Posts tagged ‘military’

New Government Report: Progress in Preventing Military Suicides and Challenges in Detection and Care of the Invisible Wounds of War: Congressional Testimony (ISBN: 9781437935967)

Progress in Preventing Military Suicides and Challenges in Detection and Care of the Invisible Wounds of War: Congressional Testimony (ISBN: 9781437935967)
By Carl Levin
(Paperback, 39 pages, 2010, $20.00)

The suicide rate has climbed measurably across all sectors of the military over the past few years, McClatchy reports. Suicides overall increased by 26 percent from 2008 to 2009, while suicides among Marines have more than doubled since 2005. Top Army and Marine Corps officials in June 2010 proposed several solutions to erase the social stigma associated with mental health illnesses and to combat the less visible wounds of war.

This report’s contents: Hearing to receive testimony on the status of our efforts to prevent military suicides and the challenges in detection, treatment, and management of the so-called ‘‘invisible wounds of war,’’ which are considered to include traumatic brain injury, and concussive events, post-traumatic stress, and other combat-related psychological health concerns.

Witnesses: General Peter W. Chiarelli, USA, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army; Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert, USN, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy; General James F. Amos, USMC, Assistant Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps; General Carrol H. Chandler, USAF, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force; Dr. Robert L. Jesse, Acting Principal Dep. Under Secretary for Health, Veteran’s Health Administration, Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

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July 13, 2010 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan (ISBN: 9781437935271)

Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan (ISBN: 9781437935271)
By John F. Tierney
(Paperback, 79 pages, 2010, $30)

After a six-month investigation, this report exposes the circumstances surrounding the Department of Defense’s (DOD) outsourcing of security on the supply chain in Afghanistan to questionable providers, including warlords. The findings of this report range from sobering to shocking.

In short, DOD designed a contract that put responsibility for the security of vital U.S. supplies on contractors and their unaccountable security providers. This arrangement has fueled a vast protection racket run by a shadowy network of warlords, strongmen, commanders, corrupt Afghan officials, and perhaps others. Not only does the system run afoul of DOD’s own rules and regulations mandated by Congress, it also appears to risk undermining the U.S. strategy for achieving its goals in Afghanistan.

To be sure, Afghanistan presents an extremely difficult environment for military operations, logistics, and business practices. Nevertheless, the evidence indicates that little attention was given to the cost-benefit analysis of allowing the system to continue in a fashion that injected a good portion of a $2.16 billion contract’s resources into a corruptive environment.

This report is confined to the facts pertaining to the Host Nation Trucking contracts, and in that limited sphere there are constructive changes that can be made to the U.S. supply chain in Afghanistan to improve contracting integrity while mitigating corrupting influences. The report offers some realistic recommendations to serve as a catalyst for what appears to be a much-needed reconsideration of policy. Figures.

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July 9, 2010 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: Arlington National Cemetery, Special Inspection: Final Report (ISBN: 9781437935851)

Arlington National Cemetery, Special Inspection: Final Report (ISBN: 9781437935851)
By R. Steven Whitcomb
(Paperback, 27 pages, 2010, $20)

Army investigators at Arlington National Cemetery have found more than 100 unmarked graves, scores of grave sites with headstones that are not recorded on cemetery maps, and at least four burial urns that had been unearthed and dumped in an area where excess grave dirt is kept, the Washington Post reports.

This inspection report on operations at Arlington National Cemetery (ANC) addresses the problems that had been uncovered by a recent inquiry: improper internment; trans-internment of remains, including the loss of accountability of remains; remains in graves listed as empty; unmarked grave sites; improperly marked graves; and improper handling of remains.

This report, which was conducted from August 17, 2009 to January 28, 2010, found that mistakes were still being made at ANC. The inspection team determined that, while the staff is dedicated to accomplishing the cemetery’s three primary tasks of funerals, ceremonies, and tourism support, there are issues that the Army must address to improve the effectiveness of operations at ANC.

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July 6, 2010 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

New Government Report: War Powers Resolution: After 36 Years (ISBN: 9781437932932)

War Powers Resolution: After 36 Years (ISBN: 9781437932932)
By Richard F. Grimmett (Paperback, 77 pages, 2010, $25)

On April 30, 2010, Vietnam and the United States held different ceremonies marking the same milestone – the end of the Vietnam War, according to Suite101:

American foreign policy drastically changed because of the Vietnam War. Democrats and Republicans were no longer unified in supporting American foreign policy. In 1973 the Democratic majority in Congress passed the 1973 War Powers Resolution that prohibited the president from sending United States troops into combat for over 90 days before congressional consent.

