war

The Colin McEnroe Show
8:49 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Cracking the Code of Alan Turing

Priscilla Lydia McKenzie worked in Bletchley Park, recording movements of German ships.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Let me set the stage a little: A movie called "The Imitation Game" will be released nationwide Christmas day, the latest of several attempts to tell the story of Alan Turing. That story is so big, it can only be told in little pieces.

The piece most people focus on is Turing's work as the single most important code breaker in World War 2, the man who built a machine that broke apart the deeply encrypted Nazi code, and then gave the Allies an advantage that they were forced to conceal.

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Middle East
8:29 am
Sat December 13, 2014

2 U.S. Soldiers Among More Than A Dozen Killed In Afghan Attacks

Afghan security personnel inspect a damaged bus at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday. There was no immediate report of casualties, but the attack was one of several in the last 24 hours that have been blamed on the Taliban.
Rahmat Gul AP

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 1:12 pm

It's been a violent 24 hours in Afghanistan:

-- 12 workers clearing mines on Saturday were attacked by Taliban militants and another dozen were wounded, a police spokesman said.

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Middle East
6:44 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Chuck Hagel Lands In Iraq To Meet With Officials

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel greets U.S. troops upon his arrival at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, on Monday.
Mark Wilson AP

Outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel landed in Iraq this morning. Hagel is scheduled to meet with Iraqi officials and U.S. commanders about the U.S.-led war against the so-called Islamic State.

This visit is of note because Hagel is the first secretary of defense to visit the country since President Obama ended American combat involvement in Iraq in 2011.

Since then, the U.S. has beefed up its military presence in Iraq to combat ISIS, which started an assault on the country over the summer.

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Remembrance
5:48 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Connecticut Judge and POW John T. Downey Dies at 84

John T. Downey talking in New Britain following his release from China in 1973.
Bettman Corbis

Connecticut Judge John T. Downey has died. Downey was the longest-held captive of war in U.S. history.

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World War II
6:32 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Connecticut Veteran Witnessed Major WWII Battle From Unique Vantage Point

Herb Philbrick (in white Navy Cap) saluting the Flag at Wethersfield's Veteran's Day Ceremony
Ray Hardman WNPR

On Tuesday, I attended the Wethersfield Veteran's Day Ceremony at town hall. Among the many veterans in attendance, I had the chance to talk with Herb Philbrick, 97, who served in the Navy during World War II. Philbrick was a Chief Machinist Mate, and among his many memories of serving his country, he clearly remembers watching the battle of Iwo Jima, including the now iconic raising of the American Flag on Mount Surabachi from his ship, the U.S.S. Oceanus.

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Veterans Day
8:25 am
Tue November 11, 2014

A 3-Star General Explains 'Why We Lost' In Iraq, Afghanistan

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 7:57 am

"I am a United States Army General, and I lost the Global War on Terrorism."

Those are the frank opening words of a new book by retired Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Bolger, Why We Lost: A General's Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Bolger continues:

"It's like Alcoholics Anonymous. Step one is admitting you have a problem. Well, I have a problem. So do my peers. And thanks to our problem, now all of America has a problem. To wit: two lost campaigns and a war gone awry."

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Iraq War
7:56 am
Fri November 7, 2014

10 Years After Battle For Fallujah, Marines Reflect On 'Iconic Fight'

U.S. Marines take position on the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq, at the start of a major operation to combat insurgents in the city, on Nov. 8, 2004.
Anja Niedringhaus AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 3:58 pm

NPR — along with seven public radio stations around the country — is chronicling the lives of America's troops where they live. We're calling the project "Back at Base." This is the first installment of the ongoing series.

Even 10 years after the battle for Fallujah, it's hard for Marine Master Gunnery Sgt. Torain Kelley to talk about some things that happened.

"We had people shooting at us from up [on] the rooftops, from the houses, from the sewers or wherever they could take a shot at us from," he says.

