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Army says it will court-martial Green Beret over killing of unarmed Afghan man in 2010
The Army will take Maj. Matthew Golsteyn's case to trial by court-martial on charges of premeditated murder at a date not yet determined, according to a release from U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
The commanding general referred the case to General Court-Martial on May 15, the release said.
That Golsteyn is finally going to trial shows that there is finally some end in sight for a case that has dragged on for nearly a decade. Golsteyn, a decorated Special Forces officer, admitted during a CIA polygraph test in 2011 that he had killed an unarmed Afghan during a 2010 deployment, after a tribal leader said the man was a bomb-maker who had killed two Marines.
Since then, he's been on legal hold that has kept him from retiring from the Army. The Army revoked his Special Forces qualification and a Silver Star he earned during that deployment due to the investigation, according to Army Times.
As Task & Purpose's Jeff Schogol previously reported:
Golsteyn believed that the Afghan man would kill the tribal leader in retribution for identifying him, so Golsteyn executed the man off base, the Washington Post reported. After initially burying the man, Golsteyn and two other soldiers later dug up the remains and burned them.
Army Criminal Investigation Command initially did not find enough evidence to charge Golsteyn, but an investigation was re-opened after the Green Beret talked about the killing during an October 2016 interview with Fox News' Bret Baier.
When Baier asked Golsteyn if he had killed the Afghan man, Golsteyn replied, "Yes."
That the killing occurred is not in dispute. The Army maintains the man — who was captured and subsequently released due to lack of evidence against him — was murdered by Golsteyn, who said in his CIA interview that he shot him and then buried the remains in a shallow grave. Later that night, Golsteyn and two other soldiers returned and dug up the remains so they could be burned, The Washington Post reported.
Golsteyn argues that he conducted a legal ambush of the man, who he said was walking toward Taliban positions.
It's not clear what other evidence the Army has against Golsteyn. A CIA polygraph test is inadmissible in court, and other service members who were potential witnesses had previously refused to testify even after being offered immunity, the Post reported.
Golsteyn's civilian attorney, Philip Stackhouse, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Task & Purpose. But in a statement Golsteyn gave to Task & Purpose in November, he said, "This vindictive abuse of power must know no limit. My hope is that Army leadership will stop this vindictive plan and effect the retirement that is pending."
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The Army wants more soldiers, and it's using esports to put a 'finger on the pulse' of potential recruits
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
After whiffing on its recruiting goal in 2018, the Army has been trying new approaches to bring in the soldiers it needs to reach its goal of 500,000 in active-duty service by the end of the 2020s.
The 6,500-soldier shortfall the service reported in September 2018 was its first recruiting miss since 2005 and came despite it putting $200 million into bonuses and issuing extra waivers for health issues or bad conduct.
Within a few months of that disappointment, the Army announced it was seeking soldiers for an esports team that would, it said, "build awareness of skills that can be used as professional soldiers and use [its] gaming knowledge to be more relatable to youth."
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A news release states Pfc. Walter Lewark, 26, died at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti where he was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom in the Horn of Africa.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is requesting about as much money for overseas operations in the coming fiscal year as in this one, but there is at least one noteworthy new twist: the first-ever Space Force request for war funds.
Officials say the $77 million request is needed by Oct. 1 not for space warfare but to enable military personnel to keep operating and protecting key satellites.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors on Thursday accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets and helping Iran track protesters in its latest indictment against the Chinese company, escalating the U.S. battle with the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker.
In the indictment, which supersedes one unsealed last year in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Huawei Technologies Co was charged with conspiring to steal trade secrets from six U.S. technology companies and to violate a racketeering law typically used to combat organized crime.