This report discusses and assesses the War Powers Resolution (WPR) and its application. Contents: (1) Intro.; (2) Provisions of the WPR; (3) Constitutional Questions Raised: War Powers of Pres. and Congress; Legislative Veto; Auto. Withdrawal Provision; (4) Major Cases and Issues Prior to the Persian Gulf War: Vietnam and Mayaguez: Iran Hostage Rescue Attempt; El Salvador; Hondura; Lebanon; Grenada; Libya; Persian Gulf, 1987; Invasion of Panama; (5) Major Cases and Issues in the Post-Cold War World: U.N. Actions: Persian Gulf War, 1991; Iraq-Post Gulf War; Somalia; Former Yugoslavia, Bosnia, Kosovo; Haiti; Terrorist Attacks against the U.S., 2001: How Does the WPR Apply?; Use of Force Against Iraq Resolution 2002; (6) Proposed Amend.

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May 26, 2010 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

My Years in Nanking — Gripping Memoir of Republic of China’s Last Days by Nanking’s First Lady (ISBN: 978-1440122569)

Gripping Memoir of Republic of China’s Last Days
by Nanking’s First Lady

My Years in Nanking

“My Years in Nanking: Reminiscences of Inyeening Shen”
Edited by Jane Shen Schopf
(iUniverse, 2009, 192 pages, $19.95 paperback, ISBN: 978-1-4401-2256-9)

Sixty years after the fall of the Republic of China, join the former First Lady of Nanking, Inyeening Shen, as she tells her remarkable personal journey in “My Years in Nanking: Reminiscenes of Inyeening Shen.” She helped her husband Dr. Shen Yi, the Mayor of Nanking, lead the national capital through the turmoil of the country’s final days.

In the late 1940s, after the Sino-Japanese War and the Nanking Massacre, Mao Zedong’s Communist People’s Liberation Army surged toward Nanking. Amid a country plagued by corruption, inflation and backroom dealing, Shen overthrew gender roles as she struggled to maintain the mayoral household.

For more than 50 years, Shen (who died in 1999) safeguarded her handwritten memoirs from being published, fearful of criticizing her husband’s colleagues in Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalist government. Now the world is ready to learn how Shen navigated the country’s inner politics during its pivotal time.

“Mom had published books, essays and poems in Chinese, but this memoir was her only work in English,” says Shen’s daughter and editor Dr. Jane Shen Schopf.

Eleven gripping chapters chronicle how she forged friendships with diplomats, collaborated with Chiang Kai-shek’s wife Soong Mayling and organized relief for Nanking’s refugees.

This book includes a prologue, a foreword placing the work in context of China’s 20th century military and social history, and more than 150 transliterations of Chinese terms and phrases. More than 70 never-before-published historical photographs and an historical map complement the book.

“This moving, personal journey, set within a concrete historical framework,” writes Beverly Friend, the Executive Director of China Judaic Studies Association, “provides fascinating reading for students, scholars, history buffs, and anyone who wants to delve beneath factual details to experience the human struggles that lie within.

About Inyeening Shen and Dr. Jane Shen Schopf
Prof. Inyeening Shen (1907-1999) was the First Lady of Nanking, and authored books, essays and poetry. She was a university professor, and was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree. She was also a student of China’s grandmaster painter Chang Ta-Ch’ien.

Dr. Jane Shen Schopf, her daughter and editor, is an internationally-known plant biologist at UCLA.

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May 19, 2010 at 1:22 pm Leave a comment

Memorial Day Book Special: Rakkasans: The Combat History of the 187th Airborne Infantry (ISBN: 0891416048)

Weekly Book Special: May 18th-May 24th

Memorial Day, on May 31st, commemorates American soldiers who died while in service. In commemoration, this week’s special is:

The Rakkasans:
The Combat History of the 187th Airborne Infantry

By E.M. Flanagan, Jr. (Hardcover, 392 pages, 1997, $25.00)

The Rakkasans: The Combat History of the 187th Airborne InfantryThis is the complete account of one of the most remarkable regiments in the history of the U.S. Army, written by a retired lieutenant general who served with airborne outfits during World War II and the Korean War.