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Syrian Civil War
3:11 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Syrian Peace Activist Reflects on How Civil War Changed His Country

Rami Nakhla, a Syrian pro-democracy activist and Yale World Fellow.
Credit Yale University

Speaking Tuesday on WNPR's Where We Live, Rami Nakhla, a noted Syrian peace activist, said the Syrian Civil War started as a pro-democracy uprising, but has since changed, facilitating the rise of groups like the so-called Islamic State. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue October 28, 2014

"The Rise of ISIS" and What to Do About It

Fighters from the Islamic State march in the northern Syrian
Raqqa Media Center

A new PBS FRONTLINE documentary explores "The Rise of ISIS." Producer and reporter Martin Smith joins us to talk about his reporting from Iraq, chronicling the conditions that allowed for the so-called Islamic State to become so powerful. He was also on the ground when U.S. airstrikes began this summer.

We also check in with Senator Chris Murphy, who has been a vocal opponent to U.S. military intervention in the crisis, and with a Syrian peace activist who is a part of the Yale World Fellows program.

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Middle East
8:21 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Facing The Islamic State Threat, Kurdish Fighters Unite

Three female members of Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and an Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighter stand near the front line in Makhmur, in northern Iraq, on Aug. 9. The Turkish and Iraqi Kurds have been fighting together against the Islamic State.
Safin Hamed AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 1:17 pm

At a checkpoint outside the northern Iraq town of Makhmur, I saw something I'd never seen before in Iraq.

Two men were checking cars. One was young and wearing a sand-colored uniform of the official Iraqi Kurdish forces, called the peshmerga. The other was older, grizzled and dressed in an olive-green, traditional Kurdish overall, and he's with Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"We're happy to be working together," said the older man, Hajji Hussein Abdulrahman.

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Iraq
1:43 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Blackwater Guards Found Guilty In 2007 Shootings In Iraq

Former Blackwater Worldwide guard Nicholas Slatten leaves federal court in Washington in June. Slatten on Wednesday was found guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 2:42 pm

Four private security guards working for the Blackwater Worldwide firm who were charged in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis have been found guilty by a federal jury.

Nicholas Slatten was found guilty of first-degree murder, and three others — Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — were found guilty of multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter.

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The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays
5:15 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Six Words: 'Must We Forget Our Confederate Ancestors?'

Waverly Adcock, a sergeant and founder of the West Augusta Guard, prepares his company for inspection and battle at a Civil War re-enactment in Virginia. Sara Smith, whose great-great-grandfather was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg, holds the Confederate battle flag.
Courtesy of Jesse Dukes

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 8:55 am

NPR continues a series of conversations from The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words.

Jesse Dukes does not have Confederate ancestors. But in the time he has spent writing about Civil War re-enactors, he has met many who say they do.

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Africa
11:47 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Nigerian Truce With Boko Haram Raises Hopes For Schoolgirls' Release

"Bring Back Our Girls" campaigners march during a rally calling for the release of the Abuja schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram militants in Borno state in August.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 1:52 pm

Nigeria's army has reportedly reached a cease-fire deal with the extremist group Boko Haram that could lead to the release of more than 200 schoolgirls who were abducted in April and whose release quickly became an international cause.

According to NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, Nigeria's official news agency is quoting the country's defense chief, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, as saying a truce has been reached. Badeh announced the truce and ordered his troops to immediately comply with the agreement, according to The Associated Press.

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Middle East
10:42 am
Mon October 13, 2014

U.S. Strikes At ISIS In Kobani As Kurds Claim Progress

Smoke rises after a U.S.-led coalition airstrike on Kobani, Syria, Monday, as seen from the Turkish side of the border. Kurdish fighters say they're making progress against ISIS in the area.
Tolga Bozoglu EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 4:06 pm

The besieged city of Kobani, Syria, has seen an increase in air strikes and fighting, with Kurdish fighters in the area saying they've stopped the extremist group ISIS from advancing. As the U.S.-led coalition carried out strikes on areas east and south of Kobani, new reports emerged about Turkey's role in supporting the fight against ISIS.

