U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Amanda Davis

As the old adage goes, The pen is mightier than the sword. “Selling War: A Critical Look at the Military PR’s Machine,” a new book by Steven J. Alvarez, is if nothing else a somber reminder that in modern conflict, the pen must be wielded with the sword.

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Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.

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And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.

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AP Photo

The battle for the Iraqi city of Tikrit is underway after more than a week of fighting between Iraqi army soldiers and Shiite militias against ISIS militants. Over 30,000 soldiers and militiamen backed by jets and helicopters launched a much-anticipated offensive against the ISIS forces currently in control of the city.

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Photo by Hirepurpose

Over the last few years, the Obama administration has pushed hard to ensure that veterans receive preferential treatment in the hiring for federal jobs. This policy is meant to recognize the often-inherent disadvantage veterans have competing for civilian jobs after they leave military service. For post-9/11 veterans, their civilian counterparts were moving up the corporate ladder or completing college when they were undertaking multiple combat deployments.

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Photo by Cpl. James Mast

On a day that marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the first Geneva Convention, it is worth remembering that even warfare has limits. Signed in August 1864, the Geneva Convention was the first attempt by nation states to enshrine the obligation to spare and protect wounded soldiers, and the people who care for them. The signing created the foundations of international humanitarian law, which has since expanded into an inclusive body of law that protects non-combatants during periods of armed conflict.

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AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

In December of 1981, just a month before President Ronald Reagan took office, an NBC/Associated Press public opinion survey found that 76% of Americans believed that nuclear war was “likely” within a few years, an increase from 57% just six months earlier. As a result of skilled diplomacy and unconventional thinking, the Reagan administration was not only able to avoid a nuclear conflict with the Soviet Union, but by the conclusion of his presidency, the two Cold War adversaries were well on the path to a peaceful, negotiated solution to the nuclear arms race.

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