Dirty war

this is a dirty war, a war of the last century; it’s trench warfare between rebels and loyalists who are so close that they scream at each other while they shoot each other. The first time on the frontline, you can’t believe it, with these bayonets you have seen only in history books. Today’s wars are drone wars, but here they fight meter by meter, street by street, and it’s fucking scary.

Francesca Borri, Woman’s work : Columbia Journalism Review

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As a military spouse, I wish the spotlight would fall on the real tragedies and crises military families face every day. They don’t require FBI investigations or White House notification. Simply drive down the main road at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. (or any local VA hospital), where a young man whose body consists of a head and a torso blows into a straw to steer himself through the crosswalk on the way into the hospital. This is where the reporters should be. Stop by the base post office, where a young man, face down on a stretcher, waits in a line for his mail. Step over to Dunkin Donuts, where another young man with four prosthetic limbs attempts to hand the cashier a $5 bill, which keeps slipping out of his metal claw. Pass a young veteran in a wheelchair trying to push his infant’s stroller with one hand while wheeling himself forward with the other. In this city of amputees, and in the scores of American towns that will house and attempt to heal them for decades to come, the dirtiest secret of wartime is already out in the open, for everyone to see.

The Petraeus scandal on base: What military spouses say about infidelity. – Slate Magazine

As a military spouse, I wish the spotlight would fall on the real tragedies and crises military families face every day. They don’t require FBI investigations or White House notification. Simply drive down the main road at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. (or any local VA hospital), where a young man whose body consists of a head and a torso blows into a straw to steer himself through the crosswalk on the way into the hospital. This is where the reporters should be. Stop by the base post office, where a young man, face down on a stretcher, waits in a line for his mail. Step over to Dunkin Donuts, where another young man with four prosthetic limbs attempts to hand the cashier a $5 bill, which keeps slipping out of his metal claw. Pass a young veteran in a wheelchair trying to push his infant’s stroller with one hand while wheeling himself forward with the other. In this city of amputees, and in the scores of American towns that will house and attempt to heal them for decades to come, the dirtiest secret of wartime is already out in the open, for everyone to see.

The Petraeus scandal on base: What military spouses say about infidelity. – Slate Magazine

If we wouldn’t be willing to expose our troops to those risks, then maybe the mission isn’t so compelling that it justifies exposing civilians to them either. That’s the conclusion that Kurt Volker, the head of the McCain Institute for International Leadership and a former ambassador, has reached. He writes that “a good rule of thumb might be that we should authorize drone strikes only if we would be willing to send in a pilot or soldier to do the job if a drone were not available.

Why Drones Stayed Out of Sight in the 2012 Campaign – Bloomberg

If we wouldn’t be willing to expose our troops to those risks, then maybe the mission isn’t so compelling that it justifies exposing civilians to them either. That’s the conclusion that Kurt Volker, the head of the McCain Institute for International Leadership and a former ambassador, has reached. He writes that “a good rule of thumb might be that we should authorize drone strikes only if we would be willing to send in a pilot or soldier to do the job if a drone were not available.

Why Drones Stayed Out of Sight in the 2012 Campaign – Bloomberg