Archive of Mar 2008

31.03.08
African Union Invades … the Comoros?

“The African Union launched an invasion of a separatist-controlled island off the coast of Mozambique last week in part, to bolster the multilateral organization’s image abroad,” reports World Politics Review: Around 1,300 AU troops joined 400 Comorian government troops to oust Col. Mohamed Bacar from Anjouan, one of the three islands that make up the [...]

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31.03.08
Who Knew Warships Came with Professors?

The Navy bloggers aboard the USS Russell rope their shipboard English professor — a civilian from Central Texas College — to write a guest blog. Holy crap, it’s hilarious: My students and I fight, on a daily basis, our campaign against dangling modifiers and other such manifestations of slack-mindedness (many of you military types fear [...]

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31.03.08
Afghans to Get Attack Planes

More and more, native troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are doing the dirty street-level fighting while the U.S. and allies offer up airplanes for support. After all, it’s one thing to put rifles in the hands of a few hundred dudes and call them an “infantry battalion.” It’s quite another to put together safe, useful [...]

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31.03.08
I Heart C-130s

One official Air Force photograph is worth a thousand words on the subject of tactical airlifters. Here we see a “vanilla,” non-Special Operations C-130 doing a tactical takeoff from a dirt strip somewhere in Afghanistan, presumably in the Taliban-infested south or east. (For fun, note the wheel at right belonging to the air controllers’ motorcycle. [...]

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30.03.08
Basra Uprising Ending?

Moqtada Al-Sadr orders his troops off the streets. Now, can Baghdad bring him into the political process … and keep him there?

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30.03.08
Somalia in Black and White

In truth, Somalia isn’t at all this pretty.

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30.03.08
Checking In with “The Destroyermen”

“The Destroyermen,” a team of three Navy bloggers aboard the destroyer Russell, document the dangerous at-sea ballet that is an underway-refueling. Warships edge up alongside supply ships to swap supplies over cables, while choppers haul loads of stuff between flight decks. The caption for this pic: “Airdales lounging in the sun while everyone else works.” [...]

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29.03.08
Iraqi Tanks Tank in Basra

Three years ago, I went on patrol in downtown Basra with the British Army. (That was back when the Brits still played a major role in security in southern Iraq.) We rode in small, lightly armored “Snatch” Land Rovers because, I was told, larger vehicles simply wouldn’t fit on Basra’s narrow, crowded roads. Cities can [...]

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28.03.08
Navy Blogs at Sea

The Coast Guard decides it’s going to harness blogs for their PR value, and ends up publishing a Stephen Glass-style fabrication. The Navy, on the other hand, enlists three destroyer sailors and launches “Destroyermen,” a blog about life aboard an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer that is, so far, apparently true. The point, according to Lieutenant Commander [...]

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27.03.08
Future Howitzer Mystery

So the Army’s got this $200-billion program called Future Combat Systems, aimed at equipping a third of our troops with new robots, sensors and hybrid-electric armored vehicles, all connected by a snazzy, secure electronic network. Sounds great, right? Problem is, by some accounts FCS ain’t doing too well. The Army had to cut out some [...]

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27.03.08
Men’s Health: SEALs Jump-Start Iraq “Awakening”?

It took a year of lobbying and they had to agree to a long list of restrictions, but in September the Navy SEALs unit in western Iraq invited writer Bob Drury and photog Max Becherer to “embed.” The result — “Bravery and How to Master It” — is in the latest Men’s Health, and it [...]

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26.03.08
Japanese Navy’s Spring Cleaning

Japan fired its navy chief Friday and slapped 87 other defense officials with pay cuts and other penalties over a series of scandals and a deadly collision between a destroyer and a fishing boat. Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba said he was also taking a two-month pay cut as part of disciplinary measures aimed at restoring [...]

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