TESTING THE TROOPS. Over the weekend, the Minneapolis Star Tribunereported on some Minnesota National Guard troops who have elected to be part of a VA study monitoring the effects of deployment on a soldier. The study, funded by the Department of Defense, began
nearly two years ago, [when researcher Melissa Polusny] and three other VA psychologists went to Camp Shelby, Miss., where 2,500 Minnesota Guard troops were preparing to deploy to Iraq. Of those, 531 agreed to fill out 22-page questionnaires covering everything from their childhood and family life to how they handle setbacks.
ELITE GENERALS. Fred Kaplan has an interesting look at the officer structure in this week's NY Times Magazine. The armed forces, like many institutions, are slow to adapt and change, and the way officers are promoted hasn't changed much either, leaving a genuinely homogeneous pool to plan war strategy. This is a problem I've heard many people from inside and outside the military complain about. The same kind of innovation that comes from diversity in the private sector could help the military as well. But the pool itself is in trouble.
BAIT AND SWITCH. Sara Mead alerted me to her Higher Ed Watch blog through the New America Foundation today, and although she wrote this post on veterans education benefits last week, it's still good stuff.
THE FACES OF THE WOUNDED. The New York Timesfeatures an art exhibit with photographs of wounded Iraq war veterans on display at the Jen Beckman Gallery. The photos sampled by the Times are yet another reminder of the human cost of war, costs which will extend far beyond whatever day we are no longer in Iraq. The photographs are worth looking at.