The Brian Lehrer Show

Bradley Manning Verdict

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bradley Manning was convicted of violating the Espionage Act, but found not guilty of "aiding the enemy" for supplying classified information to Wikileaks. Arun Rath, reporter for Frontline and PRI's The World and new host of NPR's Weekend All Things Considered, and Fred Kaplan, War Stories columnist for Slate and author of The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War (Simon & Schuster, 2013), discuss the verdict, and what it means for the military, transparency, and journalism.

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Mysterious Dancing Lights In Afghanistan

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

On certain nights, as helicopters settle on the sandy ground in Afghanistan, the air mysteriously bursts into loops of light that trace the path of the helicopter blades; no one's sure what causes this; no one knows what to call these dazzling light displays — but a war photographer has given them a name — and thereby hangs a tale.

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The Takeaway

The Changing Mission of the All-American Paratroopers

Monday, July 01, 2013

The 82 Airborne Division, the Army’s rapid-response force for global crises, is undergoing training exercises aimed at improving its ability to handle chemical weapons attacks. Major General John W. Nicholson Jr., the Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, sheds light on the paratrooper's changing mission.

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America Abroad

A Decade At War: Afghanistan, Iraq & Counterinsurgency

Friday, March 08, 2013

Broadcast Times: Friday, 11pm on AM 820, Saturday, 6am on 93.9FM, Saturday, 2pm on AM820 and Sunday, 8pm on AM820.

After a decade of war, the soldiers are home from Iraq and they are coming home from Afghanistan.  But we are left to ponder and debate the important lessons from these wars. Consensus has hardly been reached on the effectiveness of the war-fighting doctrine known as “counterinsurgency.”  

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Next Generation of Army Leaders Look Ahead, With Changes Afoot

Thursday, February 14, 2013

It’s been under a month since the U.S. Department of Defense said it was eliminating its ban on women serving in combat, and that’s already got young soldiers-to-be thinking about how the changes could affect their career aspirations, and the future of the military.



Vijay Iyer: Turning Veterans' Dreams Into Music

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pianist Vijay Iyer, poet Mike Ladd and and Iraq War veteran Maurice Decaul join us for a live performance and discussion about the Harlem Stage-commissioned work Holding It Down: The Veterans’ Dreams Project.

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As Danny Chen Case Continues, Questions About Soldiers' Punishments

Monday, September 03, 2012

The ongoing courts-martial surrounding the death of Manhattan resident Private Danny Chen continue next month. Since June, five of the eight members of his platoon have been tried and sentenced. But some are unsatisfied, saying they think the military is not taking the charges seriously enough.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Outlaw Platoon

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Captain Sean Parnell was a 24-year-old U.S. Army Ranger when he was named commander of a 40-man elite infantry platoon—a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws—and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. In Outlaw Platoon, he gives an account of the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division's extremely difficult, dangerous fight.

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The Takeaway

Some Combat Restrictions for Women Lifted

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Pentagon announced new rules this week that would allow women to serve closer to the front lines and will be implemented later this summer. The changes would allow women to serve in non-infantry battalion jobs, such as radio operators, intelligence analysts, medics, radar operators and tank mechanics. This could open up 14,000 new jobs to female troops, largely in the army and marine corps.  

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The Takeaway

Proposed Pentagon Budget Cuts for the Next Decade

Friday, January 27, 2012

After ten years of war and expanded spending, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta outlined a series of military budget cuts for the next decade totaling $487 billion. Among these cost-saving measures are limiting pay raises for troops, increasing health insurance fees for military retirees, and closing bases in the U.S. These proposed cuts would be in addition to a previously established drawdown of troops and army personnel over the next five years.



Friendship Inspires Art Project About Daily Life in Iraq

Thursday, January 05, 2012

This fall, WNYC asked listeners for their stories about active service men and women returning home from Iraq. David Pierce wrote in with his story about an art project documenting the daily life of an army squad in Iraq. Pierce did the project with his friend Justin Wilkens, who served two deployments in Iraq. We caught up with the high school buddies in Brooklyn.

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With 8 Charged in Soldier's Death, Loved Ones Find Relief

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The family of Private Danny Chen have found some relief after the U.S. Army charged eight soldiers in the death of the 19-year old soldier from New York City.

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8 US Soldiers Charged in Death of Infantryman From Chinatown

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Eight U.S. soldiers have been charged in connection with the death of a soldier from New York City, the military said Wednesday.

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The Takeaway

U.S. Reports Zero Fatalities in Iraq for August

Friday, September 02, 2011

For the first time since the U.S. invasion there began in 2003, American troops in Iraq experienced no fatalities for the entire month of August. Officials credit this remarkable fact as the result of unilateral American action, and Iraq focusing its attack efforts on Iranian-backed Shiite militias. While this is unprecedented in the war, it may not signify the imminent arrival of a secure Iraq.


The Takeaway

August Was Bloodiest Month for Afghanistan War

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sixty-six troops died in Afghanistan this month, making August the bloodiest month for the U.S. military this year. That number includes the helicopter crash on August 6, which claimed the lives of 30 American troops, most of them Navy SEALs. So far this year, 299 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan. Will this have any affect on President Obama's plans to drawdown the additional 33,000 troops he placed in a surge effort? 


The Takeaway

Deadly Attacks Rattle Iraqis and Families of American Troops

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Monday was the deadliest day of the year in Iraq. Insurgents waged 42 coordinated attacks across the country, leaving almost 100 civilians and security forces dead, and hundreds injured. The attacks came ahead of America’s planned withdrawal from Iraq. Can Iraqis handle their own security and should America focus on our own problems here at home? 


The Takeaway

Helicopter Crash Highlights American Strategy in Afghanistan

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a helicopter crash on Saturday, which killed 30 American troops in the deadliest day ever for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The attack took place in the Tangi Valley of Wardak Province, to the west of Kabul, and illustrates how the insurgency is growing from its traditional strongholds and edging toward the capital city.

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The Takeaway

The Army's New Approach to Mental Health

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

After 10 years of wars and repeated deployments, mental health statics on America's soldiers have seen dramatic rises in suicides, domestic abuse, and drug and alcohol addiction. Suicides among active-duty soldiers jumped from 138 in 2008 to 162 in 2009, according to the most recently available Army statistics. Cases of spousal abuse and child abuse or neglect almost doubled between 2004 and 2009. And referrals for alcohol and drug abuse rose from 15,000 in 1999 to 22,500 in 2009.


The Takeaway

China Admits to Building Aircraft Carrier

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The head of China's General Staff of the notoriously secretive People's Liberation Army, General Chen Bingde, has confirmed that the country is building an aircraft carrier. The vessel, a remodeled Soviet-era warship, is expected to be ready for trials at sea later this year. The carrier is symbolic of China's expanding naval power, and possibly of pending territorial disputes in the country's surrounding seas. 


The Takeaway

Top Brass: President Nominates Dempsey as Joint Chiefs of Staff

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

On Memorial Day, President Barack Obama announced his nomination for two top military positions. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey will replace Navy Adm. Michael Mullen as the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Dempsey would be joined in the Pentagon by Adm. James Winnefeld Jr., who would serve as his vice chairman. Also announced, Gen. Ray Odierno was picked to replace Dempsey as Army chief. These choices, especially Dempsey’s nod for the Joint Chiefs assignment, took many military watchers by surprise.

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