While the rumors of America's impending return to active hostilities in the Middle East have been getting louder by the day, I continued to hold out hope that the President would resist the headwinds and use his prime time address to educate the nation how it is impossible to defeat an ideology with bombs and missiles alone.
One night in 2012, Robert Bales—a soldier who joined the Army right after 9/11—gunned down 16 men, women, and children in their homes in rural Afghanistan. It was the most notorious American wartime atrocity in decades, a tragedy about which he has never spoken. Now, for the first time, Bales explains how he could do something so unimaginable—and how that one long night was actually ten violent years in the making
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will face desertion charges, his lawyer tells NPR's David Welna. Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban in 2009, after he walked off his military outpost in southeastern Afghanistan. In a controversial move and five years after his capture, the Obama administration cut a deal with the Taliban, securing Bergdahl's release in exchange for the release of five Taliban detainees who were being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
Seven Marines and four soldiers were presumed dead after an Army Black Hawk helicopter crashed during a nighttime training mission off the Florida coast, where some human remains have washed ashore, U.S. military officials said on Wednesday. A spokeswoman for the Eglin Air Force Base in north Florida did not provide details on the remains and officials did not immediately release information on what might have caused the crash.
The US Army made it more difficult to discharge openly serving transgender soldiers, USA Today reported. The Army now requires a top, senior civilian official to make discharge decisions, instead of leaving the choice to lower-level officers. Medical regulations allow the military to remove transgender soldiers once they're identified — somewhat similar to the now-eliminated ban on gay and lesbian soldiers, known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." This month, the US military agreed to hormone therapy for Chelsea Manning, a transgender soldier in prison for leaking secret US documents, a first for the Army.
Dear Aspiring Ranger, You've probably just graduated from high school and you've undoubtedly already signed an Option 40 contract guaranteeing you a shot at the Ranger indoctrination program (R.I.P.). If you make it through R.I.P. you'll surely be sent off to fight in the Global War on Terror. You'll be part of what I often heard called "the tip of the spear." The war you're heading into has been going on for a remarkably long time. Imagine this: you were five years old when I was first deployed to Afghanistan in 2002. Now I'm graying a bit, losing a little up top, and I have a family. Believe me, it goes faster than you expect. Once you get to a certain age, you can't help thinking about the decisions you made (or that, in a sense, were made for you) when you were younger.
"I am a United States Army General, and I lost the Global War on Terrorism." Those are the frank opening words of a new book by retired Army Lt. Gen. Daniel Bolger, Why We Lost: A General's Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Bolger continues: "It's like Alcoholics Anonymous. Step one is admitting you have a problem. Well, I have a problem. So do my peers. And thanks to our problem, now all of America has a problem. To wit: two lost campaigns and a war gone awry." In over 500 pages, the retired three-star general describes the conflicting agendas that haunted both campaigns, as well as the difficulty of identifying the enemy and the looming specter of Vietnam.
A U.S. general was killed and more than a dozen people were wounded, including a German general, in the latest insider attack by a man believed to be an Afghan soldier, U.S., German and Afghan officials said on Tuesday. The slain general was identified in U.S. media reports as Major General Harold Greene, a senior officer with the international military command ISAF. He was the most senior U.S. military official killed in action overseas since the war in Vietnam, U.S. military officials said.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday defended the U.S. decision to trade five Taliban leaders at Guantanamo for war prisoner Bowe Bergdahl, insisting it was the right move but admitting failure to tell lawmakers hurt trust with Congress.
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