Fuerzas Armadas (Continuación)

By Charles a Krohn, deputy director of public affairs for the American Battle Monuments Commission (THE WASHINGTON POST, 12/08/07):

Muslims are obliged to make at least one trip to the holy city of Mecca during their lifetime. This pilgrimage is known as the hajj. It is mandatory for men, voluntary but encouraged for women. A basic dress code ensures that there’s no visible difference between rich and poor, weak and powerful. This simple requirement unites the faithful.

I started thinking about the hajj in the spring, when my wife and I visited nine American military cemeteries in Europe. With the exception of the Normandy American Cemetery, which attracts thousands, others are virtually devoid of visitors, especially American visitors.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Jack Jacobs, a retired Army colonel and a military analyst for MSNBC (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 09/08/07):

BY now, most Americans know the story of Cpl. Pat Tillman. He bravely chose military service rather than the National Football League, and he was killed in Afghanistan in 2004 by fire from his comrades.

My own units in Vietnam were occasionally the victims of errant rifle fire, mortar rounds and bombs — indeed, the very success of an infantry attack is dependent on leaning forward into friendly supporting fires.

But, after the fact, the Tillman death played out differently. His unit reported that he was killed in a ferocious engagement with the enemy, and the truth was hidden by the chain of command until, as is almost always the case, the truth escaped.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Celia Richardson, the director of campaigns for the Mental Health Foundation (THE GUARDIAN, 08/08/07):

Your article on the escalating mental health problems among frontline veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars raises serious questions about how we repay the people who risk their lives for us (Iraq veterans suffer stress and alcoholism, August 3).You report a new study by the British Medical Journal online. But as long ago as February 2003 our charity warned that soldiers who were then being deployed in Iraq could suffer serious psychological trauma following conflict. We knew that more Falklands veterans had committed suicide than were killed during the conflict.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Max Hastings (THE GUARDIAN, 02/08/07):

Britain’s armed forces greeted Gordon Brown’s arrival in Downing Street with a shiver of apprehension. As chancellor, he displayed relentless scepticism towards defence spending. The army has been obliged to fight Blair’s wars with threadbare resources. Treasury parsimony has cost lives. The word from Westminster was that soldiers, sailors and airmen would find no friend in the new prime minister.Yet last week, to the delight of the Royal Navy, Brown announced the government’s commitment to the £4bn carrier programme. Following his chilly visit to Washington, there are hints that Britain could soon pull most of its troops out of Iraq.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Jeff McCausland, a retired Army colonel, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs and a visiting professor at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. He commanded an artillery battalion during the Gulf War in 1991 (THE WASHINGTON POST, 02/07/07):

Asoldier’s day was once regulated by bugle calls, from morning reveille to chow call at noon to retreat at sunset and taps late at night. Thus the phrase “to answer the bugle call” has been used to describe citizens responding to a national threat. Those who rise to this call to defend their country are the young, and they sacrifice accordingly.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Simon Tisdall (THE GUARDIAN, 12/06/07):

Even as the US struggles to stop relations with Russia plunging into deep freeze, a distinct chill has descended over its dealings with Beijing following a new Pentagon report on China’s military build-up. Richard Nixon knew better than to antagonise both superpower rivals at once. No such wisdom troubles George Bush.

Noting China’s “rapid rise as a regional political and economic power with global aspirations”, the Pentagon complained of uncertainty surrounding its expanding military might and how it may be used. Beijing’s short-term focus was “military contingencies in the Taiwan Strait”, it said. But it was also planning to project military power further afield in the Asia-Pacific region, in preparation for possible conflicts over resources or territory.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Stephen Benjamin, a former petty officer second class in the Navy (THE NEW YORK TIMES, 08/06/07):

IMAGINE for a moment an American soldier deep in the Iraqi desert. His unit is about to head out when he receives a cable detailing an insurgent ambush right in his convoy’s path. With this information, he and his soldiers are now prepared for the danger that lies ahead.

