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The Most Elite US-Trained Forces In Afghanistan Were Routed By The Taliban
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.
In October, America's top general in the Middle East, Joseph Votel, expressed his confidence in Afghan security forces in terms of their ability to take on the Taliban.
But the Taliban has made major gains over the past year or so, and controls or contests 61% of the country's districts.
Last month, the Taliban took a shot at America's top general in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin "Scott" Miller, and barely missed. It also managed to wound another U.S. general in the process. During the same incident, a powerful Afghan police chief, General Abdul Raziq, was killed.
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.
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Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
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Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
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With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.