black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             

Team America, with their anonymous uniforms and nonregulation scruff, were the competition’s wild cards. The Dutch marines were pretty sure they were Deltas. The Canadians thought they were SEALs. During the ceremony, a Kasotc representative accidentally introduced them as “American Special Forces,” adding to the intrigue. The truth was, Team America wasn’t actually called Team America. It was a nickname they chose for themselves, after the movie by the “South Park” creators — a sendup of patriotism that they knowingly repurposed as actual patriotism.”

Sleep-Away Camp for Postmodern Cowboys | NYT

“I was diagnosed with a personality disorder for failing to adjust adequately to being raped.” —Jenny McClendon
The Enemy Within | National Journal

What happened is this: One instructor has been convicted of rape and multiple cases of aggravated sexual assault of female trainees, and 16 other trainers have been charged or are under investigations for crimes ranging from aggravated sexual assault to improper sexual relationships with 42 female trainees.
That places Lackland atop an infamous list of military sexual-abuse scandals, including the Navy’s Tailhook convention in Las Vegas in 1991 (83 female and seven male victims of sexual assault by more than 100 Navy and Marine Corps aviation officers); the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1996 (12 Army officers charged with sexually assaulting female trainees); the Air Force Academy in 2003 (12 percent of female graduates reported having been victims of rape or attempted rape, and 70 percent said they had been sexually harassed); and the Marine Barracks in Washington in recent years, where the documentary The Invisible Warinterviewed five female Marines who reported having been raped (the Corps investigated and disciplined four of the women after they reported the rapes but punished none of the accused officers). 
Two days after seeing The Invisible War, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta directed commanders to elevate all sexual-assault investigations to a reviewing authority headed by a higher-ranking colonel. He also began creating “special-victim units” in each branch. It was a start. 
But the most alarming aspect of the Lackland story is its predictability, because the very values Pendleton is trying to inculcate (obedience, self-sacrifice, stoicism in the face of deprivation) are the ones that predators exploit in these scandals. The Defense Department’s own data suggest that, far from representing an isolated incident, Lackland is just the latest outbreak of what Panetta has called a “silent epidemic” of sexual assault in the ranks. Based on the Pentagon’s most recent survey on the issue in 2010, the epidemic affects more than 19,000 victims each year.
Meanwhile, according to annual Veterans Affairs Department surveys, 20 percent of female veterans screen positive for “military sexual trauma,” as do 1 percent of male veterans—many of them victims of male-on-male rape. Cumulatively, the data suggest that hundreds of thousands of current and former members of the military have been raped, sexually assaulted, or subjected to “unwanted” sexual contact. In 2010 alone, the VA conducted nearly 700,000 free outpatient counseling sessions to veterans suffering from military sexual trauma.

“I was diagnosed with a personality disorder for failing to adjust adequately to being raped.” —Jenny McClendon

The Enemy Within | National Journal

What happened is this: One instructor has been convicted of rape and multiple cases of aggravated sexual assault of female trainees, and 16 other trainers have been charged or are under investigations for crimes ranging from aggravated sexual assault to improper sexual relationships with 42 female trainees.

That places Lackland atop an infamous list of military sexual-abuse scandals, including the Navy’s Tailhook convention in Las Vegas in 1991 (83 female and seven male victims of sexual assault by more than 100 Navy and Marine Corps aviation officers); the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1996 (12 Army officers charged with sexually assaulting female trainees); the Air Force Academy in 2003 (12 percent of female graduates reported having been victims of rape or attempted rape, and 70 percent said they had been sexually harassed); and the Marine Barracks in Washington in recent years, where the documentary The Invisible Warinterviewed five female Marines who reported having been raped (the Corps investigated and disciplined four of the women after they reported the rapes but punished none of the accused officers). 

Two days after seeing The Invisible War, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta directed commanders to elevate all sexual-assault investigations to a reviewing authority headed by a higher-ranking colonel. He also began creating “special-victim units” in each branch. It was a start. 

But the most alarming aspect of the Lackland story is its predictability, because the very values Pendleton is trying to inculcate (obedience, self-sacrifice, stoicism in the face of deprivation) are the ones that predators exploit in these scandals. The Defense Department’s own data suggest that, far from representing an isolated incident, Lackland is just the latest outbreak of what Panetta has called a “silent epidemic” of sexual assault in the ranks. Based on the Pentagon’s most recent survey on the issue in 2010, the epidemic affects more than 19,000 victims each year.

Meanwhile, according to annual Veterans Affairs Department surveys, 20 percent of female veterans screen positive for “military sexual trauma,” as do 1 percent of male veterans—many of them victims of male-on-male rape. Cumulatively, the data suggest that hundreds of thousands of current and former members of the military have been raped, sexually assaulted, or subjected to “unwanted” sexual contact. In 2010 alone, the VA conducted nearly 700,000 free outpatient counseling sessions to veterans suffering from military sexual trauma.

FP: Top 10 Lessons of the Iraq War

Lesson #1:  The United States lost.

Lesson #2: It’s not that hard to hijack the United States into a war.

Lesson #3: The United States gets in big trouble when the “marketplace of ideas” breaks down and when the public and our leadership do not have an open debate about what to do.

Lesson #4: The secularism and middle-class character of Iraqi society was overrated. 

Lesson #5: Don’t listen to ambitious exiles. 

Lesson #6: It’s very hard to improvise an occupation.

Lesson #7:  Don’t be surprised when adversaries act to defend their own interests, and in ways we won’t like. 

Lesson #8: Counterinsurgency warfare is ugly and inevitably leads to war crimes, atrocities, or other forms of abuse.

Lesson #9: Better “planning” may not be the answer.

Lesson #10: Rethink U.S. grand strategy, not just tactics or methods.

Read on.

Neuroscience could mean soldiers controlling weapons with minds

Soldiers could have their minds plugged directly into weapons systems, undergo brain scans during recruitment and take courses of neural stimulation to boost their learning, if the armed forces embrace the latest developments in neuroscience to hone the performance of their troops.

These scenarios are described in a report into the military and law enforcement uses of neuroscience, published on Tuesday, which also highlights a raft of legal and ethical concerns that innovations in the field may bring. The report by the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of science, says that while the rapid advance of neuroscience is expected to benefit society and improve treatments for brain disease and mental illness, it also has substantial security applications that should be carefully analyzed. The report’s authors also anticipate new designer drugs that boost performance, make captives more talkative and make enemy troops fall asleep. 


“An experimental, arrowhead-shaped aircraft that could reach blistering speeds of 13,000 mph above the Pacific Ocean is set to blast off Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Santa Barbara,” W.J. Hennigan reports. “To give you an idea of how fast that is: an aircraft at that speed would zip from Los Angeles to New York in less than 12 minutes.” (via: latimes)
Image:  An artist’s rendering of the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2. Credit: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

“The flight is slated to test new technology that would provide the Pentagon a lightning-fast vehicle, capable of delivering a military strike anywhere in the world in less than an hour.”
Hooray.

“An experimental, arrowhead-shaped aircraft that could reach blistering speeds of 13,000 mph above the Pacific Ocean is set to blast off Wednesday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Santa Barbara,” W.J. Hennigan reports. “To give you an idea of how fast that is: an aircraft at that speed would zip from Los Angeles to New York in less than 12 minutes.” (via: latimes)

Image: An artist’s rendering of the Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2. Credit: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

The flight is slated to test new technology that would provide the Pentagon a lightning-fast vehicle, capable of delivering a military strike anywhere in the world in less than an hour.”

Hooray.

©2011 Kateoplis