- Troop counts in Iraq and Afghanistan: Navy Commander William Speaks, Pentagon, 703-697-0657, firstname.lastname@example.org (Pentagon counts differently than NATO)
- Pentagon contract awards: http://www.defense.gov/contracts/ (awards in excess of $5 million announced every day at 5 p.m.)
- Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS): https://www.fpds.gov/fpdsng_cms/ (search by contract award or awards and thus programs)
- USASpending.gov: created and maintained by the Office of the Management and Budget (OMB) partly in response to criticisms of FPDS
- DoD’s Statistical Information Analysis Division (SIAD): http://siadapp.dmdc.osd.mil/ (stats on casualties, active-duty figures by service, paygrade, gender, etc.)
- Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI): http://www.deomi.org/EOEEOResources/DemographicReports.cfm (demographic data)
- icasualties.org (Independent count of casualties, both troops and civilians, from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Includes a “cause of death” filter)
- Defense Manpower Data Center: https://www.dmdc.osd.mil/appj/scra/scraHome.do (one of its few public databases; allows you to verify military service status)
- National Personnel Records Center: http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/ (where you can request personnel records, including DD-214s and 215s, of discharged and deceased veterans — and fakers — but not general officers)
- Military Times’ Hall of Valor: http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/ (unofficial list that can be used to verify Medal of Honor and service cross recipients)
- Defense Department’s Selected Acquisition Report summary tables: http://www.acq.osd.mil/ara/am/sar/ (Pentagon’s biannual updates on weapons programs, including quantity and cost estimates)
- Government Accountability Office’s annual assessment of selected weapon programs: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d11233sp.pdf (independent audit of the Pentagon’s top weapons programs)
- GAO bid protests: Ralph White, Managing Associate General Counsel, Procurement Law, 202-512-8278, email@example.com
- Pentagon Comptroller’s website: http://comptroller.defense.gov/Budget2012.html (great resources for current and planned budgets, including the “Sears Roebuck” guide to weapons systems)
- Pentagon budget search: http://www.dtic.mil/descriptivesum/index_2010.html
- OSD’s Installations and Environment’s Base Structure Report: http://www.acq.osd.mil/ie/download/bsr/BSR2010Baseline.pdf (annual “real property inventory” that contains population data by installation, among other data)
- The Project on Government Oversight’s Federal Contractor Misconduct Database: http://www.contractormisconduct.org/
- Ed Offley’s book, “Pen & Sword: A Journalist’s Guide to Covering the Military”: http://www.amazon.com/Pen-Sword-Journalists-Covering-Military/dp/0966517644
- Brant Houston’s book, “Computer-Assisted Reporting: A Practical Guide”: http://www.ire.org/carbook/
- JAMES WRIGHT FOLEY
Medill National Security Journalism Initiative's Ellen Shearer in Washington Post: "In Syria, freelancers like James Foley cover a dangerous war zone with no front lines."
Shearer speaks about Foley, her former student.
"We have never been prouder of our son Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people. . . .We thank Jim for all the joy he gave us. He was an extraordinary son, brother, journalist and person."
— Jim's mother, Diane Foley, on Aug. 19, 2014
Latest from . . .
The Ebola virus disease situation is in a bit of a good news-bad news phase right now. The good: The condition of the two American missionaries who recently contracted Ebola is improving. The bad: The disease likely will not stay in West Africa.
Monthly update on VA disability claim backlog
CLAIMS PENDING AVG. DAYS PENDING End June 528,790 159 End July 524,225 160 Change 4,565 1.5 YTD Chg. -112,049 -13.4 End July 2013 733,171 236
Click here for full chart.(As of 8/1/14)
Of note elsewhere
Selected stories from around the web:
Medill Student Reports
- Release the Drones – the next journalism frontier?
- Experts say media could help fix Iran’s human rights issues
- National security threats changing over time
- Hamas’ media strategy a ‘deep concern,’ says Ambassador Oren