The talc mines straddle the border with Pakistan, further easing the journey of the future baby-powder ingredient to markets. This allows the source of the illicit powder and any profits to be hidden as it transverses from Pakistan to your baby and/or infantry grunt.
As Nick Donovan, campaign director at Global Witness, noted in the group’s new report: "Unwitting American and European consumers are inadvertently helping fund extremist groups in Afghanistan."
A Marine is covered in colored powder at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., April 6, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Christian Lopez)Dept. Of
The ISIS faction in Afghanistan has tussled with the Taliban over control of the talc trade… echoing some of the “spice” trade tensions in the sci-fi classic Dune, which was inspired by the Soviet war in Afghanistan. “The fight is over the mines,” one Taliban commander is quoted as saying in the report. (It doesn’t quite have the same ring as “He who controls the spice controls the universe,” but when money is on the line, it gets the sentiment across.)
The Afghan government attempted a ban on talc powder trading in 2015, but like most Afghan government initiatives, it failed miserably. Luckily, after some field research, we at Task & Purpose can report that Gold Bond medicated powder does have a talc free version, which is great news for anyone rucking around Camp Lejeune. Continue to dust your chafing legs in confidence; you’re not supporting terror.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."