The 187th Infantry Regiment, known as “Rakkasans,” have fought in every major American military conflict from World War II to Afghanistan and Iraq.

They were chosen by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to be the first wave of troops to occupy Japan, were the only airborne unit in the Korean War, made history at the Vietnam War’s Hamburger Hill, and made a grueling helicopter assault during Operation Desert Storm. Includes 30 rarely-published photos.

Here’s a 60-second video of the Rakkasans preparing for deployment:

“The Rakkasans is important military history,” writes Kirkus Reviews. “It is well researched and articulated for both the student of military history and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in military history.”

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May 17, 2010 at 1:37 pm Leave a comment

New Government Report: Long Passage to Korea: Black Sailors and the Integration of the US Navy

Long Passage to Korea: Black Sailors and the Integration of the US Navy
by Bernard C. Nalty
Paperback, 48 pages, 2003, $20.00
ISBN: 9781437936704

Long Passage to Korea Cover

This monograph in the Naval Historical Center’s series commemorating the Korean War, not only covers the contribution of African American Sailors in that conflict but traces the story of racial integration in the U.S. Navy since the American Revolution.

Truman's Executive Order 9981

Truman's Executive Order 9981

Read more on President Harry Truman’s Executive Order 9981, which eliminated segregation in the military (click to enlarge):

Author Bernard Nalty is a renowned authority on racial integration of the armed services.

Chapters: Introduction; The Early Republic; Filling the Ranks; From Slavery to Jim Crow; World War II Experience; Into the Cold War; and Impact of the Korean War. Sidebars: The Impressment of Black Sailors; Robert A. Smalls; The March on Washington; African Americans in the U.S. Coast Guard; President Truman’s Executive Order 9981; and Black Sports Heroes of the Korean War. Full-color illustrations.

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May 1, 2010 at 10:00 am Leave a comment

New Government Reports: Multilateral Development Banks (MDB), Economic Impacts of Prison Growth, Role of the Senate in Judicial Impeachment Proceedings, Military Personnel and Freedom of Expression, Rare Earth Materials in the Defense Supply Chain

New government reports this week:

1) Multilateral Development Banks: Overview and Issues for Congress
by Rebecca M. Nelson (Paperback, 33 pages, $25)

Includes an overview of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDB): Historical Background: World Bank; Regional Development Banks; Operations: Financial Assistance to Developing Countries: Financial Assistance Over Time; Recipients of MDB Financial Assistance; Funding: Donor Commitments and Contributions: Non-Concessional Lending Windows; Concessional Lending Windows; Structure and Organization: Relation to Other International Institutions; Internal Organization; Debates about Effectiveness of the MDBs: Effectiveness of Foreign Aid; Bilateral vs. Multilateral Aid. Issues for Congress: Authorizing and Appropriating U.S. Contributions to the MDBs.

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2) Economic Impacts of Prison Growth
by Suzanne M. Kirchoff (Paperback, 35 pages, $25)

The United States corrections system has gone through an unprecedented expansion during the last few decades, with a more than 400% jump in the prison population and a corresponding boom in prison construction. At the end of 2008, 2.3 million adults were in state, local, or federal custody, with another 5.1 million on probation or parole. Of that total, 9% were in federal custody. Globally, the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population but 25% of its prisoners. Figures and tables.

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3) Role of the Senate in Judicial Impeachment Proceedings
by Susan Navarro Smelcer (Paperback, 28 pages, $20)

Contents: (I) Introduction; (II) An Overview of the Impeachment Process in the House and Senate; (III) Rules Governing Senate Impeachment Proceedings; (IV) Organizing the Senate for Trial; (V) The Role of the Presiding Officer; (VI) Use of an Impeachment Trial Committee: Organization and Responsibilities of the Committee; Procedure During the Preliminary Phase of Its Proceedings; Procedure During the Evidentiary Phase of Its Proceedings; Submitting a Report to the Full Senate; (VII) Deliberation by the Full Senate; (VIII) Judgment by the Full Senate; (IX) Length of Senate Impeachment Trials; (X) Concluding Observations; Appendix A. H. Res. 1031, Articles of Impeachment Against Judge G. Thomas Porteous; Appendix B. Chart of the Senate Impeachment Trial Process. Tables.

