March 21, 2013 |
NIAMEY, Niger — The newest outpost in the U.S. government's empire of drone bases sits behind a razor-wire-topped wall outside this West African capital, blasted by 110-degree heat and the occasional sandstorm blowing from the Sahara. The U.S. Air Force began flying a handful of unarmed Predator drones from here last month . The gray, mosquito-shaped aircraft emerge sporadically from a borrowed hangar and soar north in search of al-Qaeda fighters and guerrillas from other groups hiding in the region's...
August 29, 2013 |
The Obama administration's plan to launch a military strike against Syria is being received with serious reservations by many in the U.S. military, which is coping with the scars of two lengthy wars and a rapidly contracting budget, according to current and former officers. Having assumed for months that the United States was unlikely to intervene militarily in Syria, the Defense Department has been thrust onto a war footing that has made many in the armed services uneasy,...
March 25, 2013 |
The U.S. government's fiscal predicament has many causes. But if you had to reduce them to one sentence, it might go like this: "Congress responds to the short-term demands of particular groups, not the long-term needs of the nation as a whole. " Case in point: the seemingly unstoppable growth of medical benefits for former military personnel under Tricare , the Defense Department's health program. This mushrooming expense is a major reason that Pentagon health-care spending rose from $19 billion in fiscal 2001 to $52.8...
March 2, 2012 |
PUL-E-ALAM, Afghanistan — Military investigators have concluded that five U.S. service members were involved in the incineration of a pile of Korans in Afghanistan last week, according to U.S. military officials who have been briefed on the inquiry. The burning of the Muslim holy books — which U.S. officials say was accidental — incited a week of protests that left 30 Afghans dead. The burnings also were cited as motivation for at least some of the six fatal...
July 8, 2012 |
In pre-dawn darkness, a Toyota Land Cruiser skidded off a bridge in North Africa in the spring, plunging into the Niger River. When rescuers arrived, they found the bodies of three U.S. Army commandos — alongside three dead women. What the men were doing in the impoverished country of Mali, and why they were still there a month after the United States suspended military relations with its government, is at the crux of a mystery that officials have not fully explained even 10 weeks later.
December 7, 2011 |
The Air Force dumped the incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops in a Virginia landfill, far more than the military had acknowledged, before halting the secretive practice three years ago, records show. The landfill dumping was concealed from families who had authorized the military to dispose of the remains in a dignified and respectful manner, Air Force officials said. There are no plans, they said, to alert those families now. The Air Force had...