War

Word of Mouth
2:35 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

What It's Like Being A Drone War Veteran

A Predator Drone
Credit twaffles via Flickr Creative Commons

A full decade into the drone war in the Middle East, we’re still asking questions: what does an unmanned military mean for the future of warfare?  Who chooses who lives and who dies? What does it mean to pull the trigger on a target half a world away?

And what is like being a veteran of the drone war?

Matthew Power is a freelance print and radio journalist and a contributor to GQ Magazine, where he wrote a profile of former drone operator and Airman First Class Brandon Bryant.

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Word of Mouth
3:11 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

What Do International Weapons Inspectors Do, Exactly? We Talked To One To Find Out.

UN/IAEA Inspectors
Credit IAEA Action Team

Only a few days after international weapons inspectors arrived in Syria, they’ve begun destroying Syria’sstockpile of chemical weapons along with the equipment used to make it. The team is reportedly using blow torches and heavy trucks to crush weaponry, working as an active war rages on around them.

For a better sense of what weapons inspectors do, we spoke to Tim Trevan. He worked as a U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq in the early 90’s and is currently Executive Director of the International Council for the Life Sciences.

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Monadnock Summer Lyceum
3:00 pm
Sun July 28, 2013

Andrew Bacevich: Cheap Grace And The American Way Of War

Credit via Monadnock Lyceum

Drawing on Dietrich Bonhoeffer's concept of "cheap grace," Andrew Bacevich exposes the chronic defects in the current U. S. approach to waging war.  He explains why the world's most powerful military doesn't win and why the nation's reliance on professional soldiers has turned out to be such a bad bargain. When American soldiers deploy to places like Iraq and Afghanistan, what is the cause for which they fight?  The patriotic answer is this:  they fight for freedom.  Challenge that proposition and you’ll likely pick a quarrel.

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Word of Mouth
12:10 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

Where Soldiers Come From

We hear the words honor, duty and sacrifice a lot around Veteran’s Day – and rightly so. What we rarely hear about are the individual, human stories that lead men and women to pick up the mantle of those powerful words and to fight in America’s name. “Where Soldiers Come From” follows a pack of close friends from Michigan’s icy Upper Peninsula as they transform from small town teenagers to National Guardsmen fighting in Afghanistan.

Check out the trailer for Where Soldiers Come From:

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Word of Mouth
9:12 am
Mon September 17, 2012

The New Dogs of War

Beverly & Pack via Flickr Creative Commons

When we call dogs ‘man’s best friend’, we’re typically referring to their value as companions and protectors - but canines have a long history of helping people with affairs far more solemn that playing fetch.  For centuries, dogs have played a pivotal role in aiding the disabled, in hunting, for search and rescue operations, and for their service in police and military applications.  After a long hiatus, U.S. bomb-sniffing dogs were re-introduced to the battlefield in 2007.  There are now some six-hundred military dogs deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed September 5, 2012

The War Within the War for Afghanistan

An inside look at the war in Afghanistan. Recently, an increasing number of American troops have died at the hands of their Afghan counterparts, raising questions about American efforts there. But these incidents don’t come as a surprise to award-winning Washington Post journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran, who spent two years covering the war in Afghanistan. He's written a book on the conflict -- Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan.

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The Exchange
9:17 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Those Who Have Borne the Battle

jdn via flickr creative commons

During this country's early years, military service was considered the price of citizenship in a free society. Over time, veterans gained in prestige, especially after World War II. Our wars since – some unpopular -- have brought about new attitudes. In his new book, Those Who Have Borne the Battle: A History of America's Wars and Those Who Fought Them, former Dartmouth College President James Wright describes the complicated relationship between this country and its military. 

 

Guest: 

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All Things Considered
12:45 pm
Mon May 28, 2012

A Laconia Artist Paints Soldiers at War

Elaine Morrison's paintings are on display at National Guard headquarters in Concord.
Brady Carlson, NHPR

For this Memorial Day we wanted to tell you about a unique art installation at the New Hampshire National Guard headquarters in Concord.

It’s a series of paintings by Elaine Morrison of Laconia, depicting soldiers at war. She tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the paintings.

Africa
12:33 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Civilians Flee, Soldiers Dig In On Sudanese Frontier

Nyachieng Nguot Teng, 25, lost her left leg and her 7-month-old son suffered a fractured leg when a Sudanese bomb fell on her hut in Lalat, South Sudan, on May 5. The United Nations is trying to prevent the recent fighting between the two Sudans from escalating into full-scale war.
Ofeibea Quist-Arcton NPR

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 7:16 pm

There's a tense calm at South Sudan's front line, just 10 miles from the frontier with Sudan, its neighbor to the north. South Sudanese commander Maj. Gen. Mangar Buong says his troops remain on alert and on the defensive.

There is not a civilian in sight. They all fled the area, known as Panakuach, after Sudan's recent aerial bombardments and escalating concerns about a full-scale war.

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Latin America
5:55 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Some Latin Leaders Want New Approach To Drug War

Some Latin American leaders want to talk about the possibility of legalizing some drugs, a move the U.S. strongly opposes. Here, a Mexican soldier stands guard at a huge marijuana plantation that was uncovered in San Quintin, Baja California state, near the U.S. border, last year.
Antonio Nava AFP/Getty Images

When President Obama travels to Colombia this weekend for the Summit of the Americas, he'll be stepping into a vigorous debate about the drug war that could be awkward for the United States.

