The Best Defense

Is it a great World War II website, or a great way to waste a month? Perhaps both

All 79 volumes of the official Army history of World War II are now available through one big fat link. I could waste weeks on this site.

Yes, I confess: I fear we focus too much on World War II in general. I once vowed to stop reading about World War II and the Civil War until I knew more about other wars, especially in other countries.

But how can you resist this stuff? You can't go wrong reading the specialized volumes here for valuable background on virtually any aspect of how a big military operates in wartime. There is, for example, an entire volume on U.S. military operations in the Middle East, and four times that many on military medicine in World War II. How many books have you read about military medicine in combat conditions?

And the New York Times certainly could have used this link the other day. And in an editorial today. Especially Chapter VI.

Bonus: Here is Adm. Chester Nimitz's operational diary for World War II, now online.

U.S. Army Center of Military History

The Best Defense

Thanks, NSA! I guess the U.S. economy didn't need that $22 billion in business

The latest estimate I've seen of the cost of the NSA surveillance program in terms of lost business to U.S. companies is at least $22 billion. "The economic consequences of national security decisions should be part of the debate, and this cannot happen until more details about PRISM have been revealed," the study notes.

This is what happens when secret policemen make far-reaching decisions in secret and then say the justifications for their acts must remain secret. And yes, I blame Congress too.

JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images