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4) Military Personnel and Freedom of Expression: Selected Legal Issues
by R. Chuck Mason and Cynthia Broughter (Paperback, 17 pages, $15)

This report provides an overview of the requirements of the First Amendment related to military personnel’s religious exercise, regarding the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause. It analyzes current constitutional and statutory requirements regarding religious exercise, and provides a framework for how Congress and the courts might consider future issues that arise related to servicemembers’ religious exercise.

Specifically, the report examines the limitations placed on servicemembers in uniform in the exercise of their religious beliefs. It also examines the role of military chaplains and the legal challenges associated with publicly funding religious personnel. The report analyzes efforts by Congress and the Department of Defense (DOD) to address the constitutional concerns that are raised by these issues.

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5) Rare Earth Materials in the Defense Supply Chain
by Belva M. Martin (Paperback, 38 pages, $25)

This letter formally transmits the briefing in response to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010 (Pub. L. No. 111-84), which required a report on rare earth materials in the defense supply chain to the Committees on Armed Services of the Senate and House of Representatives. Contents: Introduction; Objectives, Scope, and Methodology; Background; Summary; Objective 1: Current and Projected Availability; Objective 2: Defense System Dependency; Objective 3: Department of Defense (DOD) Identified Risks and Actions; Agency Comments; Points of Contact. Figures.

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April 23, 2010 at 12:26 pm Leave a comment

New Government Reports: Supreme Court Rulings on Enemy Combatants, Senate Filibusters, Threat of Bioterrorism, National Broadband Plan, All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV)

New government reports this week:

1) Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings
by Jennifer K. Elsea and Michael John Garcia (Paperback, 18 pages, $15)

As part of the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, the U.S. has captured and detained numerous persons believed to have been part of or associated with enemy forces. Over the years, federal courts have considered a multitude of petitions by or on behalf of suspected belligerents challenging aspects of U.S. detention policy.

Although the Supreme Court has issued definitive rulings concerning several legal issues raised in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, many others remain unresolved, with some the subject of ongoing litigation. This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants. It also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance to U.S. detention policy. The report also addresses a few notable decisions by federal district courts that are the subject of ongoing habeas litigation.

Finally, it describes a few federal court rulings in criminal cases involving persons who were either involved in the 9/11 attacks or were captured abroad by U.S. forces during operations against Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated entities.not convicted.

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2) Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate
by Richard Beth, Valerie Heitshusen and Betsy Palmer (Paperback, 22 pages, $15)

Contents: (I) The Right to Debate: The Right to Recognition; The Right to Speak at Length and the Two-Speech Rule; The Motion to Table; (II) The Conduct of Filibusters: Germaneness of Debate; Yielding the Floor and Yielding for Questions; Quorums and Quorum Calls; Roll Call Voting; Scheduling Filibusters; (III) Invoking Cloture: Matters on Which Cloture May be Invoked: Timing of Cloture Motions; (IV) Effects of Invoking Cloture; (V) The Impact of Filibusters. Tables.

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3) Federal Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues for Congress
by Frank Gottron and Dana A. Shea (Paperback, 13 pages, $10)

The federal government’s efforts to address the perceived threat of bioterrorism span many different agencies and are organized and directed through several strategy and planning documents. These agencies have implemented numerous disparate actions and programs in their statutory areas to address the threat.

Despite these efforts, many experts, including congressional commissions, non-governmental organizations, and industry representatives, have highlighted weaknesses or flaws in the federal government’s biodefense activities.

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4) Connecting America: The National Broadband Plan
by FCC Staff (Paperback, 360 pages, $45)

Broadband is the great infrastructure challenge of the early 21st century. The number of Americans who have broadband at home has grown from 8 million in 2000 to nearly 200 million last year.

But approximately 100 million Americans do not have broadband at home. Broadband-enabled health IT can improve care and lower costs by hundreds of billions of dollars in the coming decades, yet the U.S. is behind many advanced countries in the adoption of such technology.

In early 2009, Congress directed the Fed. Communications Comm. (FCC) to develop a National Broadband Plan to ensure that every American has “access to broadband capability.”

To fulfill Congress’s mandate, this plan seeks to ensure that the entire broadband ecosystem — networks, devices, content and applications— is healthy. It makes recommendations to the FCC, the Executive Branch, Congress and state and local governments. Figures.

