AP Photo by Huynh Cong "Nick" Ut, 1972
In an article titled "AP 'napalm girl' photo from Vietnam War turns 40" published on June 2, 2012, Margie Mason of the Associated Press writes:
In the picture, the girl (Kim Phuc) will always be 9 years old and wailing "Too hot! Too hot!" as she runs down the road away from her burning Vietnamese village.
She will always be naked after blobs of sticky napalm melted through her clothes and layers of skin like jellied lava.
. . . . . . . .
In an article titled "Bachmann endorses Romney in Portsmouth" published on May 4, 2012, Bill Bartel and Bill Sizemore of The Virginian-Pilot reports:
Romney said he doesn't agree with the Obama administration's new military strategy, which, among other things, calls for decreasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps and slowing the production of new ships.
Romney said it's wrong for the United States to no longer have the capability to fight two wars at one time. The larger military is needed "so we can dissuade people from doing things that would harm America and our friends," he said.
"I will add ships to our Navy. Instead of building nine ships a year, I'd build 15 ships," Romney said. "Instead of cutting our active-duty personnel, I would add 100,000 to our active-duty personnel."
. . . . . . . .
In an article titled "AP IMPACT: Almost half of new vets seek disability" published on May 27, 2012, Marilynn Marchione writes:
America's newest veterans are filing for disability benefits at a historic rate, claiming to be the most medically and mentally troubled generation of former troops the nation has ever seen.
A staggering 45 percent of the 1.6 million veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now seeking compensation for injuries they say are service-related. That is more than double the estimate of 21 percent who filed such claims after the Gulf War in the early 1990s, top government officials told The Associated Press.
What's more, these new veterans are claiming eight to nine ailments on average, and the most recent ones over the last year are claiming 11 to 14. By comparison, Vietnam veterans are currently receiving compensation for fewer than four, on average, and those from World War II and Korea, just two.
It's unclear how much worse off these new veterans are than their predecessors. Many factors are driving the dramatic increase in claims - the weak economy, more troops surviving wounds, and more awareness of problems such as concussions and PSTD. Almost one-third have been granted disability so far.
. . . . . . . .
Finally, in an article titled "The new Cold War? As climate change melts polar ice cap, militaries vie for Arctic advantage" published on April 16, 2012, Eric Talmadge of The Associated Press writes:
To the world's military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over. They are preparing for a new kind of Cold War in the Arctic, anticipating that rising temperatures there will open up a treasure trove of resources, long-dreamed-of sea lanes and a slew of potential conflicts.
By Arctic standards, the region is already buzzing with military activity, and experts believe that will increase significantly in the years ahead.
Last month, Norway wrapped up one of the largest Arctic maneuvers ever - Exercise Cold Response - with 16,300 troops from 14 countries training on the ice for everything from high intensity warfare to terror threats. Attesting to the harsh conditions, five Norwegian troops were killed when their C-130 Hercules aircraft crashed near the summit of Kebnekaise, Sweden's highest mountain.
The U.S., Canada and Denmark held major exercises two months ago, and in an unprecedented move, the military chiefs of the eight main Arctic powers - Canada, the U.S., Russia, Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland - gathered at a Canadian military base last week to specifically discuss regional security issues.
None of this means a shooting war is likely at the North Pole any time soon. But as the number of workers and ships increases in the High North to exploit oil and gas reserves, so will the need for policing, border patrols and - if push comes to shove - military muscle to enforce rival claims.