– New York Times Magazine – C.J. Chivers writes that the Pentagon’s failed campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan left a generation of soldiers with little to fight for but one another.
– USNI Proceedings – A work of fiction by August Cole on future armored combat.
– Breaking Defense – Russian drones blind US surveillance and Russian malware paralyzes US tanks so Russian robots can blow them up. That’s the lovingly illustrated scenario in a comic book about future warfare published by the Army Cyber Institute at West Point. But is it plausible? Quite possibly, several experts told us — but there are actually worse things the Russians could do to us.
– New York Times Magazine – C.J. Chivers writes that the Marine Corps taught Sam Siatta how to shoot. The war in Afghanistan
taught him how to kill. Nobody taught him how to come home.
– The Atlantic – The president-elect’s plans to defeat ISIS will rely heavily on elite soldiers already on the verge of burnout.
– Breaking Defense – New threats from Russia and China mean the Army must take on new missions — but it’s got almost no new money so the Army is looking at ways to modify existing systems to do some radically new things. So imagine howitzers firing precision-guided cannon shells to shoot cruise missiles out of the sky or to sink ships on the South China Sea.
– Breaking Defense – The US Army must play a larger role in the Pacific to deter China, one of DC’s leading defense experts is telling Congress today. That larger role requires politically and fiscally difficult decisions to build new kinds of units and base them in new places. The core of Krepinevich’s vision: Army missile batteries — for anti-air, anti-ship, missile defense, and long-range strike — regularly deploying to, or even permanently based in, West Pacific nations.
– New Yorker – Chris Kyle, a decorated sniper, tried to help a troubled veteran. The result was tragic. Another look at the long shadow of post-traumatic stress disorder.
– Wall Street Journal – Many troops have lost a close friend in combat. Travis Williams lost them all. Marine Lance Cpl. Williams is the sole survivor of his 12-man squad. His comrades were wiped out by a roadside bomb in Iraq, leaving him physically unharmed but with psychological wounds that remain unhealed seven years later…Cases like that of Lance Cpl. Williams might constitute a different kind of mental injury from war, some clinicians are concluding, one that falls into less-understood categories of “traumatic loss” and “moral injury.”
– Wall Street Journal – Unconventional wars are our most pressing national security concern. They’re also the most ancient form of war in the world. Max Boot on the lessons of insurgency we seem unable to learn.
– The Atlantic – In the camouflage industry, deception is an artful science. Got an army you need to hide? With more than a million soldiers in a dozen countries wearing his camouflage patterns, Guy Cramer is now hoping to change how the Pentagon dresses. Inside the evolving science of concealment.
– New York Times Magazine – The case against American soldiers accused of murdering Afghan civilians turns on the idea of a rogue unit. But what if the killings are a symptom of a deeper problem?
– Esquire – It is perhaps the most potent question to echo from the cold war: Who lost Vietnam? Well, there were certainly many factors, but an important new book forces us to consider this: For the first time in human history, a poorly trained peasant army humbled a great power with the gun its fighters carried in their hands. This is the story of that gun, and of the scandalous way that Washington responded to it. An exclusive adaptation from CJ Chiver’s new book on the AK-47.
– Foreign Policy – C.J. Chivers talks with Foreign Policy about the Kalashnikov, the world’s real weapon of mass destruction.
Washington Post – Military reckons with the mental wounds of war
Senior commanders have reached a turning point. After nine years of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, they are beginning to recognize age-old legacies of the battlefield – once known as shellshock or battle fatigue – as combat wounds, not signs of weakness.
US Naval Institute Proceedings – Getting Inside their Heads
Mounting psychological and behavioral problems are a growing concern for the military as the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq enter their ninth year.
New Yorker – A decorated marineís war within. Another look at post traumatic stress disorder.
Newsweek – Five years on, the war is transforming the American officer corps.
New York Times Magazine – Americaís junior officers are fighting the war on the ground in Iraq, and the experience is making a number of them lose faith in their superiors.
New Yorker – Nobel laureate Gunter Grass reflects on how he spent World War II – with the Waffen SS.
New York Times Magazine – Many female soldiers have lived through the terrible violence of the war in Iraq. Others have experienced sexual assault – or worse, a combination of the two. They have found themselves struggling to cope with their lives.
Vanity Fair – As a former C.I.A. agent, the author Robert Baer knows how mercenaries work: in the shadows. But how did a notorious former British officer, Tim Spicer, come to coordinate the second-largest army in Iraq – the tens of thousands of private security contractors?
Wired – Heat-resistant. Cold-proof. Tireless. Tomorrowís soldiers are just like todayís – only better. Inside the Pentagonís human enhancement project.
New York Times Magazine – One boyís tortuous entanglement in an African civil war.