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The Softer Side of War

June 1, 2008 The Pentagon turns to academia to foster cultural awareness on the front lines. In an April speech to the Association of American Universities, Defense Secretary Robert Gates outlined plans for the Minerva Consortia-a program to provide Pentagon funding to universities for research in the social sciences to better understand foreign ...

Commander finds no evidence of Iranian training or weapons in Afghanistan

May 7, 2008 A top U.S. commander in embattled southern Afghanistan said he has not seen any evidence that Iran is providing training or weapons to Taliban fighters, contradicting claims by the Bush administration of Iranian interference in Afghanistan. "I haven't seen any Iranian weapons or anything of that nature making its way ...

Army officers warn of atrophy in critical skills

May 6, 2008 An internal Army report has concluded that the service's intense focus on counterinsurgency warfare has led to a decline in its ability to fight large conventional battles. Because soldiers' time in the United States is spent preparing to return to either Iraq or Afghanistan, the report found, they don't have ...

Marines’ V-22 Osprey returns from first combat deployment

May 2, 2008 The Marine Corps on Friday touted the success of the V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft that recently returned from its first combat deployment to Iraq. A squadron of Ospreys successfully flew more than 2,500 missions during six months in support of Marines based in western Iraq's Anbar province. The Marines initially ...

Hybrid Wars

May 1, 2008 What if the battles of the future are neither conventional nor irregular, but a combination of both? The October 1973 Arab-Israeli War featured some of the largest set-piece battles fought since the end of World War II. For American defense planners, the conflict provided a bounty of information on the ...

Navy forms fleet to serve Western Hemisphere

April 30, 2008 The Navy last week created a new 4th Fleet, responsible for Navy ships, aircraft and submarines operating in the Caribbean and Central and South America. The move signals the Pentagon's recognition of the importance of the region and elevates the Navy's stature there, said Rear Adm. James Stevenson Jr., who ...

Reconstruction teams hindered by lack of resources, skills

April 28, 2008 Teams dedicated to the job of rebuilding critical infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan, such as rebuilding schools and restoring electrical power, are plagued by low funding, not enough staff and poor leadership, according to a report released by the House Armed Services Committee. So-called provincial reconstruction teams, which also provide ...

Anthropologists lend military insight into customs, values of foreign cultures

April 25, 2008 Small teams of social scientists and anthropologists working with American units to map the "human terrain" in Iraq and Afghanistan and use "soft power" to engage local populations have saved lives and are an important tool in nation building, according to military officials. In today's irregular wars, "battlefields are often ...

Gates tells military services to prepare for unconventional wars

April 22, 2008 Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Monday urged the military services to stop spending money on costly weapons systems designed to fight big, conventional wars and focus instead on training and preparing to better fight irregular wars and battle terrorist networks. In a speech to cadets at West Point, N.Y., Gates ...

GAO: Administration lacks plan to combat terrorists in Pakistan

April 18, 2008 In a scathing critique of the Bush administration's failure to destroy a resurgent al Qaeda, the Government Accountability Office said the terrorist group is training operatives at a safe haven in Pakistan's lawless tribal region and is in the final stages of preparing another attack inside the United States. GAO ...