Death and Neglect in the 7th Fleet
Investigating One of America’s Greatest Polluters
Tracking Military Waste
Recovering Our Vets
When War Records Go Missing
How the Military Is Failing Its Wounded
Civilian Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan
ProPublica Editor-in-Chief Stephen Engelberg on the challenges and urgency of examining the final days of the war in Afghanistan, even as new conflicts demand our attention.
In firsthand accounts, Afghan civilians and U.S. Marines describe the desperate struggle to flee through the Kabul airport’s last open entrance. U.S. officials knew an attack was coming. Then a suicide bomber killed and injured hundreds.
Suicide Bomber Who Killed U.S. Troops and Afghans “Likely” Used Unguarded Route to Kabul Airport Gate
Paths left unsecured by U.S. military sped the evacuation of American citizens and Afghan allies. The attack killed 13 U.S. service members and scores of civilians.
A lacerating report this week was the 11th in a clear-eyed series that revealed the US failure to reconstruct Afghanistan over two decades. Why didn’t anyone heed the inspector general’s warnings?
VA Secretary Focused on Smearing Woman Who Said She Was Sexually Assaulted in a VA Hospital, Probe Finds
An investigation by the Department of Veterans Affairs internal watchdog confirms ProPublica’s reporting that Secretary Robert Wilkie wanted to discredit a congressional aide who said she was attacked in a VA facility last year.
The idea of “calling in the National Guard” can mean different things in practice and perception. We spoke with a public information officer for the Illinois National Guard about rumors, reality and fear.
New documents obtained by ProPublica show public health officials in Grand Island, Nebraska, wanted the JBS meatpacking plant closed. But Gov. Pete Ricketts said no. Since then, cases have skyrocketed.
Did He Talk About Her? VA Secretary Changes His Story Amid Allegations He Sought Dirt on House Staffer.
Robert Wilkie is under investigation after a complaint that he sought information to discredit a House staffer who said she was sexually assaulted in a VA hospital. Wilkie denied discussing her with Rep. Dan Crenshaw. But an email indicates he did.
It’s Hardly Shocking the Navy Fired a Commander for Warning of Coronavirus Threat. It’s Part of a Pattern.
In dismissing the commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the Navy once again punished the messenger, a frontline leader brave enough to tell the unvarnished truth to superiors about a threat to his sailors.
VA Secretary Looked for Dirt on a House Staffer Who Reported Sexual Assault in a VA Hospital, Complaint Says
VA chief Robert Wilkie called a House policy advisor’s assault allegation “unsubstantiated” even though an independent investigation found it was not.
17 Sailors and Six Marines Died in Avoidable Accidents. Congress Questions Whether the Problems Have Been Fixed.
After ProPublica found that inadequate training and faulty equipment helped kill 23 servicemen, House Armed Services Committee members grilled Navy and Marine leaders about the deadly accidents and whether America is ready for war.
A series of accidents calls the military’s preparedness into question.
Marine commanders did not act on dozens of pleas for additional manpower, machinery and time. When a training exercise ended in death, leadership blamed the very men they had neglected.
Falling from 15,000 feet, two Marines hit the Pacific Ocean at 800 feet per minute. They were bruised and cold, their rescue equipment failed and help was hours away.
There were five Marines inside the KC-130J Hercules fuel tanker high above the Pacific when it went down. Here are brief profiles of the lost tanker crew.
How We Reconstructed the Flawed Navigation Controls Behind the Navy’s Worst Maritime Accident in 40 Years
To see the complex navigation system aboard the USS John S. McCain is to wonder how any amount of training would have been enough for sailors to have been confident using it.
When the USS John S. McCain crashed in the Pacific, the Navy blamed the destroyer’s crew for the loss of 10 sailors. The truth is the Navy’s flawed technology set the McCain up for disaster.
Presidential confidant Pete Hegseth is working to defend a lucrative loophole.
Navy Cmdr. Bryce Benson accepted responsibility for the deadly crash of the USS Fitzgerald and was told, “That’s done now.” But when another ship crashed, the Navy decided it wasn’t through with him. Its pursuit nearly destroyed him and his family.
Tech moguls like Jeff Bezos and Eric Schmidt have gotten unprecedented access to the Pentagon. And one whistleblower who raised flags has paid the price.
In 2016, 10 sailors were captured by Iran. Trump is making it a political issue. Our investigation shows that it was a Navy failure, and the problems run deep.
Sailors from every active fleet responded to a ProPublica callout, noting a continued lack of training, widespread exhaustion and an acute sense of vulnerability.
How a serendipitous visit from two veterans informed our reporting.
On Wednesday, the Navy said it was abandoning all remaining criminal charges against sailors involved in fatal accidents in the Pacific. Here’s how the actions of the chief of naval operations helped doom the cases.
Adm. Bill Moran told ProPublica this week that none of the promised reforms had been completed, but that work had started on the pledges.
Rep. Elaine Luria, an ex-Navy commander, showed her insider knowledge of naval operations in questions to the admirals appearing before a House Armed Services Committee panel.
The Navy promised to implement reforms in the wake of two deadly 2017 crashes. We’re trying to find out how it’s doing — and we need to hear from sailors in all six of the numbered fleets that patrol the world’s oceans.
