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U.S. News and Commentary



Entries in by Chris Carter (14)

Tuesday
Feb262013

Georgia state House seeks to repeal the Seventeenth Amendment

Photo: Snip of excerpt from 17th Amendment/U.S. Government ArchivesOne hundred years ago, the United States ratified an amendment to the Constitution that changed the way America chose its senators. The amendment's supporters said that senators directly elected by the people would not only be more democratic, but also less corrupt and less susceptible to special interest influence.

Instead of reducing corruption, however, changing the method of Senate selection provided entirely new avenues of political exploitation by fundamentally transforming our federal government. Most importantly, the amendment destroyed the federalist structure that the Founding Fathers installed to protect state sovereignty.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov262012

Wild Weasels: Saving lives and cheating death

All of the books I have reviewed lately have been infantry or special operations, so I really didn't think Viper Pilot, an autobiography of a modern-day Air Force fighter pilot would offer much in the way of excitement.

I was mistaken.

In an age of low-tech, low-intensity conflicts, dogfights have become all but a distant memory. But while threats facing today's aviators have evolved, they most certainly have not disappeared. U.S. fighter pilots, the world's best at air-to-air combat, have shifted their role towards close air support for ground units. And with all those planes in the sky, somebody has to take on the death-defying job of knocking out enemy surface-to-air missile sites.

That job goes to the “Wild Weasels.”

The basic objective of a wild weasel mission is for a team of F-16 pilots to fly over enemy air defense sites, forcing the enemy to fire deadly missiles at the pilots. Once pilots detect the launch – assuming the missile doesn't kill the pilot – they use teamwork to counterattack and destroy the launchers and radar stations, making the skies safe for other aircrews in the theater. This process was repeated countless times over Iraq – both during the Persian Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

If you think that fighter pilots are all glory and no guts, soaring 30,000 feet over the mud and blood of combat, then you haven't met Lt. Col. Dan “Two Dogs” Hampton. The now-retired wild weasel pilot and author of Viper Pilot has flown over 150 combat missions in just about every combat operation since Vietnam, earning four Distinguished Flying Crosses for Valor and the Purple Heart.

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Monday
Oct152012

Commander of 5th Stryker Brigade observations still ring true

By Chris Carter

Col. Harry Tunnell IV (right), 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team commander in Kandahar, Afghanistan, prepared to board a helicopter for a recon flight in January 2010. (Photo: Sgt. First Class Shannon Wright, U.S. Army)Following a one-year deployment to southern Afghanistan, an infantry commander wrote a letter to the Secretary of the Army explaining what had gone so terribly wrong with the war.

The letter was written in 2010; the assertions in that letter ring true now.

Commander risked career

Col. Harry D. Tunnell IV, former commander of the 2nd Infantry Division's 5th Stryker Brigade, is a combat veteran of multiple campaigns and a "formally trained" military historian.

Tunnell voiced his concerns about the war's execution to his chain of command. They were powerless to fix the problems, so Tunnell felt compelled to write a letter to Secretary of the Army John McHugh in order to improve the situation.

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Friday
Oct052012

Ignore the controversy and read ‘No Easy Day’

Last year, members of the Navy SEAL elite counterterrorism unit set out on the mission America had waited for since September 11, 2001. We were finally going to get Osama bin Laden. Hours later, the leader of al Qaeda was in a body bag, and stories have circulated ever since on how the operation went down.

Considering the secrecy of our top-tier special operation forces, like SEAL Team Six, we were left to guess which of those accounts were accurate – if any truly were.

Former SEAL Matt Bissonnette was not just there, but saw bin Laden go down. Writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen, he published a detailed and accurate account of the battle, No Easy Day.

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Wednesday
Jun132012

Something's fishy about sales pitch for Law of the Sea Treaty

Clouds over the southern Indian Ocean. (Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech)Every few years, Congress takes up the issue of the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), officially referred to in the international community as the U.N. Convention for the Law of the Sea. The convention is essentially a constitution for the world's oceans, but the economic protections and navigation rights come at a price.

LOST advocates would have us believe that when the treaty first reared its head 30 years ago, President Ronald Reagan refused to sign due to technicalities, which were addressed in 1994. Reagan questioned more than technicalities, however.

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Tuesday
May012012

'War on Terror is over' quote draws parallels to Orwell

In the world of George Orwell's dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, three world powers – Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia – were in a continual state of conflict:

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Wednesday
Feb292012

Will Obama hand over Koran-burning soldiers to Islamic court?

Updated on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 11:08AM by Registered CommenterKay B. Day, Editor

By Chris Carter

An Afghan government website has reported that NATO officials have promised to bring the American soldiers responsible for burning the Koran to justice in an open trial.

The website of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Government Media and Information Center (an official government site) states: "NATO officials promised to meet Afghan nation’s [sic] demand of bringing to justice, through an open trial, those responsible for the incident and it was agreed that the perpetrators of the crime be brought to justice as soon as possible."

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Tuesday
Feb282012

Koran-burning apologies are ineffective and counter-productive

Updated on Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 7:51AM by Registered CommenterKay B. Day, Editor

Updated on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 11:09AM by Registered CommenterKay B. Day, Editor

By Chris Carter

The Obama administration has been busy apologizing to the Afghan people for the burning of Korans at a military base in Afghanistan that has sparked a massive and deadly uprising. But this political prostration is actually undermining our mission and further endangering US service members.

US troops seized Korans from prisoners who allegedly used the books to pass information to other prisoners at Bagram Air Base's detention facility. Following a plethora of apologies from the Obama administration and the military, Gen. John Allen, the commander of both US and international security forces in Afghanistan, has promised that the military will undergo more training in the “proper handling of religious materials.”

Perhaps it’s the Afghans themselves that need the sensitivity training.

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Thursday
Jan262012

Afghan soldiers killing US soldiers; are we being kept in the dark?

Updated on Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 12:43PM by Registered CommenterKay B. Day, Editor

By Chris Carter

Afghan soldiers turned guns on their US and NATO trainers more in 2011 than perhaps any other year, and the military organization running the war in Afghanistan has responded by choosing not to report details of these incidents.

Click to read more ...