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Coming Home Project
3:01 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Volunteers Continue Working on a Unique Memorial For Connecticut Veterans

Gold Star mother, Diane DeLuzio stands near a tree planted in honor of her son, Steven
Lucy Nalpathanchil

Over the last three years, a volunteer effort has grown to build a unique memorial in Middletown. The first phase of the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial is near completion.

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Foreign Policy
1:01 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Panetta: Fight Against Terrorism Will Be A Long, Sustained War

Leon Panetta says he and other top national security advisers to the president argued to keep some U.S. forces on the ground in Iraq after 2011.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 12:04 pm

As a member of the Obama administration, Leon Panetta was involved in many of the major foreign policy decisions of the past six years. He stepped down as secretary of defense last year.

As director of the CIA, Panetta carried out President Obama's decision to end enhanced interrogation of terror suspects, and he oversaw the operation to kill Osama bin Laden.

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Middle East
8:27 am
Thu October 2, 2014

U.N. Report Details Possible War Crimes By Islamic State Militants

Islamic State flags on the Mullah Abdullah bridge in southern Kirkuk earlier this week. A U.N. report says the extremist group has perpetrated possible war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 10:27 am

Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

A United Nations report out today lists what it describes as a "staggering array" of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq, including mass executions, the kidnapping of women and girls to use as sex slaves and the use of child soldiers.

It also points to shelling and airstrikes by Iraqi security forces that killed civilians and "may have violated the principles of distinction and proportionality under international humanitarian law."

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Middle East
8:27 am
Fri September 26, 2014

U.K. Approves Joining Anti-ISIS Airstrikes In Iraq

British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses the Houses of Parliament on Friday. He urged MPs to authorize the U.K.'s participation in anti-ISIS airstrikes.
PA EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 3:23 pm

Updated at 12:25 p.m. ET

The British Parliament has voted to approve the U.K.'s participation in U.S.-led airstrikes against the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq after Prime Minister David Cameron told MPs that the extremists pose a "clear and proven" threat to British lives.

The 524-to-43 vote in Parliament came after a lengthy debate that followed the latest U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on targets of the hard-line Islamist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL. The strikes hit oil installations for a second consecutive day.

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Middle East
7:16 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Airstrikes Hit ISIS-Controlled Oil Refineries

An A-18C Hornet attached to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 87, prepares to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) to conduct strike missions against Islamic State group targets.
Robert Burck AP

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 11:13 am

Updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

The U.S. and some of its Arab coalition partners have conducted another round of airstrikes in Syria, hitting oil refineries that have fallen into the hands of Islamic State militants, who officials say are funding themselves with the petroleum revenues.

The Pentagon says 13 airstrikes hit a dozen "modular" oil refineries in eastern Syria. The refineries are thought to produce $2 million worth of refined petroleum each day for the self-declared Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

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Middle East
7:52 am
Wed September 24, 2014

New Airstrikes Target The Islamic State's Oil And Gas Resources

Thousands of Syrians enter Turkey at Yumurtalik crossing gate near Suruc on Tuesday. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has warned of a growing refugee crisis.
Burhan Ozbilici AP

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 7:29 pm

Update at 6:50 p.m. ET

U.S. officials have confirmed that a new round of airstrikes in Syria is ongoing, NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman told All Things Considered.

"We know some of the targets are oil assets, oil wells being controlled by the Islamic State. There's not a lot of detail at this time ... but it's likely around the Raqqah area, which is sort of [the Islamic State's] de facto headquarters.

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Middle East
10:35 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Obama: Airstrikes in Syria "Not America's Fight Alone"

President Barack Obama speaks on Tuesday morning on the White House lawn.
whitehouse.gov

President Barack Obama said the participation of five Arab nations in airstrikes against militants in Syria "makes it clear to the world this is not America's fight alone."

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Middle East
5:51 am
Tue September 23, 2014

U.S., Allies Hit Islamic State Targets In Syria, Pentagon Says

An Islamic State militant, left, stands next to Raqqah residents Sept. 16 as they hold pieces of wreckage from a Syrian war plane after it crashed in the northeast Syrian town.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 10:55 pm

The United States and its allies expanded their assault against the Islamic State on Monday, striking targets inside Syria for the first time, the Pentagon said.