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5) All-Terrain Vehicles: How They Are Used, Crashes, and Sales of Adult-Sized Vehicles for Children’s Use
by Susan Fleming (Paperback, 68 pages, $20)

All-terrain vehicles (ATV), which are off-road motorized vehicles, have become increasingly popular. However, ATV fatalities and injuries have increased over the last decade and are a matter of concern to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (Commission).

Many ATV crashes involving children occur when they are riding adult-sized ATVs. Manufacturers and distributors have agreed to use their best efforts to prevent their dealers from selling adult-sized ATVs for use by children under the age of 16.

This report examines (1) how ATVs are used and the advantages of their use and (2) the nature, extent, and costs of ATV crashes. The report reviewed ATV use and crash data and discussed these issues with Commission staff, industry officials, user groups, and safety stakeholders. Includes recommendations. Figures.

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April 16, 2010 at 2:00 pm Leave a comment

New Government Reports: Compulsory DNA Collection, Deforestation and Climate Change, Exon-Florio National Security Trust, Military and Civilian Pay Comparisons, Supreme Court Appointment Process

New government reports this week:

1) Compulsory DNA Collection: A Fourth Amendment Analysis
by Anna C. Henning (Paperback, 15 pages, $10)

Relying on different legal standards, courts have historically upheld laws authorizing law enforcement’s compulsory collection of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) as reasonable under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. However, prior cases reviewed the extraction of DNA samples from people who had been convicted on criminal charges. New state and federal laws authorize the collection of such samples from people who have been arrested or detained but
not convicted.

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2) Deforestation and Climate Change
by Ross W. Gorte and Pervaze A. Sheikh (Paperback, 41 pages, $20)

Contents: (I) Congressional Interest; (II) Forests and Climate, Forest Cover, Linkages Between Forests and Climate, Soil Impacts, Wood Utilization/Wood Waste, Burning (III) Boreal Forests (IV) Temperate Forests (V) Tropical Forests in Latin America, including Amazonia; Tropical Africa; Southeast Asia; Climate Consequences of Tropical Deforestation; (VI) Reducing Deforestation: Tree Planting, Market Solutions; Forest Carbon Markets; Markets for Ecosystem Services and Non-Timber Forest Products; Certified Sustainable Forestry; Governance Issues; (VII) Forest and Deforestation Data Issues. Figures and tables.

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3) Exon-Florio National Security Test for Foreign Investment
by James K. Jackson (Paperback, 20 pages, $15)

The Exon-Florio provision grants the President the authority to block proposed or pending foreign acquisitions of “persons engaged in interstate commerce in the U.S.” that threaten to impair the national security.

This provision came under intense scrutiny with the
proposed acquisitions in 2006 of major operations in 6 major U.S. ports by Dubai Ports World and of Unocal by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC).

The debate that followed reignited long-standing differences among Members of Congress and between the Congress and the administration over the role foreign acquisitions play in U.S. national security.

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4) Military Personnel: Military and Civilian Pay Comparisons Present Challenges and Are One of Many Tools in Assessing Compensation
by Brenda S. Farrell (Paperback, 54 pages, $20)

The Department of Defense’s (DOD) military compensation package, which is myriad pays and benefits, is an important tool to attract and retain the number and quality of active duty servicemembers it needs to fulfill its mission. Compensation can be appropriate and adequate to attract and retain servicemembers when it is competitive with civilian
compensation. However, comparisons between military and civilian compensation present both limitations and challenges.

This study compared pay and benefits provided by law to members of the Armed Forces with that of comparably situated private-sector employees to assess how the differences in pay and benefits affect recruiting and retention of members of the Armed Forces. Tables and figures.

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5) Supreme Court Appointment Process: Roles of the President, Judiciary Committee, and Senate
by Denis Stevens Rutkus (Paperback, 60 pages, $25)

Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens recently announced that he will be retiring. How will President Obama select a new Justice? Read more in this report.

Contents: (I) Background; (II) President’s Selection of a Nominee (III) Consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee: Historical Background (IV) Senate Debate and Confirmation Vote; Bringing the Nomination to the Floor; Criteria Used to Evaluate Nominees; Filibusters and Motions to End Debate; Voice Votes, Roll Calls, and Vote Margins; Reconsideration of the Confirmation Vote; Nominations That Failed to Be Confirmed; Calling Upon the Judiciary Committee to Further Examine the Nomination; After Senate Confirmation; (V) Conclusion; (VI) Additional Sources. Tables.

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April 9, 2010 at 12:15 am Leave a comment

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