The Things They Carried
January 16, 2009

I’m not supposed to be here. This vast training base near the Gaza border where thousands of reservists are preparing for battle is off-limits to the press. Still, everyone in Israel knows someone, and my travelling companion knows a senior army commander who’s willing to break the rules. “Just say you’re my friends,” says the commander, who picks us up in his car near the gate. The commander, whom I’ll call Shmulik, is eager to slip us in. He wants us to meet his men, to tell the world the truth about Israel’s soldiers. Tomorrow morning, he says, they’re crossing into Gaza.

Obama vs. Osama
December 24, 2008

Has the president picked the right war?

Getting To Know Louis Caldera
December 02, 2008

NAME: Louis Caldera NEW APPOINTMENT: Director of White House Military Office OTHER TOP POSITIONS: California state assembly member; managing director and chief operating officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service (1997-98); Secretary of the Army (1997-2001); president of the University of New Mexico KNOWN FOR: Navigating the Army's recruitment problems in the late 1990s, when many young people were turning to the private sector in an era of peace; started the ROTC Hispanic Access Initiative, which allowed the ROTC to target Hispanic-heavy high schools and colleges. Some c

The Changing Face Of Indian Terrorism
November 28, 2008

Samanth Subramanian is a staff writer for Mint in New Delhi. So much is still so unclear about the mechanics of the Mumbai terror attacks that, even these hours later, we're left only with the images off the television--of the Taj Mahal Hotel on fire, of the devastated waiting hall at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, of the army maneuvering around south Mumbai.

Tension Between Gates And The Obama Team?
November 20, 2008

Here's a look at some tensions that could arise if Robert Gates stays on as Secretary of Defense, beyond disappointment from the get-out-of-Iraq chorus. Since at least spring, Gates has been issuing a series of far-reaching policy documents which explicitly try to set the future direction of U.S. defense policy.

Private Opinions
November 05, 2008

Last Thursday, the Military Times released the results of a survey showing that members of the armed services planned to vote for John McCain over Barack Obama by a factor of nearly three to one--this at a time when the Democratic nominee was handily beating his Republican rival in almost all national polls. The survey apparently reaffirmed the long-held conventional wisdom that the U.S. military overwhelmingly backs the GOP. As Peter Feaver, a political science professor at Duke, told the paper: "The military has been perceived as a conservative Republican institution.

Northern Exposure
October 22, 2008

There's no reason to doubt Sarah Palin's sincerity when she talks about her commitment to family and--more specifically--special-needs kids. When she introduced her son, who has Down syndrome, to the audience at the Republican convention, the family tableau drew cheers. And she issued a promise. "To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message for you," she told the crowd.

The Army Sees The Sunny Side
October 10, 2008

In theory, the U.S. military could be a major driver of cleaner forms of energy. In recent years it's even been making noises along those lines: The Pentagon is, after all, well aware that spending $14 billion each year on oil (and, worse, paying up to $400 per gallon for fuel in a war zone) is untenable, and has recently started ordering planners to consider efficiency measures and look at alternative fuels. So far, though, he results have been inconsistent. When Marine Corps Maj. Gen.

The Survivalists
June 11, 2008

As the death toll from the cyclone that hit Burma earlier this month spirals past 100,000, the country's ruling junta continues its intransigence. Holed up in its new bunker capital in the middle of the country, the regime has gone from initially welcoming aid, to blocking U.S. and French assistance, to simply seizing relief supplies--before, finally, relenting and allowing some aid in. All the while, the chance for effective relief has grown slimmer. Burma defies political understanding in many ways.

The Faraway Massacre
April 21, 2008

Friends of Tibet and the Tibetan cause, I would like to remind you that China's totalitarian power also bears responsibility for another crushing disaster: Darfur. Of course I am not saying that the Chinese government and its army are directly involved. Nor that--as in Tibet--they are entirely responsible for a crisis that has only lasted so long because of the more or less tacit consent of other countries. For example, the United States talks a great deal but does little; France, before its presidential elections, promised more and delivered even less.