Tom Bowman http://wkms.org en What's The Right Size For The U.S. Army? http://wkms.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 14:32:42 +0000 Tom Bowman 39834 at http://wkms.org What's The Right Size For The U.S. Army? Air Force To Release Results Of Cheating Probe http://wkms.org/post/air-force-release-results-cheating-probe Transcript <p>LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.<p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And I'm David Greene. Good morning. We learned earlier this year that some Air Force officers were cheating on proficiency tests. The shocking part was their specialty - handling America's nuclear missiles. Later today, the Air Force will announce the results of its investigation into that cheating. Thu, 27 Mar 2014 09:05:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 39502 at http://wkms.org Decades Later, A Medal Of Honor For Hispanic-American Hero http://wkms.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 39310 at http://wkms.org Decades Later, A Medal Of Honor For Hispanic-American Hero Hagel Concerned By Ethical Lapses In Armed Forces http://wkms.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 38516 at http://wkms.org A Medal Of Valor, 30 Years In Coming http://wkms.org/post/medal-valor-30-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 22:57:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 38368 at http://wkms.org A Medal Of Valor, 30 Years In Coming Gates Memoir Tests Civilian-Military Rules Of Engagement http://wkms.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 37967 at http://wkms.org Gates Memoir Tests Civilian-Military Rules Of Engagement China's Military Buildup Reignites Worries In Asia, Beyond http://wkms.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 37097 at http://wkms.org China's Military Buildup Reignites Worries In Asia, Beyond When Most U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan, Contractors May Stay http://wkms.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 21:35:00 +0000 Tom Bowman 36952 at http://wkms.org When Most U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan, Contractors May Stay Women Pass Marine Training, Clear First Hurdle To Combat Role http://wkms.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 36764 at http://wkms.org Women Pass Marine Training, Clear First Hurdle To Combat Role Afghan Elders Will Decide Future Of U.S. Troops After 2014 http://wkms.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 36707 at http://wkms.org