Army Won't Charge Soldiers Captured On Video Firing On Civilian Truck In Afghanistan

Bullet Points

The Army has determined that the soldiers in a January YouTube allegedly shown firing on what appears to be a civilian truck acted in line with the rules of engagement, Army Criminal Investigation Command told Vice News.

  • The video: Briefly uploaded to YouTube under the title 'Happy Few Ordnance Symphony' and first surfaced by Politico, the video in question contained a compilation of wartime clips purportedly captured amid the campaign against ISIS's Afghan affiliate synced to rapper Kendrick Lamar’s song, “Humble."

A scene from the leaked combat footage that appears to show U.S. service members firing upon a civilian vehicle in AfghanistanYouTube/Task & Purpose

  • The investigation: U.S. Central Command launched an investigation shortly following the Politico report to see whether its troops violated the rules of engagement after the footage surfaced online;  Army Chief of Public Affairs Christopher Grey told Vice News the investigation had concluded that the unidentified service members involved in the incident had acted “in accordance" with the rules of engagement.
  • The rules of engagement: The incident came months after Secretary of Defense James Mattis told the House Armed Services Committee on Oct. 3 that Trump had granted him the authority to make adjustments to the rules of engagement in an effort to expedite the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan, including removing “proximity requirements” for strikes on Taliban insurgents, and embedding U.S. military personnel within the Afghan security forces below the division level.

It's worth noting that in the age of digital media, 'Happy Few Ordnance Symphony' is just one example of U.S. service members documenting the reality of war downrange on their own accord.

"Today, there seems to be an unspoken agreement between the Pentagon and the American public: As long as the former keeps the War on Terror out of sight, the latter will keep it out of mind," T&P;'s Adam Linehan wrote in the weeks following the video's appearance on YouTube. "Most Americans sleep peaceably in their beds at night, oblivious to the fact that rough men and women are perpetually doing violence on their behalf."

Screenshot YouTube/Politico
(Waynesville Police Department)

Hailed as a hero for knocking a shooter off his feet in a UNC Charlotte classroom, Riley Howell was posthumously awarded two of the military's highest honors in his hometown of Waynesville, North Carolina this week.

Howell, 21, and classmate Ellis "Reed" Parlier, 19, died when a gunman opened fire in their classroom in the Kennedy building on April 30.

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(Islamic State Group/Al Furqan Media Network/Reuters)

CAIRO (Reuters) - After losing territory, ISIS fighters are turning to guerrilla war — and the group's newspaper is telling them exactly how to do it.

In recent weeks, IS's al-Naba online newspaper has encouraged followers to adopt guerrilla tactics and published detailed instructions on how to carry out hit-and-run operations.

The group is using such tactics in places where it aims to expand beyond Iraq and Syria. While IS has tried this approach before, the guidelines make clear the group is adopting it as standard operating procedure.

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(U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Alexandria Crawford)

A new survey of thousands of military families released on Wednesday paints a negative picture of privatized military housing, to say the least.

The Military Family Advisory Network surveyed 15,901 adults at 160 locations around the country who are either currently living in privatized military housing, or had lived in privatized housing within the last three years. One of the report's primary takeaways can be summarized in two lines: "Most responses, 93 percent, came from residents living in housing managed by six companies. None of them had average satisfaction rates at or above neutral."

Those six companies are Lincoln Military Housing, Balfour Beatty, Hunt, Lendlease/Winn, Corvias, and Michaels.

What's behind these responses? MFAN points to the "culture of resilience" found in the military community for why military families may be downplaying the severity of their situations, or putting up with subpar conditions.

"[Military] families will try to manage grim living conditions without complaint," MFAN says in its report. "The norm of managing through challenges, no matter their severity, is deeply established in military family life."

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The F-35 Joint Strike Program may be the most expensive weapons program in modern military history, but it looks as though the new border wall is giving the beleaguered aircraft a run for its money.

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(Associated Press/Austin American-Statesman/Jay Janner)

A Texas judge has ruled that a negligence lawsuit against the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Defense filed by victims of the Sutherland Springs church massacre in 2017 can go forward.

The suit meets the criteria to fall under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which allows people to seek damages in certain cases if they can prove the U.S. Government was negligent, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Under most circumstances the doctrine of sovereign immunity protects the government from lawsuits, but in this case U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez held that failure of the U.S. Air Force and the Department of Defense to log shooter Devin Kelley's history of mental health problems and violent behavior in an FBI database made them potentially liable.

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