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Vets, PTSD and suicide: An age-old problem?

Scholars have done their best to demystify soldiers’ and veterans’ experience, but they have found psychological traumas especially intractable.

Our intel community will ‘get on with it’

How are current intelligence chiefs handling this unprecedented situation? They are operating carefully but correctly, trying to balance their obligations to the president with the oaths they have sworn to protect and defend the Constitution.

We need a Plan B for North Korea, just in case

Everybody wants Trump and Pompeo’s North Korea diplomacy to succeed. But pretending that’s likely or neglecting to anticipate the next step is foolish and risky.


OPINION

‘Up or out’ labor model used by military and others goes sideways

The model has survived many rounds of waxing and waning in the officer corps because officers leave the military with leadership skills that are valued by businesses, even if technical expertise in shooting guns and blowing stuff up is not.


OPINION

Businesses suppressing wage growth

It’s a reminder that labor markets aren’t just about supply and demand but also about who has the power to make the demands.


OPINION

The radical history of the Statue of Liberty

We Americans tend to think of the statue as reflecting the glories of our national ideals, but that’s not necessarily the case.

OPINION

Trump said what he always says about Russia

Even President Donald Trump’s supporters sometimes yearn for him to simply acquiesce to his critics and say the words they want him to use, the traditional talking points that establishment Washington and the media embrace.


OPINION

Trump’s imbalances are going unchecked

A cancer lives among us, and the good people of this country must be precise in its excision.


OPINION

A stunning answer to ‘who do you believe?’

President Donald Trump was doing pretty well in Helsinki, really, laying out a modest but achievable agenda for improving U.S.-Russia relations. And then came the final question about whether Trump believed his own intelligence chiefs or Russian President Vladimir Putin.

OPINION

Other world leaders appear able to confront Putin

Can it really be that hard to confront the Russian president? It shouldn’t be, judging from how other world leaders have stood up to their Russian counterpart.


OPINION

Vietnam is no role model for N. Korea

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, by citing Vietnam as a role model for North Korea, conjured unpleasant memories.


OPINION

Deleted column doesn’t signal end of free speech

“Free speech” does not mean “the right to say whatever you want without criticism on social media,” or even “the right to run your columns without being subject to executive decision-making.”


OPINION

I saw NATO’s flaws up close in combat. Bullying can’t fix them.

Hearing Trump’s remarks brings to mind one incident in particular: an ambush.

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  • OPINION

    Moving moments: The challenges of a PCS

    Staying resilient is a huge part of a military family’s job. We may never wear the uniform or go into combat, but we certainly pay our dues in other ways.


  • OPINION

    What I learned when I encountered need

    All conventional support had failed her. I discovered, to my wonder, that it wasn’t that hard to be the stranger who didn’t.


  • OPINION

    NATO’s about Russia ­– and Germany

    As NATO’s first secretary general, Lord Ismay, put it in the 1950s, the alliance’s purpose was “to keep the Soviet Union out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”


  • OPINION

    A new widow’s whirlwind of emotions

    Friends and family pose well-meaning questions: Did I pick up my prescription? Did I order food? Did I order enough food? Is there enough parking? Did I get some sleep? Tonight, two more hours of sleep.


  • OPINION

    Trump clashes with Europe ahead of Putin summit

    President Donald Trump could hardly have set a more dramatic stage for his Monday meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.


  • OPINION

    The price for better relations with Russia

    The danger is that the summit will implicitly condone Putin’s brutal tactics in Ukraine, Syria, the European Union, and America — and foster further discord in the NATO alliance, a Russian goal for 70 years.


  • OPINION

    Soccer shows glory can come from a global vision

    By learning to appreciate soccer, I have also learned to appreciate the limits of American exceptionalism.


  • OPINION

    Both parties undermining midterm chances

    It’s fair to say that, in recent weeks, stupidity has reigned within both major political parties, reminding us again why, in politics as in football, more elections are lost than won.


