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ASPEN INSTITUTE TARGETED

Think Tank Hit By ChiCom Cyberattack
By Harold Hutchison

Chinese hackers are believed to be responsible for a cyber attack that compromised e-mail accounts belonging to three high-ranking members of the Aspen Institute. The accounts targeted include that of President and CEO Walter Isaacson.

The hackers sent e-mails with attachments, that when opened, acquired the passwords of the account holders. The incident appears to back up the report issued by Mandiant, a cyber-security firm, which tied a Chinese military unit to nearly 150 cyberattacks.

ONE DEAD, TWO CAPTURED

ISAF Keeps Rolling
By Harold Hutchison

ISAF confirmed the death of one Taliban leader and announced that two others had been captured. Anwar, who had controlled a number of insurgents in Nangarhar province, was killed with four others in what ISAF reports termed a “precision strike” during an engagement with a security force.

ISAF also captured a Taliban leader responsible for kidnappings for ransom in Logar province. The unidentified leader had also planned and carried out small arms attacks against ISAF and Afghan forces.

TALIBAN LEADERS, FACILITATOR, NABBED

ISAF Captures Bad Guys
By Harold Hutchison

ISAF reported capturing two Taliban leaders and a facilitator during operations across Afghanistan. The Taliban leaders and facilitator were not identified.

WHILE OBAMA SLASHES OUR MILITARY…

…Our Enemies Build Theirs Up
By Harold Hutchison

AN ALARMING REPORT
Recent news about the effects of the sequester have been damning: One carrier’s deployment has been delayed, and another carrier’s overhaul is on hold. The Army and Air Force are making their own cutbacks, and the term “hollow force” is becoming a topic of conversation again.

NEW POLICY PUTS WOMEN UNDER FIRE

What Will It Mean for the Troops?
By Harold Hutchison

A MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT
On 24 January, 2013, outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, sat down at a press conference to announce a major change in the Department of Defense’s policy on women in combat. Women would now be allowed to serve in direct ground combat units.

AIR FORCE RELEASES MEDAL CRITERIA

Distinguished Warfare Medal Requirements Set Forth
By Harold Hutchison

The Distinguished Warfare Medal, announced on 15 February will be awarded to Airmen for actions not involving valor that still have a significant impact on combat operations, according to Air Force officials who spoke about the criteria being set to earn the new medal.

CIVIL WAR SAILORS TO BE INTERRED

Casualties from USS Monitor Sinking
By Harold Hutchison

The Department of the Navy announced that members of the public are invited to attend the interment of two crewmen recovered from the wreck of USS Monitor. The sailors were killed when the vessel sank on 31 December, 1862.

HABIB, ZEKARIA, KILLED IN AFGHANISTAN

Taliban Lose IED Expert, Leader
By Harold Hutchison

ISAF confirmed the death of a Taliban IED expert and a Taliban leader during operations in Afghanistan. This makes a total of six Taliban figures killed in the last four days.

Habib, the Taliban leader, was killed in Logar province. He had been responsible for planning attacks against Afghan and ISAF forces. He also facilitated weapons transfers. Zekaria, the IED expert, was in Kunduz province when killed. His IEDs were used in attacks against ISAF and Afghan forces.

ISAF WHACKS TWO MORE!

Taliban Leaders Killed in Two Provinces
By Harold Hutchison

ISAF confirmed that two more Taliban leaders were killed during operations in Afghanistan. One Taliban leader was killed in Kunduz province in the north, while a second was killed in Logar province.

MOHAMMED AKHUND BITES THE DUST!

Second Taliban Leader in Two Days
By Harold Hutchison

Mohammed Akhund, a Taliban leader in Helmand province, was killed in a precision strike during operations. ISAF confirmed the death yesterday, marking the second consecutive day a Taliban leader had been killed in the province.

Akhund had been responsible for carrying out attacks on ISAF and Afghan forces, and for helping in the production and use of improvised explosive devices. It was not the only operation against an insurgent leader. A Haqqani facilitator was captured in Kandahar province by ISAF and Afghan forces.

ANA COMMANDOS WIPE OUT CACHE!

Explosives, IEDs, Destroyed
By Harold Hutchison

Afghan National Army Commandos found a weapons cache with over six thousand pounds of explosives during an operation in Maiwand District in Kandahar province.

The cache also contained 20 improvised explosive devices, as well as detonation cord, rifle scopes, and a grenade. "The destruction of the cache is a big step toward disrupting insurgent activity," said Esmatullah, the Chief of Police in Maiwand District.

KHAN MOHAMMED TAKEN OUT!

Senior Taliban Leader Killed by ISAF
By Harold Hutchison

ISAF confirmed that Khan Mohammed, a senior Taliban leader in Helmand province, was killed during an operation. Mohammed, also known as Shams, was a key member of the Taliban’s network in Musa Qal’ah.

This follows a three-day period last week where ISAF confirmed the death of five Taliban leaders in a three-day span last week. ISAF also confirmed the capture of two Taliban leaders in Kandahar province.

Across Afghanistan, in other operations, three insurgents were captured, while four were killed.

MARINE RECEIVES POSTHUMOUS BRONZE STAR

Mortarman’s Valor Recognized
By Harold Hutchison

Sgt. William Stacey was awarded the Bronze Star with Combat Distinguishing Device for his heroism while serving in Afghanistan today.

On 26 November, 2011, insurgents attacked his section with medium machine gun fire. During that engagement, Sgt. Stacey moved over 200 meters on exposed terrain to mark his section’s position to prevent a friendly-fire incident. Then, on 13 December, 2011, Sgt. Stacey’s section came under attack from five locations. Sgt. Stacey and his squad held back numerous attacks in that engagement.

AMERICAN AIRLIFT REACHES TWO MILLION POUNDS

Support for French Operations Hits Impressive Total
By Harold Hutchison

On 12 February, the American airlift in support of French operations in Mali hit 2,000,000 pounds – and has done so in 23 days. French forces have been fighting Islamist rebels in northern Mali.

NEW MEDAL ANNOUNCED!

Distinguished Warfare Medal To Recognize Meritorious Service
By Harold Hutchison

The Department of Defense has unveiled a new medal to recognize those who support combat operations in war zones – even when they are on a separate continent.