A 70-minute video of Afghanistan Taliban training exercises released in 2017 appears to show a fighter with a FN SCAR (Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle) 7.62mm rifle. Other fighters are recorded carrying M4 and M16 assault rifles. (Screenshot via Al Emarah Studio)
Pentagon officials could be responsible for up to 50,000 publicly accessible websites, according to Stars & Stripes, which is both hilarious and extremely disturbing when you consider that this is the same Pentagon that once claimed it could keep track of every rifle fielded to partner forces in Syria.
Stars & Stripes' Chad Garland reports that acting Defense Media Activity chief Army Col. Paul Haverstick told a town hall of public affairs employees that the Pentagon runs an "undefined" family of websites estimated at "between 2,000 and 5,000" total, even though the DMA officially maintains around 825.
"There's just that many and we don't know where to begin," Haverstick said, per Garland. "It's an elephant and we're the size of a fly."
To be clear: lol. A 2016 investigation into 14 years of Pentagon weapons contracts by the weapons proliferation non-profit Action on Armed Violence revealed that of the nearly 1.5 million firearms the Pentagon provided to security forces — including 978,000 M16 and M4 assault rifles — DoD officials only had records for around 700,000 weapons, or 48% of the total small arms detailed in open source U.S. government reports.
And unfortunately, it's not like these missing guns are some small price to pay in the course of building up local security forces. A May 2018 Government Accountability Office assessment of the $4.1 billion Global Train and Equip found that in only 8 out of 21 training-and-equipping projects executed in 2016 and 2017 did partner nations experience an improved capacity, while " only some of the remaining 13 projects produced some positive results."
Websites are easy to track and inventory; firearms a little bit harder. If the DoD can't even bother keeping a close eye on the former, how are we ever to believe they can do so for the latter?
Rebekah "Moani" Daniel and her husband Walter Daniel. (Walter Daniel/Luvera Law Firm)
The Supreme Court on Monday denied a petition to hear a wrongful death case involving the controversial Feres Doctrine — a major blow to advocates seeking to undo the 69-year-old legal rule that bars U.S. service members and their families from suing the government for injury or death deemed to have been brought on by military service.
FORT IRWIN, California -- Anyone who's been here has seen it: the field of brightly painted boulders surrounding a small mountain of rocks that symbolizes unit pride at the Army's National Training Center.
For nearly four decades, combat units have painted their insignias on boulders near the road into this post. It's known as Painted Rocks.