We’ve had months of depressing news about so-called “green-on-blue” killings in Afghanistan – where Afghan troops kill their purported allies, American and otherwise. Such perfidy has accounted for about a quarter of the …

How To Make Amends

Army Lieut. Colonel David Oclander knows a thing about trying to turn lemons into lemonade in Afghanistan:

In 2010 I was responsible for the accidental death of two little girls in a remote village in Southern Afghanistan. The events occurred in a village that sat in the middle of a critical valley that the Afghan Army and my

Afghanistan: A Bleak Report from the Front

Marine General John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, was here in Washington two weeks ago saying the U.S. and the Afghan government are making progress in their decade-long battle with the Taliban. “We remain on track to ensure that Afghanistan will no longer be a safe haven for al-Qaida and will no longer be terrorized by …

Afghan Massacre: Report from the Villages

Reporter Yalda Hakim of Australia’s SBS network has the first report from the villages where Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales allegedly killed 17 Afghan civilians on March 11. It includes interviews with some of the survivors, including an eight-year old girl. Kind of brings into focus the banality of evil that Hannah Arendt wrote …

Irregular Math

Seth Jones, a counter-insurgency expert now at the Rand Corp., and before that at the Pentagon, testifying at a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing on Tuesday:

Us: “Today in Afghanistan we have about 432,000 counterinsurgency forces, we’ve spent over $100 billion per year…and deployed a range of sophisticated platforms …

For Want of a Nail…

It’s an ancient proverb about military snafus wrought by small oversights or neglect that has been recited in various forms for centuries. But the same thing, believe it or not, can still happen with the Pentagon’s 21st

Second U.S. Troop Killed in Afghan Interior Ministry ID’d

Army National Guard Major Robert J. Marchanti II, 48, was a former elementary-school gym teacher just outside Baltimore. He and Air Force Lt. Col. John Darin Loftis were working inside a small room at the National Police Coordination Center in the Afghan interior ministry Saturday afternoon when a ministry driver entered and killed …

A Generous, But Dead, U.S. Military Officer

Air Force Lieut. Colonel John Darin Loftis, who was killed Saturday inside the Afghanistan interior ministry, was a father of two. He spoke to his mother three days before he died, on his 44th birthday. A proficient speaker of Pashto, one of the common local languages in Afghanistan, he’d been given a Pashto name during an earlier …

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