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April 7, 2013
Anne and those with her were attacked by the Taliban terrorists who woke up that day not with a mission to educate or to help, but with a mission to destroy. A brave American was determined to brighten the light of learning through books, written in the native tongue of the students she had never met, whom she felt it incumbent to help.
Secretary of State John Kerry • Discussing the death of Anne Smedinghoff, a 25-year-old U.S. Foreign Service Officer who was killed when delivering books to a school in Afghanistan. (Her group was ambushed by the Taliban, and she was one of six Americans killed Saturday.) Kerry, who had met the Illinois native just two weeks ago while on a trip to the country, said that she was ”a selfless, idealistic woman who woke up yesterday morning and set out to bring textbooks to school children, to bring them knowledge.” Her parents offered up a similar statement on the tragedy. Smedinghoff’s death is the first of a U.S. diplomat since last year’s Benghazi’s attack.
12:35 // 1 year ago
April 3, 2013

Coordinated suicide bombings leave more than 40 dead in Afghan courtroom

  • 44 people were killed after nine Taliban suicide bombers stormed a courtroom, in Afghanistan’s Farah province, where 10 other militants were facing trial. According to the Taliban, all 10 of those facing trial managed to escape during the attack, which claimed the lives of both civilians and Afghan security force members. source
15:08 // 1 year ago
March 11, 2013

Four dead and four wounded in attack on Afghan police station

  • two American soldiers and two Afghan police officers were killed in Afghanistan’s Wardak province on Monday, after a member of the local police force opened fire on soldiers and officers at a compound in Jalrez district. 
  • four Afghan police officers were also wounded in the fighting before return fire claimed the attacker’s life. The gunman was apparently a local police officer as well.
  • five officers are being held for questioning by American officials following Monday’s attack, though authorities haven’t revealed potential leads on possible backers/motive at this time. source
14:40 // 1 year ago
February 20, 2013
17:43 // 1 year ago
February 12, 2013
By the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over.
President Obama, delivering a line that drew hearty applause. The Afghanistan War, as demonstrated during the 2012 presidential campaign, is actually an issue on which botht he Democrats and GOP have had some second thoughts in recent years. If and when it ends next year will not elude one dubious distinction, though – it’s already the longest war in U.S. history.
21:57 // 1 year ago

President Obama is expected to announce a major draw-down of U.S. forces in Afghanistan during tonight’s State of the Union.

  • 34k U.S. military members are expected to be coming home from Afghanistan by early next year, according to new reports about tonight’s State of the Union address from President Obama. The President isn’t expected to discuss the topic extensively, and no plans have been announced for withdrawing the 32,000 U.S. military personnel that will remain. source
15:14 // 1 year ago
February 10, 2013

Top Marine general takes over in Afghanistan

  • what U.S. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford has taken full command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and will shepherd the troops during what is to be expected to be the final two years of war. Dunford replaces departing Marine Gen. John Allen.
  • why “Today is not about change, it’s about continuity,” he said during a change of command ceremony. “I’ll endeavor to continue the momentum of the campaign and support the people of Afghanistan as they seize the opportunity for a brighter future.” Allen left months after finding himself the subject of an investigation related to the scandal that took down CIA head David Petreaus—his predecessor. source
8:56 // 1 year ago
October 14, 2012
I would expect it will be significant, which means thousands, not hundreds, but I would not expect it to be the majority.
British Defense Secretary Philip Hammond • Discussing the planned troop withdrawals out of Afghanistan next year. Roughly 500 troops will get removed by the end of 2012, leaving about 9,000 still in the country — so based on Hammond’s statement, as many as 4,500 troops will get withdrawn in 2013.
21:42 // 1 year ago
October 11, 2012
I’ve been throughout that whole country… the fact is we went there for one reason, to get those people who killed Americans. Al-qaeda. We have decimated al-qaeda central, we have killed Osama bin Laden.
Joe Biden, finally name dropping Osama bin Laden in the debate’s Afghanistan segment. Biden and Ryan clashed earlier over looming defense cuts forced by last year’s sequestration deal – Biden advocated for a “leaner” military with more special forces, while Ryan denounced the deal’s mandatory cuts, despite having voted for them in congress.
22:04 // 1 year ago
September 29, 2012
centerforinvestigativereporting:

Wait time grows for disabled veterans seeking benefits
Veterans across the country are waiting an average of 260 days for a decision on a war-related disability claim – three days longer than last week and 80 days longer than in mid-2011, according to data recently released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More than 815,000 veterans are waiting for a response from the VA this week.
Attention to the issue is growing. A new story from The New York Times underscores the extent to which some families must sacrifice as a result of their wait, and Congress addressed the backlog in a hearing on Friday, Sept. 21.
Check out our interactive map each week for a look at how wait times have changed around the country. Learn how the backlog is affecting veterans nationwide by clicking cities with pulsing red circles. We’ll be adding more veterans’ voices, along with additional coverage from our media partners, so stay tuned.

For anybody concerned with the impact of America’s wars, this should be an issue of the highest order – with individual soldiers serving more tours of duty than ever before, and shouldering a burden so disproportionate to that of the general populace, making sure things like the above don’t happen should be imperative.

centerforinvestigativereporting:

Wait time grows for disabled veterans seeking benefits

Veterans across the country are waiting an average of 260 days for a decision on a war-related disability claim – three days longer than last week and 80 days longer than in mid-2011, according to data recently released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. More than 815,000 veterans are waiting for a response from the VA this week.

Attention to the issue is growing. A new story from The New York Times underscores the extent to which some families must sacrifice as a result of their wait, and Congress addressed the backlog in a hearing on Friday, Sept. 21.

Check out our interactive map each week for a look at how wait times have changed around the country. Learn how the backlog is affecting veterans nationwide by clicking cities with pulsing red circles. We’ll be adding more veterans’ voices, along with additional coverage from our media partners, so stay tuned.

For anybody concerned with the impact of America’s wars, this should be an issue of the highest order – with individual soldiers serving more tours of duty than ever before, and shouldering a burden so disproportionate to that of the general populace, making sure things like the above don’t happen should be imperative.

15:30 // 1 year ago