Tom Bowman http://wuis.org en What's The Right Size For The U.S. Army? http://wuis.org/post/whats-right-size-us-army With the U.S. military out of Iraq and winding down in Afghanistan, the U.S. Army, which peaked with a force of around 570,000 a few years ago, was supposed to drop to around 490,000 troops.<p>But U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that's still too big.<p>"An Army of this size is larger than required to meet the demands of our defense strategy," Hagel told a news conference in February.<p>Translation? Hagel isn't planning to occupy any countries. Fri, 11 Apr 2014 07:52:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 22783 at http://wuis.org What's The Right Size For The U.S. Army? Air Force Roots Out Cheaters In Ranks — As Well As Why They Did It http://wuis.org/post/air-force-roots-out-cheaters-ranks-well-why-they-did-it Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>And I'm Robert Siegel.<p>The Air Force has fired nine officers in connection with a cheating scandal at one nuclear missile base. An investigation found there was widespread cheating on proficiency tests at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The case involves a total of 79 officers.<p>Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James called it a problem of leadership culture.<p>SECRETARY DEBORAH LEE JAMES: We do have some systemic issues in our missile community. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 20:36:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 21779 at http://wuis.org Air Force To Release Results Of Cheating Probe http://wuis.org/post/air-force-release-results-cheating-probe Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Lt. General Stephen Wilson report Thursday on the results of an investigation involving aobut 100 nuclear missile launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 09:05:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 21722 at http://wuis.org Following Plea Deal, General's Misconduct Gets Fine And Reprimand http://wuis.org/post/following-plea-deal-generals-misconduct-gets-fine-and-reprimand Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>A U.S. Army general accused of sexual assault will not face jail time. Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair was sentenced today at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Sinclair could have faced a prison term of up to 18 months as part of a plea deal. Instead, he'll receive a letter of reprimand and a $20,000 fine. Some members of Congress and victims' advocates are outraged at what they see as a leniency of the sentence. Thu, 20 Mar 2014 20:47:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 21292 at http://wuis.org Decades Later, A Medal Of Honor For Hispanic-American Hero http://wuis.org/post/decades-later-recognition-vietnam-vet-who-risked-his-life At the White House on Tuesday, President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to two-dozen soldiers whose service ranged from World War II to the Vietnam War. These soldiers are being commemorated after congress mandated a review to make sure that no one was overlooked because of prejudice.<p>One of them is Santiago Erevia, who risked his life on a May afternoon in 1969, charging toward bunkers held by the North Vietnamese.<p>Erevia was a cook back in 1968, working in small restaurants in Nevada and his native Texas. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 08:44:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 21090 at http://wuis.org Decades Later, A Medal Of Honor For Hispanic-American Hero General Takes Plea Deal In Sexual Assault Case http://wuis.org/post/general-takes-plea-deal-sexual-assault-case Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>Today, a plea deal in the most closely watched sexual assault case in the military. An Army general admitted to charges of mistreating a subordinate and adultery. But Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair will not face more serious charges. That's because the Army's case against him fell apart. We're going to hear more about what happened now from NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman. Hi, Tom.<p>TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Hello, Robert.<p>SIEGEL: The case against General Sinclair has become almost a symbol of the problem of sexual assault in the military. Mon, 17 Mar 2014 20:30:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 21057 at http://wuis.org Hagel Proposes Cuts To Size And Spending of Armed Forces http://wuis.org/post/hagel-proposes-cuts-size-and-spending-armed-forces Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>And we begin this hour with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's plan to cut the military. At the Pentagon today, he called for a smaller Army and Marine Corps. He also suggested grounding a vintage Cold War plane and asked troops to pay more for health care and other benefits. Hagel said his budget plan offers a new post-war vision for the Pentagon. Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:08:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 19616 at http://wuis.org New Military Ethics Chief Will Face A Full Plate http://wuis.org/post/new-military-ethics-chief-will-face-full-plate Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to appoint a senior officer to oversee military ethics, in response to recent high-profile ethics problems. Whoever takes the job will face a stiff challenge. Fri, 21 Feb 2014 21:21:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 19462 at http://wuis.org Hagel Concerned By Ethical Lapses In Armed Forces http://wuis.org/post/hagel-concerned-ethical-lapses-armed-forces Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>The American military is trying to get to the bottom of a series of scandals. Air Force nuclear missile officers cheated on tests, Navy sailors are accused of the same, and more - enough that Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is concerned that there's a pattern here, a problem with ethical lapses across the armed services. NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman joins us now to talk about this. Good morning.<p>TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.<p>MONTAGNE: Well, what is the latest? Thu, 06 Feb 2014 10:16:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 18403 at http://wuis.org A Medal Of Valor, 30 Years In Coming http://wuis.org/post/medal-valor-thirty-years-coming The year is 1984: A Soviet defector dashes across the Korean border — chased by North Korean troops. American troops shield him and open fire on the North Koreans. There are dead and wounded on both sides.<p>Now, 30 years later, one of those Americans is finally receiving his medal for bravery.<p>Mark Deville was just 19 on that November day in 1984, part of an American Army unit patrolling the tense border between North and South Korea.<p>Deville didn't know what he was facing. The only message was: Shots fired. Wed, 29 Jan 2014 21:42:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 17906 at http://wuis.org A Medal Of Valor, 30 Years In Coming Pentagon, White House Are At Odds Over Afghanistan http://wuis.org/post/pentagon-white-house-are-odds-over-afghanistan The Pentagon is saying that it needs to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014 to train Afghans and maintain a counterterror mission. But military officials are once again running into interference from Vice President Joe Biden. That's nothing new: Biden in particular has for years pushed for a counterterror option of only several thousand troops, though the military says that number is far too small. The Pentagon argues that Biden's proposal would mean the U.S. forces would be largely consigned to their bases. Wed, 22 Jan 2014 22:27:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 17440 at http://wuis.org Gen. Dempsey: Better To Get Others To Solve Their Own Problems http://wuis.org/post/gen-dempsey-better-get-others-solve-their-own-problems <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/2014/01/17/263333207/chairman-of-joint-chiefs-warns-of-disconnect-with-military" target="_blank">On <strong>Morning Edition</strong></a>, NPR's Tom Bowman profiled Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.</em><p><em>Dempsey, as Tom reported, says the U.S. public, and even its leaders, know little about how military power can be used. The disconnect is most glaring when comes to this: What can the U.S. Fri, 17 Jan 2014 19:26:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 17176 at http://wuis.org Gen. Dempsey: Better To Get Others To Solve Their Own Problems Gen. Dempsey Disputes Gates' Characterization Of Obama http://wuis.org/post/gen-dempsey-disputes-gates-characterization-obama The nation's top military officer, Gen. Tue, 14 Jan 2014 22:29:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 16946 at http://wuis.org Gen. Dempsey Disputes Gates' Characterization Of Obama Gates Memoir Tests Civilian-Military Rules Of Engagement http://wuis.org/post/gates-memoir-tests-civilian-military-rules-engagement Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' new book, <em>Duty, Memoirs of a Secretary at War</em>, paints a picture of a White House suspicious of military leaders and their motives.<p>In the book, Gates criticizes both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden over issues like the Afghanistan war. It's a case study of civilian-military tensions that are as old as the Republic.<p><strong>A President Wary Of Being Boxed In</strong><p>Gates takes the reader inside the White House, where a debate was on about whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. Sat, 11 Jan 2014 15:48:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 16736 at http://wuis.org Gates Memoir Tests Civilian-Military Rules Of Engagement Marines: Most Female Recruits Don't Meet New Pullup Standard http://wuis.org/post/marines-most-female-recruits-dont-meet-new-pullup-standard Starting Jan. 1, every woman in the Marines Corps was supposed to meet a new physical standard by performing three pullups. But that has been put off.<p>The Marine Corps announced it quietly. There was no news conference — just a notice on <a href="https://twitter.com/USMC/status/403311957136007169">its social media sites</a> and an item on its own TV show, <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHprAKI4NlI&list=PLcK9mGOZrMLmk_jc8ItuD9yA4nMdhsMDG">The Corps Report</a>.