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How Textbooks Have Changed the Face of War

War is more personal, less glorious, and more hellish in modern textbooks than in the past. But there’s still room for improvement.

ProPublica

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The Litany of Problems With the Pentagon’s Effort to Recover MIAs

A draft inspector general report found that the mission lacks basic metrics for how to do the job—and when to end it.

The Rest of the World

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The World Is Getting Less Peaceful Every Year

And it’s costing the global economy about $1,350 per person.

ProPublica

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The Pentagon Finally Decides to Dig Up the Remains of a Long-Lost Soldier

The military will exhume a grave in the Philippines that may hold the remains of Bud Kelder, an American POW whose family has long been fighting the Pentagon to get him home.

ProPublica

hillary-clinton-iraq

All the Things Hillary Clinton’s Book Doesn’t Say About Iraq

In Hard Choices, the former secretary of state ignores or glosses over key aspects of her record on Iraq—including State Department responsibility for the country’s security assistance.

Findings

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Mindfulness Training Produces Less-Stressed Marines

Marines who took an eight-week course in the basics of mindfulness recovered from stress faster following an intense training session that replicated battlefield conditions.

ProPublica

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The Big Revamp of the Pentagon’s Troubled Mission to Find Missing Soldiers Looks a Lot Like the Old Revamp

Without change of leadership throughout, meaningful improvement could be elusive.

The 30 Top Thinkers Under 30

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The 30 Top Thinkers Under 30: The Human Rights Advocate Who Wants to Study Post-Conflict Reconstruction

For the month of April we’re profiling the individuals who made our inaugural list of the 30 top thinkers under 30, the young men and women we predict will have a serious impact on the social, political, and economic issues we cover every day here at Pacific Standard.

The Rest of the World

peace-bird-hand

How Much Is Peace Actually Worth?

According to an emerging branch of economics, approximately $9.46 trillion.

ProPublica

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Pentagon Finally Overhauls Effort to Identify Its Missing

The restructuring promises to address many of the problems laid out in a recent ProPublica and NPR investigation.

ProPublica

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Why Did the Pentagon Give Up on a Fallen GI?

For more than 50 years, Army PFC Lawrence S. Gordon was mistakenly interred as a German soldier in a cemetery in France. Then European officials did what the U.S. military would not: exhumed and identified him with DNA.

ProPublica

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4 Ways to Really Fix the Pentagon’s Effort to ID 83,000 Missing Service Members

Changes must go beyond bureaucracy to update the scientific approach and embrace outside help.

ProPublica

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How You Can Help Find Someone Missing in Action

John Eakin shares what he learned about tracking down the remains of his cousin who died in a World War II POW camp.

Mosaic

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Science Is, Undeniably, Making the World a Better Place: A Conversation With Steven Pinker

Oliver Burkeman explores human nature, violence, feminism, and religion with one of the world’s most controversial cognitive scientists. Can he dent Steven Pinker’s optimism?

 

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The Math Equation That Explains David and Goliath

From babies’ tantrums to labor strikes to guerrilla wars to global terrorism, there may be one simple math equation, a power law, that benchmarks them all. Better yet, it may allow us to predict these confrontations’ future.

 

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One in Every 10 People Killed in Syria’s War Is a Child

Once again we’re reminded that it’s not just those who choose to put themselves in harm’s way who die during a war.

 

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Count on War to Build a Society

History reportedly is written by the victors. In the future, those accounts may be written in equation form and not sentences, suggests a new paper that mathematically describes the importance of warfare in creating societies.

Shelf Help

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‘Candy,’ ‘Scarcity,’ and ‘War Play’: Book Reviews in 100 Words or Less

What you need to know about Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure, Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much, and War Play: Video Games and the Future of Armed Conflict.

 

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Why Does Citizenship Matter?

How national affiliation became such an important part of our personal identity.

 

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Benedict Cumberbatch Goes to War: Celebrity and Diplomacy

The actor’s recent stunt in Cardiff, in which he admonished celebrity photographers for not capturing “something important,” suggests a misplaced faith in photography.

 

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Who Is the United States at War With? That’s Classified Information

President Obama has repeatedly said the U.S. is targeting Al Qaeda and “associated forces.” But the government won’t say who those forces are.

 

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When War Records Go Missing

Army Secretary John McHugh confirms to members of Congress that commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan failed to keep required field records: “Steps are being taken to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

Features

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The Merry Pranksters Who Hacked the Afghan War

It was a dark time in a long, drawn-out war. Afghanistan was festering with resentment. The Pentagon brass were desperate. It was the kind of last-ditch moment when authorities start throwing an era’s weirdest ideas at its most hopeless bureaucratic mistakes.

 

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How Do We Know the Death Toll in Syria Is Accurate?

The count of the dead in Syria and other global trouble spots matters a great deal, and so does the provenance of the numbers presented. Here’s one exhaustive effort to get them right.

 

An anti-war protest in New York City in 2004 (PHOTO: PENGUIN/SHUTTERSTOCK)

Where Have All the Protesters Gone?

Why didn’t the biggest protests in world history have a signal effect in stopping the Iraq War? Ten years later, one sociologist argues it’s because the crowds had an aversion to party politics.

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One Toxic Boss Can Poison the Whole Workplace

Office leaders who bully even just one member of their team harm everyone.

Diversity Is in the Eye of the Beholder

Perception of group diversity depends on the race of the observer and the extent to which they worry about discrimination.

Psychopathic or Just Antisocial? A Key Brain Difference Tells the Tale

Though psychopaths and antisocial people may seem similar, what occurs in their brains isn’t.

Common Knowledge Makes Us More Cooperative

People are more inclined to take mutually beneficial risks if they know what others know.

The Big One

One in two full-time American fast-food workers' families are enrolled in public assistance programs, at a cost of $7 billion per year. July/August 2014 fast-food-big-one
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