  • OPINION

    Boris Johnson’s lesson for his fellow populists

    Much like tragic drama, the anti-elite revolts in places like Greece, Italy and the U.K. are starting to follow a similar pattern.


  • OPINION

    Trump’s diplomacy mirrors his empire saga

    Trump is investing in a new set of friends and forgiving past transgressions to build a new portfolio.


  • OPINION

    True shame of suicide is not talking about it to prevent it

    The current rate of suicide is shockingly high by any historical and social standard. It is simply unacceptable to let so many people die in the prime of their lives.


  • OPINION

    Trump left the best choice, Barrett, on the bench

    Trump had — right in front of him — the judge who could be populist and principled; the person who could galvanize the base and be an originalist judicial bedrock for the next 30 years.


  • OPINION

    Nominee is ‘John Roberts 2.0’ – a good thing

    Conservatives can trust, from Kavanaugh’s vast record, that he will not become a liberal upon joining the court, as David Souter did.


  • OPINION

    Dems won’t win swing voters with far left turn

    The key to winning back the House, veteran party strategists argue, is appealing to voters in the center.


  • OPINION

    How to fix Trump’s unfocused economic agenda

    Helping those left behind may not be easy. But the president needs an invigorated domestic policy agenda to get the job done.


  • OPINION

    Celebrate what makes US exceptional

    Americans have an obligation that exceeds even the government’s to tolerate free speech, even speech that they find repugnant.


  • OPINION

    On travel ban, the Constitution wins again

    Chief Justice John Roberts got at the truth of things in his ruling that said it was not the job of the court to judge Trump’s statements but to judge whether they influenced what he did.


  • OPINION

    Is Trump giving Putin a win in Syria?

    Putin has a reputation as an ex-KGB thug. But his Syrian strategy evokes the subtler Chinese precept of subduing the enemy without fighting.


  • OPINION

    In New Orleans, charter schools are a model

    As charter schools proliferate across the country, their organization into New Orleans-style charter-only school districts under local control may be the next step in the continuing evolution of American education.


  • OPINION

    Now is the time to let Roe go

    How can someone who calls herself pro-choice oppose Roe v. Wade? Let me count the ways.


  • OPINION

    US bases used to welcome refugees

    President Donald Trump has turned to military bases as a “solution” to the crisis he created on the nation’s border. With a policy of detention rather than resettlement, Trump’s program builds on the shameful precedent set at Guantanamo during the 1990s.


  • OPINION

    Trump wants allies to pay for protection

    Even if Trump doesn’t understand it yet, the U.S. won’t necessarily be competitive for long if global security turns into a marketplace.


  • OPINION

    Give World Cup video review a yellow card

    Video review is used in professional basketball, baseball and other sports, but it’s an awkward fit for soccer, a flowing game with a clock that doesn’t stop.


  • OPINION

    Why did Trump side with Russia on Crimea?

    By Trump’s logic, Putin would have cause to seize the parts of Latvia and Estonia that are Russian-speaking, not to mention Belarus and Kazakhstan.


  • OPINION

    Changing abortion law won’t change hearts

    For me, outlawing abortion is much like the failed effort to enforce prohibition during the 1920s. The problem is not the legality of the practice; it’s that there is a demand for it at all.


  • OPINION

    Trans-Atlantic alliance must survive Trump

    Trump’s pique at Europe has been evident since the first days of his presidency.


  • OPINION

    Nixon lied, smeared foes yet accomplished much

    It’s a good week to think about Richard Nixon’s presidency, both the evil in it and the good. President Donald Trump is replicating many of Nixon’s worst qualities and almost none of his strengths.


  • OPINION

    3 lessons from Trump’s immigration fiasco

    Congress and the administration are now in the position of dealing with recently created disasters rather than the long-standing issues that have been the focus of previous immigration debates.


  • OPINION

    Trump pattern of engaging Russia is decades old

    Its roots stem from the 1980s, when real estate developer Trump first foresaw a role in forging a superpower nuclear deal and envisioned extending his real estate empire toward the Soviet Union.


