1. The fact is — however unfair, however much it pains us to admit it — in some areas, men and women are not equal. Is it worth checking a box marked “Equality” at the expense of the operational effectiveness of combat units? Is it worth putting young men at risk so that we, the enlightened Western liberals, might have a new accomplishment to discuss over gougères at cocktail parties? This week, the Obama administration says, yes, that’s perfectly okay. Accordingly, a platoon can and will be less combat effective in the name of equality.
    — D.B. Grady says putting women in combat is a terrible mistake. (He also says he knows he’s earning his hate mail.) What are your thoughts?

  2. In 2007, 116 troops were dismissed for being out of shape. In the first 10 months of this year, that figure was a rather massive 1,625.

    The Army’s obesity problem: By the numbers

    PHOTO: Spencer Platt/Getty Image

    (Source: theweek.com)


  3. Cartoon of the day: Bow before them
    GLENN MCCOY © 2012 Universal Press Syndicate

    More cartoons 

    (Source: theweek.com)


  4. Cartoon of the day — So far so good
    STEVE SACK © 2012 Creators Syndicate

    More cartoons

    (Source: theweek.com)


  5. Promotions are usually celebrated with congratulatory drinks at a local watering hole, or at the very least, an enthusiastic handshake. But that wasn’t the case for newly minted Army Sgt. Phillip Roach, whose superior officers at Fort Bragg marked his rise from specialist with what the Army now calls an ”unauthorized hazing” ritual. The April 4 incident was captured on video that was only recently released.

    The disturbing footage shows a higher-ranking officer taking a few practice swings at Roach’s gut with a large wooden mallet, then delivering ”a brutal coup de grace” to his chest. Roach is sent reeling then crumpling to the floor, slicing his head open on a chair along the way. After the video ends, says Roach’s father, Ken, his son suffered a seizure that could keep him from ever returning to active duty, where he was to have piloted unmanned aerial vehicles. The hammer wielder has been fined $1,000 and reprimanded, but Ken Roach, an Army veteran himself, wants a stiffer punishment. 

    "It was assault with a weapon. He could have killed my son."


  6. The Army is funding research for a new kind of high-tech combat makeup that can  withstand a thermal blast as hot as 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    Tests showed that the makeup protects “naked hands and feet for 15 seconds before mild, first degree burns appeared,” says Molly Docherty at New Scientist. That gives a soldier valuable time to scramble away to safety in the case of a bomb blast. Check it out.

    Photo: New Scientist video screenshot

    (Source: theweek.com)


  7. The Army has a huge suicide problem. In July, the number of soldiers who killed themselves (38) amounted to more than double the number from the previous month; that was also the highest one-month tally since the military began keeping suicide records. That brings this year’s total suicides for active-duty soldiers to 116 so far, and doesn’t even account for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder or depression.

    To address the rampant problem, the Pentagon is investing $3 million for doctors at the University of Indiana to develop a new solution: A nasal spray that, hopefully, will keep depressed soldiers from making irrational decisions.

    Could a nasal spray lower the Army’s suicide rate? Here’s how it works…

    (Source: theweek.com)


  8. $5 billion blunder: The U.S. military’s pixilated uniforms, introduced in 2004, actually make soldiers more visible to enemies


  9. I still scan crowds for suicide vests, seek out corner vantage points like a bloodhound, and value competency in a human being above all else. Jumping back into civilian life headlong, like I’d originally attempted, proved both disastrous and shortsighted.
    — An excerpt from No longer a soldier, this week’s Last Word, an essay by Matt Gallagher, originally published in The New York Times.