Finally, a bright spot amid 17 years of war in Afghanistan: insurgent control of the country has started to diminish for the first time in nearly two years, according to a quarterly report to Congress from the Special Investigator General for Afghanistan Reconstruction published on July 30.
According to SIGAR's quarterly report, the number of the country's 407 districts controlled or directly influenced by the Taliban or other insurgent groups fell from 59 to 56, a 1% declinein the last quarter.
However, Afghan government control of the country has also declined, by 16% since November 2015, while insurgent-controlled districts increased by 7% and those considered "contested" by Afghan security forces and militants jumped by 9%.
Additionally, the percentage of the Afghan population living in areas under government control or influence has declined by around 4% since August 2016, while those living in contested areas increased by 6% and areas under insurgent control by some 3%.
As of May 2018, only 65% of the Afghan population lives under the protection of the government. Meanwhile, 12% of the population — 3.9 million civilians — have continued to suffer under Taliban control with virtually no change over the last two years, despite the Afghan government's objective of getting 80% of the population under its wing by 2019.
Just a reminder that T&P; Pentagon correspondent asked Army Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, explicitly how long the American public should expect to keep sending warfighters to Afghanistan. His response? "These things often take time."
An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C Eagle that made an emergency landing on Wednesday ditched its entire arsenal of live air-to-air missiles before touching down at Portland International Airport, The War Zone reports.
President Donald Trump announced in December that he would withdraw all U.S. troops from Syria, but Sen. Lindsey Graham has since made a strong push to keep a small residual force along the Turkish border along with troops from European allies.
The former Navy SEAL among a group of eight men arrested earlier this week in Port-au-Prince on weapons charges says he was providing security work "for people who are directly connected to the current President" of Haiti.
"We were being used as pawns in a public fight between him and the current Prime Minister of Haiti," said Chris Osman, 44, in a post on Instagram Friday. "We were not released we were in fact rescued."
It's a photo for the ages: a Marine NCO, a Greek god in his dress blues, catches the eye of a lovely young woman as her boyfriend urges her on in distress. It's the photographic ancestor of the much-loved "distracted boyfriend" stock photo meme, made even sweeter by the fact that this is clearly a sailor about to lose his girl to a Devil Dog.
Well, this photo and the Marine in it, which hopscotched around Marine Corps Facebook and Instagram pages before skyrocketing to the front page of Reddit on Thursday, are very real.
The photo shows then-Staff Sgt. Louis A. Capozzoli — and he is absolutely not on his way to steal your girl.