The most elite U.S.-trained forces in Afghanistan suffered a devastating defeat to the Taliban in what's often referred to as the country's "safest district" over the weekend, in yet another sign the war is a lost cause.
Early on Sunday, a company of roughly 50 Afghan special forces commandos was almost entirely destroyed in the rural district of Jaghori, according to a report from The New York Times.
Over 30 of the U.S.-trained commandos were killed, The Times said, in a district that is "famous" for how peaceful it is.
The scene in Jaghori's capital, Sang-e-Masha, was reportedly quite a depressing one following the fighting, as soldiers and policemen fought back tears as they piled bodies and bandaged commandos wandered the streets in "apparent despair." Officials discussed the best escape plan as the Taliban surrounded the district, which is apparently on the brink of falling to the Taliban.
The U.S. has dedicated a massive amount of time and resources to training Afghan forces with the ultimate goal of ramping down America's role in a war it's been fighting for over 17 years — the longest in U.S. history.
Beyond the Taliban, the Islamic State also has a foothold in Afghanistan and claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in the capital, Kabul, on Monday that led to at least six deaths and wounded more than 20 people.
The U.S. has spent nearly two decades, lost over 2,400 soldiers, and spent roughly $900 billion on this disastrous war. America is increasingly finding it difficult to justify the ongoing presence of 14,000 US troops in Afghanistan as the security situation there continues to deteriorate.
Photo: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
U.S. Army Cpt. Katrina Hopkins and Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers, assigned to Task Force Warhorse, pilot a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operation at Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Javion Siders)
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.
Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).