  • OPINION

    ‘Grand bargain’ with Russia is an illusion

    The best we may be able to do in the short term is to manage the competition and reduce the risk of direct conflict, both through deterrence and by using Cold War tools such as arms control and military transparency.


  • OPINION

    Why do we need more people in this country, anyway?

    We know how more immigration benefits big business and the Democratic Party. No one has yet to convincingly explain how it benefits the American people as a whole.


  • OPINION

    Alcoholism part of Bourdain’s painful story

    The brain science is in, and has been for years, yet it is ignored or given short shrift because drinking is such a huge part of our cultural fabric.


  • OPINION

    Domino’s fixing potholes is an ominous sign

    The fact that it’s private companies taking these steps suggests a breakdown in the government’s ability or willingness to carry out one of its core functions.


  • OPINION

    The GOP’s last shot at immigration reform will fail

    Then they’ll go home and tell their constituents that the immigration system is a mess and we absolutely have to do something about it.


  • OPINION

    The border between GOP, social conservatives

    The Trump administration and the Republican congressional majority have offered little reason to hope this could be a defining moment for a change to their approach.


  • OPINION

    Trump’s ‘deal’ with Kim is far from done

    As the Great Dealmaker should know, it’s important to read the fine print.


  • OPINION

    ‘Zero-tolerance’ border policy is ineffective

    So long as the powerful “push factors” of poverty and violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador persist, the U.S. will continue to wrestle with the problem of illegal migration on the border with Mexico.


  • OPINION

    A plea for WWI remembrance and learning

    There are echoes of this age in literally every aspect of our lives today.


  • OPINION

    On-call work schedules make it hard to have a life

    Legal efforts to mandate and/or reward regular work scheduling shouldn’t be viewed as helping workers at the expense of employers, but as a way to help both at once


  • OPINION

    How a GOP senator forced Trump’s hand

    For those senators who consider the president a challenge to the fundamental ideas of conservatism, Cory Gardner’s example is instructive.


  • OPINION

    Pruitt doing EPA, all Americans a disservice

    Pruitt’s continued presence at the EPA sends a powerful message to government employees everywhere that he, President Donald Trump and congressional leadership believe Pruitt’s unethical behavior is not only condoned but should be a model.


  • OPINION

    Don’t wait for Trump to testify, Mr. Mueller

    If testimony from Trump were essential to finding out what happened, this confrontation might be worth it. But it is not.


  • OPINION

    Sessions, Sanders depart from Christianity

    When Sessions invoked Romans 13 — a verse infamous for earlier bad-faith invocations to justify slavery — he shifted the subject of the question from himself and his own department to those under his control.


  • OPINION

    My Miss America swimsuit moment was empowering

    Last week, the 97-year-old Miss America organization removed the word “pageant” from its name and dropped the swimsuit competition, caving to the opinion that such events demean women. But that’s not how I experienced it.


  • OPINION

    The bad traits that unite Trump, Carter

    The former Georgia governor’s unpreparedness, rigid personality and disdain for politics in decision-making had a negative effect on his presidency.


  • OPINION

    Hard to defend funding increases for EDI

    Originally meant to supplement U.S. commitment to NATO, the European Deterrence Initiative has taken on a funding life of its own.


  • OPINION

    Mobilize to lessen the invisible wounds of war

    A physical injury may result in a medal. A brain injury may result in feelings of isolation.


  • OPINION

    Justice Department IG deserves some credit

    There is a larger, more important point here. The inspector general is an integral part of a department dedicated to principled conduct and accountability.


  • OPINION

    Trump is crumbling the vital transatlantic bridge

    Why risk the most important and battle-tested global alliance we have over a relatively minor disagreement on trade policy?


  • How the World Cup reflects the world

    “Time is that irritating inconvenience between soccer matches.” That’s an almost-certainly apocryphal line, usually attributed to the French-Algerian philosopher — and handy schoolboy goalkeeper — Albert Camus. But whatever its provenance, it rings true as the World Cup gets underway in Russia.


