Korea rift best left to regional players to solve

Freedom New Mexico Recent developments on the Korean peninsula have thrust the United States into yet another mini-crisis about which our country can do little but complain, in part because none of the realistic available options is remotely attractive. The frustrations Americans, from policymakers to citizens, are feeling should be a reminder, when things settle […]

Public support matters when declaring war

Freedom New Mexico America continues to struggle over the war in Afghanistan. Ronald E. Newman, the U.S. ambassador to that country from 2005 to 2007, offered some insight last week to about 200 business and political leaders in California. He is the author of the recent book, “The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan.” […]

War not over until troops can come home

Freedom New Mexico President Barack Obama announced in a national address last week that America had “turned the page” on combat operations in the Iraq war. From a peak of 170,000 troops in October 2007, the level now has dropped to 49,700. Combat deaths also have dropped sharply, from more than 100 a month during […]

Wikileaks show Afghan War misgiuded

America’s failing policy in Afghanistan took another blow Sunday, when the Wikileaks Internet project dumped 91,000 classified U.S. military and diplomatic documents on The New York Times, the Guardian of London, England, and the German weekly Der Spiegel. The documents cover the last six years of the conflict. On Monday, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said […]

GOP turning against war in Afghanistan

Freedom New Mexico The tipping point in public support for America’s war in Afghanistan may end up being a statement earlier this month by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele. He blurted out that the war in Afghanistan was “a war of Obama’s choosing” and “not something the United States had actively prosecuted or wanted […]

Exit strategy for Afghanistan Petraeus’ priority

Last month the Afghan war became America’s longest, surpassing the previous record of eight years and seven months set by the Vietnam War. In his Dec. 1, 2009, speech to the nation announcing the surge of troops into Afghanistan, President Obama promised, “But taken together, these additional American and international troops will allow us to […]

Agent Orange aid hits roadblock

By Tom Philpott Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), chief architect of the pricey post-9/11 GI Bill education benefit for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan war era, could become a new champion, for taxpayers, against what he perceives as excess spending on military pay and on a new wave of Agent Orange claims. Webb, a former […]

Facts show U.S. border security not at risk

Freedom New Mexico Politics often involves a tug-of-war between perception and fact. One of the most obvious cases involves the insinuation that “illegals” are swarming across our southern border and putting the entire nation at risk. Of course, “illegals” could be harmless immigrants just looking for a way to feed their families, or sophisticated gangsters […]

Korean War veterans reflect on Memorial Day

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David By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico The Korean War is commonly called the forgotten war, but not for the men who served in the three-year conflict. Local veterans George Martin, Dale Davis, and David Ash share their experiences.

Families remember loved ones

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Freedom New Mexico: Tony Bullocks Carol Nash, of Clovis, browses though the engineer drawing of her uncle, Pvt. Roy Melvin Johnston who served in the Army during WWII and died while fighting in Okinawa Japan. By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico Memorial Day was set aside for the people who lost loved ones in war. […]

Nation should remember those who made sacrifices

By Judy Brandon: Religion columnist Gen. John Alexander Logan first thought up the idea to set aside one day to honor Civil War dead. May 30, 1868, was the first Memorial Day to honor those who had died in battle by remembering them and decorating their graves. On this Memorial Day, I cannot help but […]

Diseases linked to herbicide exposure in Vietnam expanded

By Tom Philpott: Military Update About 86,000 Vietnam War veterans, their surviving spouses or estates will be eligible for retroactive disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs — an average of 11.4 years for veterans and 9.6 years for survivors — under a draft VA rule to expand by three the number of diseases […]

PTSD disability ratings increased

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist More than 4300 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who were diagnosed in service as suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but got low military disability ratings, have won an agreement with the Department of Defense to upgrade those ratings retroactively to 50 percent. The higher rating will represent an important win […]

Heart conditions now compensated

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist The cost of war — on veterans’ health and taxpayer wallets — will loom a little larger in the new year when the Department of Veterans Affairs issues a final rule to claim adjudicators to presume three more diseases of Vietnam veterans, including heart disease, were caused by exposure to […]

Prohibition will only fuel war in Mexico

Freedom New Mexico One of Ramon Ayala’s biggest hits refers to being on the wrong side of the gate. The music star now finds himself on the wrong side of a door, presumably under watch by Mexican officials. Ayala, the “Rey del Acordi

Crusade against global warming losing support

Freedom New Mexico The Obama administration has declared greenhouse gases to be harmful pollutants, arming the government to wage war by administrative decree on the presumed threat of global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency’s pronouncement Monday is troubling. It could well foreshadow economy-crimping, freedom-denying, Draconian controls. It’s doubtless also meant to prod Congress, where a […]

Troop surge won’t bring end to war

Freedom New Mexico President Barack Obama officially took personal possession of the war in Afghanistan on Tuesday night, announcing that 30,000 additional U.S. troops will be hustled into Afghanistan over the next six months. He’s hoping for another 10,000 or so from other NATO countries. The president said his first objective is not setting up […]

Civilian court appropriate for 9/11 trials

Freedom New Mexico The decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has claimed he was the mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and four others in a civilian federal court in New York City, has provoked an emotional and, in some instances, quite partisan response. Just because objections are emotional or partisan, however, does not […]

Veterans deserve thanks, praise

By Clyde Davis: Local columnist Armistice Day. Veterans’ Day. November 11th, so designated to coincide with the signing of the agreement to end the First World War, the war to end all wars. This we knew, growing up in the 60’s and 70’s as we did, and I presume before that. It was always a […]

Energy answers lie in shale beds

By Jim Constantopolous: Guest columnist As the United States begins to pull out of the worst economic crisis since the end of World War II, energy policy has taken on increasing importance. President Obama has called on Congress to pass legislation that would reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. The administration is correct in doing […]