Reports like these are regularly sent from military translators’ desks, providing critical, often life-saving intelligence to troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the military has a desperate shortage of linguists trained to translate such invaluable information and convey it to the war zone.…  Seguir leyendo »

By James T. Quinlivan and Bruce R. Nardulli. Both are military analysts at the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization (THE WASHINGTON POST, 27/04/07):

For nearly 50 years, many Americans saw the communist states as a vast monolith, able to act as one in the service of a single unified doctrine. Because that monolith was able to reach anywhere in its attack on democracy, America’s leaders believed it needed to be confronted everywhere. As a result, the United States tried to confront the monolith around the globe at immense expense in blood and treasure.

In retrospect, that view and the policies it led to were mistaken in many ways.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Tim Hames (THE TIMES, 16/04/07):

How short is a really small period of time. You may think that a second has the quality of shortness. Yet a second (now technically defined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 cycles of one type of radiation produced by a cesium 133 atom, I kid you not) is hardly that fleeting. There are much briefer units used by scientists — milliseconds (one thousandth of a second), nanoseconds (a billionth of a second) and then attoseconds (a billionth of a billionth of a second). The fastest possible occurrence, however, is believed to take place at the speed of Planck time (which is ten to the power of minus 43 of a second, or thereabouts).…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Jesús A. Núñez Villaverde, codirector del Instituto de Estudios sobre Conflictos y Acción Humanitaria (EL PAÍS, 23/03/07):

El impacto de algunas imágenes bélicas parecería dar a entender que lo relevante hoy en el campo de la seguridad y la defensa sería el nivel tecnológico que unas Fuerzas Armadas (FF AA) puedan desplegar sobre el terreno. Guerra cibernética, dominio del espacio electromagnético, bajas cero, vehículos aéreos no tripulados, armas inteligentes… Alguien podría pensar que el factor humano ya no cuenta. Sin embargo, y a pesar de los cambios registrados desde el final de la Guerra Fría en el terreno tecnológico y estratégico, el elemento humano sigue siendo la pieza fundamental de los aparatos de defensa nacional y del sistema internacional de seguridad.…  Seguir leyendo »

El presente documento es fruto de un trabajo de equipo al que han contribuido distintos profesionales de las Fuerzas Armadas a través de conversaciones, reuniones, comentarios y aportaciones diversas. Consta de dos partes bien definidas que han nacido de su propio proceso de redacción. La primera parte es un análisis del proceso de reforma del régimen del personal militar desde la aprobación de la Ley 17/1989 y de las cuestiones más destacables relacionadas con esta materia, así como de los problemas y preocupaciones que algunas regulaciones han suscitado y de las soluciones que tanto la teoría como la experiencia de otros países de nuestro entorno ofrecen.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Andrés Montero Gómez, director del Instituto de Psicología de la Violencia (EL CORREO DIGITAL, 27/02/07):

Hasta aproximadamente la segunda mitad de los ochenta, los soldados no eran seres humanos. Ni para los mandos militares, ni para los políticos, ni por supuesto para la mayoría de la sociedad. Los soldados eran entes que diluían su condición individual al vestirse el uniforme, que desaparecían en tanto identidad diferenciada cuando ingresaban en la milicia. A partir, sobre todo, de la primera Guerra del Golfo inaugurados los noventa, los soldados se nos convierten en seres humanos. El principal desencadenante de esta prestidigitación son los medios de comunicación.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Angustias Hombrados, José A. Olmeda y Consuelo del Val, miembros del Centro de Estudios de Género, UNED (REAL INSTITUTO ELCANO, 22/02/07):

Este trabajo examina la incorporación de las mujeres en las Fuerzas Armadas (FFAA) españolas. Desde un punto de vista teórico, el estudio se enmarca dentro de las discusiones acerca de la participación de las mujeres en las instituciones militares y de las diversas teorías sobre los factores que influyen y explican este proceso. Además, el examen empírico del caso español se contextualiza en términos comparados con información general relativa a la feminización de las fuerzas militares de los países de la OTAN y más particularmente del caso de EEUU.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Richard Norton-Taylor, the Guardian’s security affairs editor (THE GUARDIAN, 15/02/07):

Not since the second world war have Britain’s forces been under such sustained pressure. They are the ones fighting Britain’s new enemies. They are at the sharp end, facing the consequences of Tony Blair’s interventionist policies.In Iraq, British soldiers are acting as police officers, politicians, diplomats and providers of aid. They were sent to Afghanistan last year, as the then defence secretary John Reid famously said, to rebuild the country, not to seek and destroy the enemy. Their role has expanded exponentially as that of ambassadors and diplomats has declined, yet never before have senior military figures been so shut out of policy making.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Marina Malamud, profesora de Sociología de la Guerra en la Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA) e investigadora responsable en la Academia Nacional de Estudios Políticos y Estratégicos (ANEPE) del Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Chile (REAL INSTITUTO ELCANO,06/02/07):

Tema: El proceso de reforma del Estado en Chile ha logrado avanzar en numerosos campos de la administración pública; sin embargo, la modernización del Ministerio de Defensa continúa pendiente debido, en parte, a los fuertes debates políticos internos.

