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DID A BOTCHED SYSTEM KILL TROOPS?

Two Arrests Made in Investigation
By Harold Hutchison

Anti-bomb systems intended to make it more difficult for insurgents to emplace improvised explosive devices were either improperly installed or never put into place at all. The investigation has lead to two arrests so far.

OPTIONS FOR INTERVENTION

Dempsey Lays Out Plans for Syria
By Harold Hutchison

General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has detailed five options for intervention in Syria in a letter to Congress. This follows up on testimony in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The options, ranging from an “advise, assist, and training” role to operations to seize chemical weapons in the country, are all intended to aid opposition forces and place more pressure on the regime of Bashir al-Assad.

RETIRED GENERAL: I KNEW IT WAS TERROR

Carter Ham Retired After Early Departure from AFRICOM
By Harold Hutchison

Retired Army General Carter Ham, who was in command of United States Africa Command during the 11 September, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, has said it was clear early on that it was not a demonstration gone wrong.

General Ham, who made the comments during the Aspen Security Forum last week, also admitted that while he had the authority to scramble jets, he did not do so, claiming “there was not a clear purpose in doing so.”

PJ AWARDED SILVER STAR

Heroism in Afghanistan Recognized
By Harold Hutchison

An Air Force pararescue jumper was awarded the Silver Star for heroism during the recovery of the crew of an OH-58 Kiowa during Operation Enduring Freedom. Staff Sergeant Zachary Kline received the country’s third-highest award for valor on 14 July. Kline was under fire for six hours on 23 April, 2011, while recovering the two-man crew of an OH-58 Kiowa scout helicopter, one of whom had died.

UAV STRIKE TAKES OUT A BIGWIG

#2 Man in Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula Killed
By Harold Hutchison

An American UAV strike has killed the second-in-command of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula somewhere in Yemen. Saeed al-Shihri had been believed to have been killed twice before, but in both cases the terrorist group had denied his death.

Born in Saudi Arabia, al-Shihri had been held at Guantanamo Bay after being captured in Afghanistan. After his release in 2007, he made his way to Yemen to join the terorr group, which also had Anwar al-Awkali in a leadership role. Al-Awlaki was killed in a 2011 UAV strike.

SYRIA'S SLIPPERY SLOPE

Congressman Raises Questions About Involvement
By Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL)

‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend." We've heard this idiom so many times it might be easy to assume it's always true.

It is not.

This is the situation in which we find ourselves with Syria, where for two years rebels have clashed with government forces run by dictator Bashar Assad. His regime is unquestionably evil, and he has committed atrocities against his own people. He has the support of Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah.

Anyone would be better than Assad, right?

STICKING AFGHANS WITH UNUSABLE CHOPPERS?

IG Report Questions Afghan Capability
By Harold Hutchison

The United States may be buying the Afghans helicopters they cannot use, according to an inspector general’s report. The biggest reason is due to a lack of qualified pilots. The situation is such that only seven Afghan pilots are qualified to fly with night-vision goggles. It could be another sign that the Obama Administration’s timetable-based withdrawal from Afghanistan could become messy.

Soldier Missing from Vietnam War Accounted For

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that a soldier, missing from the Vietnam War, has been accounted for and will be buried with full military honors along with two of his crew members.

GIVING IN TO THE TALIBAN?

Obama Administration Acquiesces to Taliban in Talks
By Harold Hutchison

The Obama Administration has been giving in to Taliban demands – including the group’s refusal to accept the Afghan constitution and renounce suicide attacks – in order to hold talks in Qatar. The preconditions had been announced in 2012 by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has cut off security talks with the United States over the talks. The U.S. is currently slated to end operations in Afghanistan in 2014.

DOD SCRAPPING GEAR TO MEET PULLOUT DEADLINE

2,000 MRAPs Among Gear Being Trashed
By Harold Hutchison

Potentially valuable military gear is being scrapped in Afghanistan to meet Obama’s timetable for pulling U.S. troops out of the country. As much as $7 billion worth of gear is stated to be scrapped.

During the withdrawal from Iraq, much of the gear had been at least donated to the Iraqi military. Other gear had been moved to Kuwait. But the Obama Administration is instead planning to scrap almost a quarter of the material shipped into Afghanistan.

STABBING KARZAI IN THE BACK?

Karzai Calls Off Talks After American Meetings With Taliban
By Harold Hutchison

Afghan President Hamid Karzai called off a round of talks to discuss a security deal for after 2014 over American talks with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar.

“In view of the contradiction between acts and the statements made by the United States of America in regard to the peace process, the Afghan government suspended the negotiations, currently underway in Kabul between Afghan and U.S. delegations on the bilateral security agreement,” Karzai said in a statement announcing the suspension.

DEMPSEY SLAMS KERRY

Apparent Split Between State, Pentagon
By Harold Hutchison

John Kerry was slapped down by Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, when he began urging for air strikes against airfields used by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashir al-Assad. Kerry’s demands continued until Dempsey spoke up.

AMERICA TO PROVIDE "MILITARY SUPPORT" FOR REBELS

Major Shift Comes as Obama Claims “Red Line” was Crossed
By Harold Hutchison

The Obama Administration has announced it will start providing “military support” for Syrian rebels through the Supreme Military Council. The decision marks a major policy shift by the Obama Administration, which claims that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, crossing the “red line” that would trigger further consequences.

According to some reports, the Obama Administration hasn’t decided whether or not it will create a “no-fly” zone over Syria.

HABIB AND SADIQ BITE THE DUST!

ISAF Also Nabs Taliban IED Specialist
By Harold Hutchison

ISAF confirmed that a Taliban facilitator and Taliban leader were killed during operations In Afghanistan over the last three days. Habib, a was responsible for distributing weapons, military equipment and ammunition to multiple extremist networks in the Sholgarah and Chimtal districts of Balkh province. He also planned attacks against Afghan and coalition forces and illegally taxed and extorted money from Afghan citizens.

GEORGIAN TROOPS HONORED BY ISAF

Troops Killed in IED Attack
By Harold Hutchison

Marine General Joseph F. Dunford, the commander of the International Security Assistance Force, paid tribute to seven Georgian troops who were killed in an IED attack on 6 June.