• Your tax dollars at work: Heating and cooling empty buildings Congress won’t sell

    The Fine Print

    Meet the Army’s chief real estate agent, Katherine Hammack.

    As the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, she is leading an effort to cut costs by getting rid of buildings the Army no longer uses. The challenge: Congress won’t sign off on the plan to finish the job.

    “The Army's got about a billion square feet of infrastructure, and current estimates are about 20 percent of it are excess to need,” Hammack tells The Fine Print.

    “We have a choice: The choice is to close that base...Our other choice is the expensive one, and that's to keep those buildings heated and cooled, maintained when no one’s inside. And that's the expensive choice that I don't think the taxpayer wants us to make,” she says.

    Hammack points to Camp Roberts, a California base that hasn’t been fully occupied for four decades, as an example of the Army’s unneeded infrastructure. Of the 800 buildings on the base, only 500 are used.

    “There are about 300 old Army barracks

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  • Can the Syrian War be solved on two wheels? Head of NATO talks “bicycling diplomacy”

    Power Players

    The Secretary General of NATO has a secret tool for effective diplomacy: the bicycle.

    Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Power Players that he’s been able to resolve conflicts with heads of state and international conflict negotiators during bike rides.

    “When you take a break and drink some water, you can have a confidential conversation without your collaborators around you, so you can solve a lot of problems that way,” Rasmussen said, following a meeting with President Obama at the White House.

    While Rasmussen would not reveal the names of all the heads of state he’s biked with, he did identify one former U.S. president by name.

    “It’s no secret that I have done a mountain bike ride twice with former President [George W.] Bush,” he said. “I have done bike rides in Europe with European prime ministers, and during those bike rides, we have also discussed political issues.”

    On the topic of Syria, Rasmussen opposes a military intervention and says Turkey’s

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  • Like Father Like Son: Evading death and strengthening their bond in the Afghanistan war

    On the Radar

    Journalists Mike and Carlos Boettcher have spent as much time embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan as just about anyone. They’ve gone to some of the most dangerous parts of the country to cover the war. And, they’ve done it all as father and son.

    In their new documentary, “The Hornet’s Nest,” Emmy-award winning journalist Mike Boettcher and his son Carlos, who is now an ABC News producer, tell the story of their brush with death during an embed mission with the 101st Airborne Division in Kunar Province—a stronghold for the Taliban.

    “I remember saying to myself ' you selfish son of bitch, did you get your son killed?'” Mike Boettcher tells On the Radar of the moment when he and his son were separated after their battalion was ambushed by the Taliban.

    “We were in big trouble,” Boettcher recalls of the attack. “There was no cover; no nothing…We were getting hit from all sides. Carlos was separated from me, and I didn’t know if he was alive, or if he was dead. He didn’t

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