Resumen: Chile, entre otros países latinoamericanos, ha comenzando a implementar hace algunos años reformas gerenciales que trasladan técnicas de gestión privadas al sector público, a fin de mejorar la prestación de bienes y servicios estatales, cumpliendo en mejor y mayor medida con las necesidades de la ciudadanía.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Zeeshan Hashmion, who served in the British Army between 2000 and 2005. He is now a student at Cambridge (THE TIMES, 06/02/07):

Last Wednesday I woke up to find out that I had 41 missed calls plus a dozen or so voicemail messages, mostly from the media, but a few from my loved ones. I soon found out the cause — the eight arrests linked to an alleged plot to kidnap and execute a British Muslim member of the Armed Forces.

My immediate thoughts were of concern for members of my family, who live not far from the locations raided by the police.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Mario Vargas Llosa (EL PAÍS, 28/01/07):

Un reportaje puede ser una gran obra literaria o un memorable ensayo histórico como mostraron un Arthur Koestler con Un testamento español, un George Orwell con Homenaje a Cataluña, o Ryszard Kapuscinski con los libros que dedicó a Haile Selassie, Reza Pahlevi y al derrumbe de la Unión Soviética.

Robert D. Kaplan pertenece a esa dinastía de periodistas capaces de documentar la actualidad con tanto rigor y precisión como elegancia y astucia narrativa, en reportajes que, a la vez que ayudan a esclarecer hechos dramáticos de la vida contemporánea, se leen con el placer y la ansiedad que producen las buenas novelas.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Germán Yanque (ABC, 28/01/07):

Si la Justicia es lenta, las resoluciones disciplinares del Ejército funcionan con una flema llamativa. El brigada Jorge Bravo, presidente de la Asociación Unificada de Militares Españoles, vio el jueves cómo su expediente (por unas declaraciones del pasado mes de marzo) culminaba con su arresto. La pachorra administrativa, por llamarla de algún modo, hace que su internamiento en el Establecimiento Disciplinar de Colmenar Viejo coincida en el tiempo con las protestas de la asociación que el brigada preside por la política salarial del Ejército. Y estas protestas coexisten con el malestar en la Guardia Civil y con la sorprendente manifestación de miles de miembros de la Benemérita, muchos de ellos uniformados, el pasado día 20.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por Sonia Alda Mejías, Instituto Universitario Gutiérrez Mellado (REAL INSTITUTO ELCANO, 17/01/07):

Tema: Evo Morales ha dado una gran prioridad a las Fuerzas Armadas, lo que ha sorprendido. De ahí el interés por la reforma propuesta en el ámbito de la defensa por el Gobierno boliviano y sus posibles contradicciones.

Resumen: Bajo la alianza anunciada por Evo Morales entre las Fuerzas Armadas y el pueblo, el presidente pretende llevar a cabo una ambiciosa reforma orientada a democratizar la defensa. Los pilares de la misma son la institucionalización de las relaciones entre civiles y militares y las nuevas misiones asignadas a las Fuerzas Armadas.…  Seguir leyendo »

By Max Hastings (THE GUARDIAN, 08/01/07):

Like eruptions from an overstrained water main, revelations about the problems of Britain’s armed forces burst forth daily. The word “crisis” is often abused, but it is justified here. Programmes are being slashed, training curtailed and capabilities cut as the Ministry of Defence struggles to control runaway spending.Treasury officials would say: quite right, too. The MoD’s profligacy is a scandal. Why should defence be immune from pressures afflicting public spending across the board ? If we axe some warships, what does it matter? No frigates are fighting al-Qaida, or are ever likely to be.

Shis view is understandable, but misses the point.…  Seguir leyendo »