  • OPINION

    In his deal with Trump, Kim gave up very little

    It was a breathtaking piece of mutual audacity for Kim and Trump to push each other to the edge of the cliff and then walk back. But by Tuesday, it was clear that Kim was getting more than he was giving,


  • OPINION

    Don’t dismiss the summit so quickly

    There may be a method to Trump’s madness. There is at least reason to hope for a successful arms control and broader detente process.


  • OPINION

    Trump’s amoral approach to Kim may work

    Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un didn’t agree on anything of global importance, and the grandiose photo opportunity that took place in Singapore probably benefited Kim more than it did Trump. But the beauty of the moment is that Trump doesn’t care about that sort of thing, and that could be good for world peace.


  • OPINION

    The biggest winner of the Trump-Kim summit is China

    If Beijing’s strategic aim is to weaken America’s standing in its region, Trump just did a good bit of their work for them.


  • OPINION

    Strong leaders define peninsula’s power realities

    History encourages persistence, despite setbacks, and the Korean Peninsula is an especially important example.


  • OPINION

    With N. Korea, different doesn’t mean better

    In Trump’s quest for “wins,” he could be too quick to discard allies like South Korea — and in the process, unravel the security order that has preserved American dominance in Asia since the end of World War II.


  • OPINION

    A job market this tight should deliver bigger raises

    With the U.S. economy strong and unemployment low, why is wage growth so sluggish?


  • OPINION

    Bourdain showed the Mideast I know and love

    People are complex. So are the places they come from. Bourdain saw humanity (and food) everywhere and connected with it.


  • OPINION

    Humans seek to be happy, thinking that’s normal

    To be unhappy enough to end it all, a person must first imagine a condition of greater happiness, then lose hope that the greater happiness can be achieved.


  • OPINION

    N. Korea, Iran see nukes as protection

    The North Korean regime has wagered that nuclear weapons would guarantee the loyalty of the only possible internal threat to the family, the armed forces, and would immunize the nation from external threats.


  • OPINION

    NATO is still practicing for the worst

    In various quiet corners of Europe, small groups of Americans and Europeans are still devoting their time to one another’s mutual safety. If a crisis comes, we might need them.


  • OPINION

    Trump’s pro-growth reforms are working

    At a time when nations have become so unwilling to play by the rules and restore reciprocity, tariffs are a wake-up call to the dangers of a broken trading system that is increasingly unfree.


  • OPINION

    Must implement VA reform law effectively

    For the good of veterans, these reforms must be done on time and on budget — two metrics with which the VA has chronically struggled.


  • OPINION

    Dems need to channel their inner RFKs

    This week we are all remembering, in our own ways, the lessons Robert F. Kennedy was in the process of teaching us — about our nation, our politics, and ourselves — when an assassin’s bullet ripped him from us 50 years ago.


  • OPINION

    The US can ignore the UN’s ranting about poverty

    We could use a thoughtful analysis of how to build on what has worked in American anti-poverty policy and how to reform what hasn’t. But we’ll have to look elsewhere.


  • OPINION

    Trump still wants to remove GIs from S. Korea

    He often asks his generals to explain the rationale for America’s deployments in Asia and expresses dissatisfaction with their answers.


  • Military update

    Did Senate panel go too far on officer management reforms?

    Personnel chiefs jointly testified in January on the need to make targeted reforms to the 1980 Defense Officer Personnel Management Act to provide greater flexibility to recruit and retain the officers they need. Reforms unveiled Wednesday might be viewed by service leaders as having gone beyond what’s needed to modernize officer management.


  • OPINION

    Baker won in court, with no harm to free speech

    A danger in the cake case was that victory for the baker would make First Amendment law incoherent, even absurd.


  • OPINION

    Conservatives play wait and see on Trump effect

    These midterms will be an important signal to the GOP as it considers if it wants more Trump or less.