Some Latin American leaders, who also happen to be strong U.S. allies, say the American-sponsored war on drugs is failing and that new options need to be considered.

One proposal they want to discuss is legalizing some drugs — a move the U.S. strongly opposes.

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Europe
3:28 am
Thu April 5, 2012

Two Decades After Siege, Sarajevo Still A City Divided

Twenty years ago this week, the Bosnian war began with the siege of Sarajevo, the capital. In this photo, smoke billows from a building in downtown Sarajevo, April 22, 1992, after a Serbian mortar attack.
H. Delich AP

Originally published on Thu April 5, 2012 10:30 am

April 6 marks the 20th anniversary of the start of the Bosnian war and the siege of Sarajevo. It was the longest siege of a capital city in modern history, and produced the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.

Over three-and-a-half years of war, 100,000 people were killed, and half of Bosnia's population of 4.4 million — made up of a plurality of Muslims — fled their homes.

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Afghanistan
4:00 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Grieving Afghan Father: 'All My Dreams Are Buried'

Afghans gather outside a military base in the Panjwai district in Afghanistan on March 11, after 16 civilians were killed in a massacre allegedly carried out by a U.S. soldier.
Allauddin Khan AP

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 5:49 pm

Afghans say they're so inured to civilians killed in wars that they bury their dead and move on. That's not so easy for Muhammad Wazir. He lost his mother, his wife, a sister-in-law, a brother, a nephew, his four daughters and two of his sons in last week's mass shooting in two villages.

"My little boy, Habib Shah, is the only one left alive, and I love him very much," says Wazir.

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Afghanistan
1:55 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

U.S., Pakistan At Impasse Over Afghan Supply Routes

Oil tankers sit at a NATO supply terminal in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi on Feb. 9. In November, Pakistan's government shut down the main routes for bringing supplies to U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
Masroor Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Thu March 15, 2012 5:59 pm

Nearly four months after Pakistan closed the main supply lines for U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, the shutdown is creating hardship for Pakistani truckers and is forcing the U.S. to turn to costly and less-efficient alternatives.

The Pakistani move came after an errant U.S. airstrike left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead along the Afghan frontier back in November.

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Middle East
6:01 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

A War With Iran: Rhetoric Or A Reality?

Bob Kunst (right) protests against a nuclear Iran in front of the White House on Monday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

In recent weeks and days, the divisions over how to deal with Iran and its nuclear program have sharpened. The only undisputed fact is that Iran is developing a nuclear energy program, but after that things get murky.

Israel and some European countries believe Iran is moving toward a nuclear weapons program, but U.S. intelligence agencies disagree. Israel argues that a nuclear-armed Iran poses an existential threat, and there's much speculation in the media about a possible Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear sites.

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Middle East
1:11 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Syria's Rebels Ask, Why Aren't The Weapons Coming?

A member of the Free Syrian Army looks at the valley in the village of Ain al-Baida, in Syria's Idlib province, near the Turkish border, in December. Syrians fleeing the fighting in their country are flowing out across the border with Turkey, but opposition fighters say very few weapons are flowing in.
Sezayi Erken AFP/Getty Images

In a nondescript apartment room in Turkey, just across the border from Syria, clouds of cigarette smoke drift toward the ceiling as Syrian opposition activists ponder how to keep people and supplies moving across the border.

Abu Jafaar is the alias of a Syrian smuggler who has been dodging Syrian army patrols for the past several months.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:42 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Embedded with the Reenactors

Photo by Judi Lyn via Flickr Creative Commons

Who are the "brave" men and women who volunteer for active duty in reenacted wars? I spoke with Nick 
Kowalczyk, Professor of Writing at Ithaca College and war correspondant...of sorts. He covered a re-enactment of the Siege of Niagara, a battle from the French and Indian War, for Salon. 

 

 

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:33 am
Wed February 22, 2012

The Lost History of 1914

Two weeks ago, Florence Green -- the last known surviving veteran of world war one -- died. She had been a waitress in Britain’s Royal Air Force.  The story of the war that was to end all wars survives in historic accounts, novels, poems and pictures. Millions of British and American viewers recently got a glimpse of the battlefield on PBS’s popular Downton Abbey.

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The Impact of War
12:01 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Building Better Houses For Wounded Soldiers

The Wounded Warrior Home Project is an inventive approach to military housing, serving the needs of wounded soldiers and their families as they continue to serve on active duty at Fort Belvoir, Va.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:02 am

All wars bring innovations — in weapons, and also in ways to repair the damage done. Penicillin is one of the more famous examples: It came into use as a treatment for troops in World War II.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have brought their own breakthroughs, none more dramatic than the prosthetics that come close to giving back what has been lost. And big advances in treating grievous injuries have meant many more troops coming home alive.

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The Exchange
8:47 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Through Veteran's Eyes (rebroadcast)

Erik Eisele NHPR

As of early 2010, more than 2 million US troops have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Larry Minear, a researcher on international and internal armed conflicts, has spent a lot of time talking to more than 175 of these veterans, many of whom came from New Hampshire and Vermont. He talked to them about what motivated them to go to war, what they did once they went over, and how they rejoined society upon their return.

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