Interviews and an examination of the Navy’s publicly announced reforms raise uncertainty over whether senior leaders have fully followed through on them after the 7th Fleet disasters in 2017.
ProPublica’s examination of the causes behind two fatal collisions in the Pacific has set off an intense conversation among current and former Navy sailors and commanders as well as everyday citizens about the state of the U.S. Navy.
Senate Committee Grills Navy Official Over 2017 Collisions, Seeking Data to Prove Conditions Have Changed
During an Armed Services Committee hearing that referenced ProPublica’s investigation into the deadly mishaps, a senator pressed the top commander in the Pacific to give “real numbers,” “not promises and not good feelings.”
Snapshots of the sailors who perished in a pair of collisions in the Pacific in 2017.
How the Navy failed its sailors
Investigation finds officials ignored warnings for years before one of the deadliest crashes in decades.
President Donald Trump has floated the idea that the military build his much-touted border wall. Tonight, the idea might become reality.
An updated order emphasizes that participating in white supremacist groups is prohibited and calls on service members to report those who violate the policy.
The inquiry will evaluate whether the polluting practice is legal, and whether contractors have proper oversight.
Canadian Research Adds to Worry Over an Environmental Threat the Pentagon Has Downplayed for Decades
A study released late last year gives environmental experts a way to quantify how much RDX, a chemical used in military explosives, is spreading into surrounding communities.
An annotated history of the 30-year fight over a single polluted Air Force base.
The explosive compound RDX helped make America a superpower. Now, it’s poisoning the nation’s water and soil.
During World War II, the government subjected thousands of troops to mustard gas tests — and kept it a secret. More than 60 years later, an NPR reporter and researcher helped the men get justice.
The Air Force’s apparent failure to send the criminal records of the airman behind Sunday’s mass killings to civilian authorities allowed him to obtain guns. Such reporting failings are widespread and longstanding.
Fraud. Bribery. Incompetence. The military’s use of contractors adds to a legacy of environmental damage.
The first results in a national effort to better measure the levels of contaminants released through the burning of munitions and their waste show elevated levels of lead, arsenic and other toxins.
For years, Vietnam vets and their widows have been pushing the VA to extend benefits to those exposed to the toxic herbicide and later stricken with glioblastoma. The VA has said no, but advocates hope the agency will now revisit the issue.
The U.S. military burns millions of pounds of munitions in a tiny, African-American corner of Louisiana. The town’s residents say they’re forgotten in the plume.
Explore every shipment of hazardous waste sent to Colfax in 2015 and was burned or detonated into open air.
A photographer who covered the war in Iraq appreciates how threats can come to seem routine.
The Pentagon’s handling of munitions and their waste has poisoned millions of acres, and left Americans to guess at the threat to their health.
Across the Country, Military Sites Burn Hazardous Waste Into Open Air
At a meeting in March, a lead analyst in the VA’s compensation service was critical of the media, scientists and the VA’s own administrative tribunal for taking positions that differ from his. The VA said his comments “did not fully or accurately reflect VA's position” but also said his quotes were being taken out of context.
With Trump pushing to give the U.S. military another $52 billion, a game we built two years ago to put the billions wasted in Afghanistan in perspective seems particularly relevant.
There's no proof Agent Orange can be passed from fathers to their children, but that's no solace to Vietnam vets who see their children struggle with life-long health problems — and sometimes die.
For decades, Vietnam veterans have suspected that the defoliant harmed their children. But the VA hasn’t studied its own data for clues. A new ProPublica analysis has found that the odds of having a child born with birth defects were more than a third higher for veterans exposed to Agent Orange than for those who weren’t.
As part of our Reliving Agent Orange series, ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot have been recording the voices of those impacted by the herbicide, which contained the toxic chemical dioxin.
A Washington legislator had two children after her husband returned from the Vietnam War. One lacks sight in an eye. The other died of cardiomyopathy at age 21. “We don’t have this in the family,” she said. “The veterans would all say, ‘You know it’s probably Agent Orange.’”
The Veterans Administration refused to release what it had learned about possible links between birth defects and exposure to Agent Orange. ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot found a novel way to obtain the information under procedures historically used for scientific research by academic scholars.
For decades, the military and the VA have repeatedly turned to one man to guide decisions on whether Agent Orange harmed vets in Vietnam and elsewhere. His reliable answer: No.
Vietnam veterans need historical records to get Agent Orange benefits, but the documents are often scattered. Help us collect them in one spot.
Private Bud Kelder went missing during World War II. Evidence suggests he's buried as an unknown soldier in Manila. Will the Pentagon ever move to identify him?
Five soldiers injured in the same 2009 bomb blast are a case study in a new epidemic among America's troops, who are grappling with a combination of concussion and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Tricare provided ProPublica and NPR with some, but not all, of the reviews criticizing a Tricare study finding that cognitive rehabilitation therapy has not been proven effective.
Citing an investigation by ProPublica and NPR, the nation’s largest veterans group is demanding that Tricare, the Pentagon’s health plan, pay for cognitive rehabilitation therapy
The Pentagon sent out a talking points memo that makes it sound as if it's doing all it can to treat brain injuries, which our investigation says is not the case. Though it's not a direct response to our investigation, it says that the U.S. offers the "world's best TBI medical care for our service members."