Permission To Speak Freely

There’s A New ‘Father And Son Served In Afghanistan’ Puff Piece, And Boy Is It Depressing

They are not meant to be depressing reads, but the latest father and son both served in Afghanistan public affairs story is out, and boy is it depressing. Most of these stories go something like this: The son says how proud he is to be a soldier and to be serving in Afghanistan. He’s carrying on … Read More

Top US Commander Says He Won’t Negotiate Directly With Taliban, Even Though He Almost Certainly Will

john nicholson taliban peace talks
The top American commander in Afghanistan has gone into a tizzy over what he’s called a mischaracterization of his words, in which he told Reuters the United States is “ready to talk to the Taliban” about bringing an end to the 17-year-old war there. On Monday, Gen. John Nicholson told Reuters, “Our Secretary of State, … Read More

Things We Didn’t Know, From Elvis Presley To Civil War Porn And Paul Revere

civil war porn elvis
The Civil War “created an unprecedented demand for erotica,” according to a book review in the July issue of the Journal of Military History. A young infantry officer named Anthony Comstock came home from the war and campaigned for laws against shipping porn in the mail. “Colonel” Tom Parker, Elvis Presley’s manager, was actually born … Read More

Some Radical Thoughts On How To Fix The Woes Of America’s Surface Navy

uss fitzgerald surface navy
Here’s how to think about the Pentagon’s surface navy problems. The officer corps is like a bad union organization: They will never vote against their own self-interest, seniority matters greatly, they spend most of their time dealing with the bottom 10% and saving the politically connected. In the end, they do not care as much about the good … Read More

Mattis Urged To Consider Award Upgrade For Marine Officer’s Heroic Last Stand

travis manion
Congressman Duncan Hunter, Republican from California, has sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis asking him to upgrade a Silver Star award to a Navy Cross for Marine 1st Lt. Travis Manion in light of what he called “new material evidence.” Manion was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for his actions while serving … Read More

Trump Could Address a Major Security Problem At His Putin Summit — But He Won’t

trump-putin summit russia cyber attacks
Will Russia’s broad range of nefarious cyber activities be addressed at Monday’s summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin? That’s one of the big questions surrounding the summit. National Security Advisor John Bolton affirmed that Russian interference operations and cyber attacks would be on the agenda, and Trump reaffirmed this during press conferences in Europe, but speculation continues … Read More

What’s Eating America’s Surface Navy? 11 Problems That Need Fixing Immediately

uss fitzgerald surface navy
It’s been a terrible time for the surface navy. Multiple collisions and a senseless grounding. Basic seamanship found wanting. Poor management and poorer oversight of the operating units by higher authority. Busted up ships. Cratering careers. Dead sailors. Terrible, terrible times. What’s wrong? A lot: Readiness assessments: Loaded staffs and nearly 300 serving admirals and yet … Read More

Why Did The Air Force Withhold The Names Of 5 Drone Operators Getting Awards?

Why did the U.S. Air Force withhold the names of five remotely piloted aircraft operators who just received the services’ historic, first-ever medal with an “R” device for remote operations? That’s the first thing I wondered after reading through this story from Air Force Times, which detailed the awarding of Meritorious Service Medals or Air … Read More