<p>Lance Cpl. Fri, 27 Dec 2013 08:24:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 15793 at http://wuis.org Marines: Most Female Recruits Don't Meet New Pullup Standard China's Military Buildup Reignites Worries In Asia, Beyond http://wuis.org/post/chinas-military-buildup-reignites-worries-asia-beyond China has been building up its military strength for some time now, and pushing ever farther from its coastline and into international waters. The real concern now is for miscalculation — particularly with Japan — that ends up in gunfire.<p>Just six months ago, the Pentagon released its annual report on China's military. Its defense budget was growing. The country was building more stealthy aircraft and submarines. Thu, 05 Dec 2013 08:17:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 14347 at http://wuis.org China's Military Buildup Reignites Worries In Asia, Beyond When Most U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan, Contractors May Stay http://wuis.org/post/when-most-us-forces-leave-afghanistan-contractors-may-stay Should the Afghan government sign a security agreement, the U.S. plans to keep between 6,000 and 9,000 American troops in Afghanistan even after the U.S. and NATO's combat mission officially ends late in 2014.<p>Beginning in 2015, the remaining troops would train Afghan soldiers and mount operations against any remnants of al-Qaida.<p>But they wouldn't be the only ones who stay behind: U.S. troops would almost certainly be outnumbered by civilian contractors.<p>Ever since the U.S. Thu, 28 Nov 2013 21:02:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 13973 at http://wuis.org When Most U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan, Contractors May Stay Women Pass Marine Training, Clear First Hurdle To Combat Role http://wuis.org/post/women-pass-marine-training-clear-first-hurdle-combat-role More than 200 Marines have been training since late September in the pine forests of North Carolina. They've been hiking for miles carrying 87-pound packs and assault rifles, sleeping in the field, attacking mock enemy positions.<p>And for the first time, women took part in the training. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 20:11:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 13512 at http://wuis.org Women Pass Marine Training, Clear First Hurdle To Combat Role Afghan Elders Will Decide Future Of U.S. Troops After 2014 http://wuis.org/post/afghan-elders-will-decide-future-us-troops-after-2014 Some 3,000 Afghan elders will assemble on Thursday in Kabul to consider a new security agreement with the U.S. The document will spell out the rules for American forces in Afghanistan troops after their combat mission ends in December 2014. U.S. officials say between 6,000 and 9,000 US troops would remain to train Afghan security forces and conduct counter-terror missions against al-Qaeda and other anti-government forces. That counter-terror mission remains a sticking point, though most other issues — like potential criminal liability of Americans in Afghanistan — have been resolved. Tue, 19 Nov 2013 21:40:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 13373 at http://wuis.org Why Does The NSA Keep An EGOTISTICALGIRAFFE? It's Top Secret http://wuis.org/post/why-does-nsa-keep-egotisticalgiraffe-its-top-secret What do the following words have in common?<p>SHARKFINN<br />KEYSTONE<br />DISHFIRE Sun, 10 Nov 2013 12:34:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 12734 at http://wuis.org Why Does The NSA Keep An EGOTISTICALGIRAFFE? It's Top Secret Case Of Marines Desecrating Taliban Bodies Takes A New Twist http://wuis.org/post/marine-controversy-afghanistan-takes-new-twist In a case that caused a major stir last year, a YouTube video surfaced showing Marines in Afghanistan joking and laughing as they urinated on three dead Taliban fighters. The Marines involved in the July 2011 incident in the southern province of Helmand were disciplined.<p>It seemed the case was over, but now it has taken a strange twist. There are allegations that the Marines' top officer, Gen. Thu, 31 Oct 2013 08:00:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 12040 at http://wuis.org Case Of Marines Desecrating Taliban Bodies Takes A New Twist Foundation To Pay Military Death Benefits During Shutdown http://wuis.org/post/foundation-pay-military-death-benefits-during-shutdown Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>On a Thursday, this is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.<p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>The remains of four American service members were returned yesterday to Dover Air Force Base. They were killed in Afghanistan.<p>GREENE: The United States had committed to look after their families, as it has cared for families for generations. It was Abraham Lincoln in 1865 who called for the United States: To care for him who shall have born the battle and for his widow and orphan. Thu, 10 Oct 2013 08:44:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 10637 at http://wuis.org Officials Detail Shutdown's Chilling Effect On National Security http://wuis.org/post/officials-detail-shutdown-chilling-effect-national-security James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told Congress this week that the partial federal government shutdown has forced the furlough of some 70 percent of employees throughout the intelligence community.