The disturbing prevalence of sexual assault against men within the United States armed forces has been illustrated recently by several in-depth reports. These studies crystalize what we have long known to be a crisis too often ignored and not discussed within the military. Much work that needs to be done.
It's a hypnotically attractive argument. It sounds tough -- more troops! -- but the number is low enough that proponents can claim, with a straight face, that we aren't repeating the Iraq War all over again. Ten thousand. More than Obama. ("I'll be tougher!") Less than Bush. ("But I've learned my lesson!") Just right.
It was an honor to present at last week's Mission Transition summit in Washington, D.C., alongside President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush. I joined decision-makers from every sector and industry to discuss the transition process for post-9/11 veterans and military families. And I have to say, I am encouraged by what I saw.
The Tennesseans: A Volunteer Legacy will premiere July 4 and 5 on the state's public television stations. The hour-long film is the first to highlight the events, men and women that earned the state its nickname from the Revolutionary War Battle of Kings Mountain to the modern battlefields of today.
An outdated Supreme Court doctrine and congressional loophole leaves servicewomen unable to recover for the negligent prenatal care they receive in a military hospital. However egregious the malpractice and grave the suffering it causes, our law offers no recourse for the wrong done to the woman's procreative interest and to her child's physical and mental wellbeing.
Obviously, military families make incredible, admirable sacrifices, and many personnel can't be allowed to leave for longer blocks of time. But if the Navy can part with new moms for 18 weeks after a birth, it can part with at least some new dads for more than 10 days total during the child's first year of life.
Ever since 9/11, American presidents and their military advisors have repeatedly committed U.S. troops and prestige to inhospitable regions in terrain that largely neutralizes U.S. advantages in firepower and maneuverability. Despite setback after setback, American presidents and generals persist in trying to control hostile territory.
We don't need hyperbolic statements that our military is the "finest fighting force" ever, or that our troops are the world's liberators and bringers of freedom. Such words are immoderate and boastful. They're intended to win favor with the troops and with the people back home; they're politically calculated. And in that sense, they're ill-advised and even dishonest -- they're basically nothing more than flattery.
Nick Turse's new book of investigative reporting reveals that the U.S. military has been involved in one way or another -- "construction, military exercises, advisory assignments, security cooperation, or training missions" -- with more than 90 percent of Africa's 54 nations, despite military spokespersons insistence that the U.S. maintains only one permanent "base."