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The Pentagon is ending a training program for Afghan pilots after nearly half go AWOL in the US
The U.S. military may no longer track how much territory the Afghan government controls, but here's at least one definite metric of success: Afghan AC-208 pilots are no longer trained in the United States because more than 40 percent of the students training to fly the aircraft end up deserting within U.S. borders.
This latest nugget is tucked within the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction's recent report about the (lack of) progress in Afghanistan.
"Those students that did not go AWOL were pulled back to Afghanistan to complete their training: as a result, only one class graduated from the U.S.-based program," the report says. "The second and third classes will continue and finish their training in Afghanistan."
The AC-208 is essentially a Cessna that carries some Hellfire missiles. After the U.S. military withdrew from Iraq in 2011, the Iraq air force used a handful of the aircraft to take potshots at ISIS because it lacked adequate attack helicopters and jet fighters.
Aficionados of U.S. military efforts to train Afghan troops will find this latest revelation familiar. Two Afghan A-29 pilots disappeared in December 2015 while training at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. Before that, three Afghan officers who went missing in Cape Cod were found near Niagara Falls on the Canadian border. One of the officers was later granted asylum.
Afghanistan's first female fixed-wing pilot was granted asylum in the United States in 2018.
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An 18-year-old Army recruit at Fort Jackson died following a "medical emergency" before a training drill, according to an officials with the base.
Police arrest suspected terrorist for 1985 hijacking in which Navy diver Robert D. Stethem was murdered
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police have arrested a 65-year-old Lebanese man suspected of involvement in the 1985 hijacking of a Trans World Airlines (TWA) plane in which a U.S. navy diver was killed.
A Greek police official said on Saturday the suspect had disembarked from a cruise ship on the island of Mykonos on Thursday and that his name came up as being wanted by German authorities.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
SAN DIEGO — John Timothy Earnest didn't hide his smirks as he sat in a San Diego courtroom on Thursday, watching surveillance video of Lori Gilbert-Kaye being shot down inside the lobby of a Poway synagogue.
Earnest also smiled as a synagogue congregant testified about running toward the shooter, screaming "I'm going to kill you!" and seeing the gunman "with a look of astonishment or fear" turn and run.
Earnest, 20, is facing one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the shootings at Chabad of Poway on April 27. He also faces an arson charge related to an Escondido mosque fire in March, when several people who were sleeping inside escaped unharmed.