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Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Commentary – in Afghanistan, ending “combat mission” doesn’t mean ending combat

My latest commentary over at the National Journal security blog tackles Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s recent suggestion that we formally end the U.S. “combat mission” in Afghanistan in 2013, a year before the deadline to (more or less) withdraw our forces: The end of the “combat mission” doesn’t mean the end of combat. As long [...]

Publications – the budget’s silver lining for the U.S. Army

Yes, the President’s proposed 2013 budget hit the Army hard, as expected, but there were some surprisingly silvery linings for the service: The Army may be in the cross-hairs of the budget cutters, but it’s had a surprisingly good week. While the number of soldiers will drop to 490,000 as long expected, the service is [...]

Publications – Air Force buys Brazilian airplanes for Afghan pilots

With all the focus on budget cuts, I found a program I think the military could and should spend more on, and in the Air Force at that: Just before the New Year, the U.S. Air Force finally selected a new Light Air Support plane for ground attack in counterinsurgency, picking the Brazilian Super Tucano [...]

Appearances – Veterans of five wars tell their stories – November 5th

On Saturday, November 5, in slightly early honor of Veterans’ Day, I’ll have the honor of moderating a panel of veterans from five wars — World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan — in a public event at Chevy Chase Library in Chevy Chase, Maryland. The event runs from 1:30 to 4:00 pm and [...]

Appearances – “Hell and Back Again” documentary showing & discussion

This Wednesday, the 21st, I’ll be participating in a panel discussion of the Afghan war and its consequences for American veterans at American University, after a showing of the documentary Hell and Back Again. The event is free but places are limited, so click here to reserve online. The filmmaker, Danfung Dennis, was embedded with a [...]

Appearances – I explain 9-11 to Romanians

Our Romanian friends at HotNews.ro have once again posted an interview with me, this time on the anniversary of 9/11. Since most of you probably don’t speak Romanian — I certainly don’t — their translated version is probably less useful than my English original, here: Freedberg on 9-11 anniversary – 2011-09-14. A brief excerpt (from [...]

Commentary – Obama’s withdrawal from Afghanistan & why counterinsurgency ain’t dead

My latest post on the National Journal expert blog lashes back against the current backlash against counterinsurgency: Counterinsurgency is here to stay. It’s something the U.S. military will have to keep doing around the world for decades to come, because insurgencies that threaten U.S. interests are going to keep occurring around the world for decades [...]

In Their Own Words: Carla and Matthew Wiese on War, Parenthood, and PTSD

            We were always under the impression that the Air Force would do as much as they could to avoid deploying us simultaneously, especially since we were dual-military and we had a child at home. But obviously we knew that the possibility could arise, and that’s what happened.             It’s quite a bit different taking [...]

In Their Own Words – Erik Crouch and Ryan Schloesser on the battle for Mullah Wasir

They had a whole trench network laid out, they had bunker complexes. They were prepared for us…. It was probably only a couple seconds before one of the enemy from on the hilltop was able to get a shot off and shot the other medic in the head…. …we were taking rounds just over my [...]

Publications – 2004-2010 articles about Afghans & Iraqis

Learning From Veterans began as a project I did interviewing Iraq and Afghanistan veterans for my longtime employer, National Journal. NJ relies on subscription revenue and guards its archives jealously, but the editors there have generously unlocked all my articles that draw on these military oral histories and made them available to the public for [...]