At Forward Operating Base Payne in Afghanistan's Helmand province, Marine Cpl. Jonathan Odriscoll looks at pictures of his sister on Facebook. Troop access to social media has been both a blessing and curse for the military.
Inside a plywood shack at a combat outpost in Marjah, in Afghanistan's Helmand province, three Marines sit before a bank of computers provided by the military to help keep up morale. The dingy outpost is made up of a collection of tents where troops live among swarms of flies and the constant hum of generators.
The Marines' most senior officers — including top commander Gen. James Amos (shown here in 2011 in Afghanistan's Helmand province) — are weighing in on recent incidents involving misconduct by troops serving in Afghanistan.
There's some soul-searching going on in the military these days.
The latest scandal to hit U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan surfaced last week when The Los Angeles Times published photographs showing smiling American soldiers holding up body parts of a Taliban suicide bomber.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta addressed the latest incident during a trip to Brussels.
"That behavior that was depicted in those photos absolutely violates both our regulations and, more importantly, our core values," he said last week after a NATO meeting.
The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" on MSNBC has written a new book called Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power. It's about how we've been living in a state of perpetual war, and how war has become more secretive and the public more disconnected from it.
Donald Rumsfeld has served as both the youngest and oldest Secretary of Defense. While many may not remember much of his first stint at the post, his second go at the job, for better or worse, secured his place in history.