  • OPINION

    Trump’s Indo-Pacific strategy: ‘Where’s the beef?’

    The Trump administration risks making the same mistake that the Obama administration made with its “rebalance” or “pivot” to Asia — raising expectations and then under-delivering.


  • OPINION

    About that Bee in Barr fans’ bonnets …

    Comparing Barr’s fate to Bee’s as strictly political fails on its face. One uttered an obscenity; the other a mean-spirited, threatening slur that has caused immeasurable suffering.


  • OPINION

    LBJ rose above politics when tragedy struck

    In the end, Johnson put aside his personal animosity toward his most bitter political rival to focus on the family and its loss. He showed compassion, even though it had rarely been reciprocated. It was a remarkable display of humanity in a difficult time.


  • OPINION

    Couple didn’t lose right to have baker treat them fairly

    Charlie Craig and David Mullins could go right back into Masterpiece Cakeshop today and request a cake to celebrate their wedding anniversary — and if Jack Phillips refused them, he would have no First Amendment right to turn them away.


  • OPINION

    Cake ruling focuses on religious hostility

    The intriguing consequence of this decision is that it doesn’t really provide definitive guidance even for future wedding cake cases, much less other conflicts between religious conscience and gay rights.


  • OPINION

    We aren’t capable of forgiving our enemies

    If forgiveness had a face, it would be hideous to us now; to the degree that beauty is a matter of socially constructed taste, we wouldn’t be able to look at forgiveness without revulsion.


  • OPINION

    Sports are not as simple as they once were

    Fake news is fake news, whether it’s Russian meddling or Bryan Colangelo defending Bryan Colangelo while pretending to be a fan.


  • OPINION

    The world learns to live with Assad

    The writing is now indisputably on the wall: The Syrian regime is going nowhere. Despite seven years of civil war, the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, the flight of millions of refugees, the hollowing out of the nation’s ancient cities and the horrific use of chemical weapons on civilians, President Bashar Assad remains in his post.


  • OPINION

    Independents able to crash parties’ plans

    The most important reason to pay attention to independents is that they often reflect the direction and magnitude of partisan changes.


  • Analysis

    US should move forces in Germany to Poland

    Poland is willing to spend $1.5 billion to $2 billion to entice the U.S. to build a permanent military base there, according to a Defense Ministry proposal. The plan offers a strong incentive for the U.S. to consider moving at least some of its forces from Germany, especially since the current deployment makes little military sense.


  • OPINION

    How many GIs does S. Korea really need?

    President Donald Trump would be making a monumental mistake to pull U.S. troops from South Korea. But he may be onto something in wondering whether there is anything sacrosanct about the current number and configuration.


  • OPINION

    Spanish has never been a foreign language in the US

    The call to “speak English” in America has a long history that often drowns out our even longer history of diverse language use.


  • OPINION

    No holiday in the United States of exhaustion

    Memorial Day 2018 resembled a Monday like too many others — the beginning of a week of sniping and fighting and irreconcilable views of what it means to be a patriot in these anything but United States.


  • OPINION

    Sci-fi can help us prepare for 21st-century warfare

    Art has been influencing war, and vice versa, since the beginnings of recorded human conflict.


  • OPINION

    Booting ‘Roseanne’ doesn’t make a dent

    Racism and conspiracy theories have been made socially acceptable, and social media makes it harder to separate truth from lies.


  • OPINION

    Behind Trump’s zig-zag course to Singapore

    What comes next? I couldn’t get clear answers from U.S. or South Korean officials, maybe because there aren’t any yet.


  • Stars and Stripes Ombudsman

    For Stripes, making news makes a difference

    Just about every mainstream news organization includes some coverage of military interest. But only a relative few produce substantive original military journalism themselves. Doing so is one of Stars and Stripes’ unique market advantages.


  • OPINION

    Don’t lose sight of the very real threat of MS-13

    Because some immigrants think Trump is merely trying to blacken the names of all of them with his talk of “animals,” their aspirations fall short of cooperation.

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