Two initiatives open to help injured vets

By Tom Philpott Service members and veterans severely injured in Iraq and Afghanistan have inspired two new initiatives to help them and their families through difficult times. The first is a call center, with its title and phone number hard to memorize but worth the effort: The Military Severely Injured Joint Support Operations Center with […]

Bush defends base closings in commencement speech

By Stephen J. Hedges: Chicago Tribune WASHINGTON — President Bush pressed the case for closing U.S. military bases in a commencement address at the U.S. Naval Academy on Friday, telling the newest officers of the Navy and Marine Corps that the money saved would fund advanced military technology and modernization of U.S. forces. “We have […]

Bombing victim leaves legacy of compassion

Freedom Newspapers Looking at photographs on various Web sites of the smiling 28-year-old California blonde with more than a hint of impish good humor in her eyes, it is difficult to believe such a person could be dead. But Marla Ruzicka, who had spent much of her time in Iraq since 2003 working on behalf […]

Afghanistan steps into democracy with first election

Freedom Newspapers I t likely will take some years to know if the Oct 9 election in Afghanistan was more than an exercise in futility. Preliminary results show that incumbent President Hamid Karzai “won a landslide victory in Afghanistan’s first ever presidential election at the weekend,” reported The New York Times. However, on the afternoon […]

U.S. wrongfully distracted by Iraq

By Steve Chapman: Guest Columnist In its final report, the 9/11 commission reached an obvious conclusion that explains how terrorists were able to kill nearly 3,000 Americans: “Terrorism was not the overriding national security concern for the U.S. government under either the Clinton or the pre-9/11 Bush administration.” And guess what: it still isn’t. In […]

Commission to decide on military pay

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Given the rising demands on U.S. forces from a global war on terror, including long, arduous tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, Defense officials will ask an independent commission to assess whether current pays and benefits are right for attracting and retaining a quality force. The Department of Defense plans to […]

Mission funding placed on hold until elections

Freedom Newspapers en. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, told the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Tuesday he was simply describing the possible consequences of a possible shortfall or delay in funding next year for the U.S. military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The general was not questioning the judgment of Defense Secretary […]

Afghani candidate making plans for reconstruction

Freedom Newspapers Hamid Karzai, the interim leader of Afghanistan who just announced his candidacy for president in the election scheduled for next year, may face political revolt as he returns from an extended tour of the United States and Britain. He was interviewed via conference call recently and some journalists came away with a little […]