In a statement, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said the U.S. had used "a mix of fighter, bomber and Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles."

Kirby said that because these strikes are ongoing, he could not go into details about where in Syria the allies were attacking. But a Pentagon official tells NPR's Tom Bowman that the strikes occurred near Raqqah, an Islamic State stronghold.

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Middle East
7:14 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Kurds Say They Have Halted ISIS Advance Near Syria-Turkey Border

Syrian Kurds with their livestock wait behind a border fence near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province on Monday. Some 100,000 Kurds have fled from Syria into Turkey amid intense fighting between peshmerga forces and ISIS.
Murad Sezer Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 10:17 am

Updated at 7:35 a.m. ET

Kurdish fighters claim to have halted an advance by self-described Islamic State militants in an area of the Turkish-Syria border region that has seen masses of refugees fleeing the fighting in recent days.

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Middle East
9:23 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Connecticut Senators Split on Vote to Arm Syrian Rebels

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and then Senator-elect Chris Murphy (File photo).
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal split their votes on legislation authorizing the U.S. military to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels fighting the so-called Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS or ISIL.

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Middle East
6:38 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Senate Approves Measure To Arm And Train Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 7:11 pm

The Senate joined the House on Thursday in rare bipartisanship by approving a measure to train and equip members of the Syrian opposition.

The Senate passed the measure 78 to 22; the House passed its version with a 273-to-156 vote on Wednesday. The bill now heads to the White House for President Obama's signature.

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Middle East
8:20 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Connecticut House Members Mostly Reject Training of Syrian Rebels

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the McKeon amendment to arm and train Syrian rebels.
Ron Cogswell Creative Commons

Four of Connecticut’s five members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday against President’s Obama’s plan to help arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in their fight against the extremist group known as the Islamic State. The measure was approved by the House by a vote of 273 to 156.

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Armed Forces
2:15 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Obama Rules Out Another Ground War In Iraq

President Obama speaks at U.S. Central Command, at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 2:13 pm

President Obama reiterated that he will not commit U.S. troops to fight another ground war in Iraq, adding that U.S. airstrikes, combined with expertise, would be more effective in defeating the group that calls itself the Islamic State.

"As your commander in chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq," Obama said at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

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Islamic State
8:42 am
Tue September 16, 2014

U.S. Begins Airstrikes In Support Of Iraqi Ground Forces

Members of Iraqi security forces are seen during a fight with Islamic State militants Sunday on the outskirts of the city of Ramadi.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:01 pm

The United States has begun its first-ever airstrikes in direct support of Iraqi ground forces, in the opening move of what could be a protracted fight against so-called Islamic State militants in the region.

NPR's Tom Bowman, on Morning Edition, says the airstrikes, south of Baghdad, targeted an Islamic State position after Iraqi soldiers fighting them requested the assistance.

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Honoring Soldiers
5:11 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Medals Of Honor Recognize Harrowing Battle And A Dying Act

Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie G. Adkins receives the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House. He describes the battle that earned him the medal as the toughest he saw in three tours of duty in Vietnam.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 9:43 am

President Obama on Monday awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, to two soldiers who served in Vietnam: Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins, who survived a harrowing battle and 18 body wounds; and Army Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat, whose dying act saved his fellow soldiers.

In January 1970, President Obama said Monday, Sloat was on patrol with his squad in Vietnam.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:08 am
Mon September 15, 2014

The Scramble on the Middle East, Child Abuse Laws, and The Roosevelts on PBS

Credit Wikimedia Commons

On Sunday, the New York Times ran an article full of President Obama's behind-the scenes reflections and conversations about ISIS and the Middle East. From that article: "He was acutely aware that the operation he was about to embark on would not solve the larger issues in that region by the time he left office. 'This will be a problem for the next president,' Mister Obama said ruefully, 'and probably the one after that.'"

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