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Marine Commandant Says He Has 'No Idea' On Troop Withdrawal Specifics
The Commandant of the Marine Corps says he has "no idea" on whether or when troops will be withdrawing from Afghanistan or Syria, according to The Wall Street Journal.
While visiting his troops in Afghanistan, Gen. Robert Neller was asked by a Marine about Trump's recent order to withdraw all troops from Syria and about half from Afghanistan, according to a report by the Journal's Ben Kesling.
Relaying what many of their family members were asking, the junior Marine was wondering, hey sir, are we about to go home?
"That’s a really good question. And the honest answer is I have no idea," Neller answered. To another gathering of Marines, the four-star general said, "I don’t think anybody really knows exactly what’s going to happen. I’ve read the same stuff in the newspaper you did, I have a little more knowledge than that, but not a whole lot more."
The Trump administration ordered the military to withdraw about 7,000 troops from Afghanistan "in the coming months," The New York Times reported Thursday, citing two defense officials. But that word hasn't yet seemed to have trickled down to troops downrange, many of whom have been reading news reports of a potential hasty exit from Syria, Afghanistan, and the abrupt resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis — all in the span of a week.
Neller indeed tried to reassure the Marines that they needed to "focus on their mission" in Afghanistan, while intimating that he still hadn't been given specifics by the White House, a senior defense official told Task & Purpose.
Meanwhile, the Journal reported that neither Navy Secretary Richard Spencer or Gen. Austin Miller, the top commander of all NATO forces in Afghanistan, had received official orders from the White House or Pentagon on the drawdown.
There are roughly 14,000 U.S. troops still in Afghanistan. A spokesman for the Resolute Support mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Task & Purpose.
The Air Force's top general says one of the designers of the ride-sharing app Uber is helping the branch build a new data-sharing network that the Air Force hopes will help service branches work together to detect and destroy targets.
The network, which the Air Force is calling the advanced battle management system (ABMS), would function a bit like the artificial intelligence construct Cortana from Halo, who identifies enemy ships and the nearest assets to destroy them at machine speed, so all the fleshy humans need to do is give a nod of approval before resuming their pipe-smoking.
One person was injured by Sunday's rocket attack on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Task & Purpose was learned. The injury was described as mild and no one was medically evacuated from the embassy following the attack.
A U.S. E-11A Battlefield Airborne Communications Node aircraft crashed on Monday on Afghanistan, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has confirmed.
The US government is letting Marine veteran Austin Tice languish in a Syrian prison, according to his mother
The mother of Marine veteran Austin Tice told reporters on Monday that a top U.S. official is refusing to give permission for a meeting with the Syrian government to negotiate the release of her son, who went missing near Damascus in 2012.
"Apparently, somewhere in the chain, there is a senior U.S. government official who is hesitating or stalling," Debra Tice reportedly said at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Debra Tice said she is not certain who this senior official is. She also praised those in government who are working to get her son back.
Beloved basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California on Sunday. Two days earlier, Army Spc. Antonio I. Moore was killed during a vehicle rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations in Syria.
Which one more deserves your grief and mourning? According to Maj. Gen. John R. Evans, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command, you only have enough energy for one.