut off the supply, which would make the Iranian air force effectively irreparable.

Posted on Jan 29, 2007 READ MORE


Pentagon Understates War’s Human Cost Among Soldiers

The Pentagon lists the number of soldiers wounded in combat in Iraq at more than 23,000, a tally often quoted by news agencies. But if one considers troops injured in “noncombat action,” a separate category that includes noncombat helicopter crash victims, the critically ill and others, the number doubles to about 50,000, leading critics to charge that the military is attempting to conceal the true human cost of the war.

Posted on Jan 28, 2007 READ MORE


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