<p>"I've never seen anything like this," said Clapper, a 50-year veteran of intelligence work.<p>So what impact is all this having on the spy world?<p>A senior U.S. official tells NPR that because of the shutdown, some intelligence agencies are focusing only on the biggest threats: counterterrorism and nuclear nonproliferation. Fri, 04 Oct 2013 18:02:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 10315 at http://wuis.org Officials Detail Shutdown's Chilling Effect On National Security Obama Considers Training Options For Syrian Rebels http://wuis.org/post/source-obama-considers-using-us-military-train-syrian-rebels Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne.<p>President Obama has promised limited military action against Syria. He says missile strikes are not about regime change and there will be no boots on the ground. But even as the Congress debates the president's plans for action, the White House is looking at broader options.<p>NPR's Tom Bowman reports the president may call on the U.S. Wed, 04 Sep 2013 08:46:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 8316 at http://wuis.org Egypt's Top General And His U.S. Lessons In Democracy http://wuis.org/post/egypts-top-general-and-his-us-lessons-democracy Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the man at the center of the military takeover in Egypt, is the latest in a series of American-trained foreign officers to oust a civilian government.<p>Just seven years ago, he was a student at the Army War College in rural Pennsylvania. Thu, 08 Aug 2013 19:38:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 6985 at http://wuis.org Egypt's Top General And His U.S. Lessons In Democracy Special Ops Envisions 'Iron Man'-Like Suit To Protect Troops http://wuis.org/post/special-ops-envisions-iron-man-suit-protect-troops <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPjatYDHJKo</p> Mon, 05 Aug 2013 22:24:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 6798 at http://wuis.org Special Ops Envisions 'Iron Man'-Like Suit To Protect Troops NSA's Reach Leads To Calls For Updated Eavesdropping Laws http://wuis.org/post/nsas-reach-leads-calls-updated-eavesdropping-laws The continuing leak of classified information by former NSA contractor <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/07/03/198426348/morales-returns-to-a-latin-america-fuming-over-plane-snub">Edward Snowden</a> has renewed a debate about the U.S. government's power to reach secretly into the personal lives of its citizens.<p>But there is at least one point on which both privacy advocates and security experts agree: The laws governing electronic eavesdropping have not kept pace with technology.<p>In October 1975, Sen. Fri, 05 Jul 2013 07:37:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 5255 at http://wuis.org NSA's Reach Leads To Calls For Updated Eavesdropping Laws From Front-Line Soldier To Trainer, An Afghan Odyssey http://wuis.org/post/front-line-soldier-trainer-afghan-odyssey <em>This report is part of "Those Who Serve," an occasional series that looks at those who wear the military uniform during a time of war.</em><p>It's early afternoon at a small outpost in eastern Afghanistan, and U.S. Army Sgt. Chris Cunningham, with the 10th Mountain Division, heads into a long, dusty tent to teach Afghan soldiers the basics of map reading.<p>After the sun sets, American soldiers help Afghan soldiers outside the wire. Thu, 04 Jul 2013 07:08:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 5218 at http://wuis.org From Front-Line Soldier To Trainer, An Afghan Odyssey Friction Among Afghans A Threat To Post-U.S. Mission http://wuis.org/post/friction-among-afghans-threat-post-us-mission The Afghan farmer in Panjwai District, outside the southern city of Kandahar, is finally fed up with the Taliban.<p>His name is Abdullah Razik. He's slight, with a trim beard and a dark green shirt that falls below his knees.<p>The Taliban plant roadside bombs in his fields, he says, and shoot near his house. The area is one of the most dangerous in Afghanistan — the birthplace of the Taliban.<p>Not long ago, something worse happened, Razik says.<p>"My friend ... lost his hand," he says. Fri, 14 Jun 2013 07:20:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 4262 at http://wuis.org Friction Among Afghans A Threat To Post-U.S. Mission U.S. Worries Afghan Forces Will Divide Along Ethnic Lines http://wuis.org/post/us-worries-afghan-forces-will-divide-along-ethnic-lines Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.<p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>And I'm Linda Wertheimer.<p>When the American combat mission in Afghanistan ends next year, one concern for U.S. officials is the possibility that the Afghan security forces will then splinter along ethnic lines, and the warlords of the past will reemerge.<p>From Kandahar, here's NPR's Tom Bowman.<p>TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Senior Afghan officials are increasingly stockpiling weapons and putting their ethnic brethren in key positions. One possibility? Tue, 04 Jun 2013 12:11:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 3719 at http://wuis.org