Afghan security forces and civilians suffer their deadliest week of 2019

news

An Afghan security personnel inspects the site of suicide attack in Kabul.

Photo: Rahmat Gul/AP

In the last few days of June and beginning of July, at least 246 pro-government forces and 58 civilians were killed in Afghanistan — the highest death toll so far of 2019, according to the New York Times.


The deadliest day of the the week was June 30 in Kandahar Province where 45 police officers and eight civilians were killed in a Taliban attack on a military base, the New York Times reported on Thursday. In the last report, looking at June 21-27, there were 67 pro-government and 12 civilian deaths.

Information regarding the Afghan security forces has been restricted for the past couple of years, including casualties, capability assessments, and more. And earlier this year, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), John Sopko, said that almost every "metric for success or failure" in Afghanistan is "now classified or nonexistent."

President Donald Trump said in a Fox News interview on Monday that Afghanistan is "the Harvard of terrorists," and that while he wants to pull U.S. forces from the country, military officials have warned him against it. Also on Monday, a car bomb killed at least 40 people and wounded 116 — around 50 of them children — in Kabul.

The U.S. special envoy for peace in Afghanistan is reportedly negotiating a peace deal with the Taliban that would involve the withdrawal of U.S. and partner nation troops from the country.

During his visit to Kabul last month, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he hopes such a peace deal can be reached by Sept. 1.

SEE ALSO: Almost every US metric for the war in Afghanistan 'is now classified or nonexistent,' so obviously things are going swimmingly

WATCH NEXT: Meet Afghanistan's Female Tactical Platoon

US Marine Corps

The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.

Read More Show Less

President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.

"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'

"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"

Read More Show Less

At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.

A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.

Read More Show Less

In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."

A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.

In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.

Read More Show Less

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.

In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.

A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.

The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.

Read More Show Less