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Sen. Rand Paul wants to end the war in Afghanistan with a 'victory bonus' for all GWOT vets
Republican Sen. Rand Paul thinks it's finally time to bring the 17-year-old military campaign in Afghanistan to a close — and that veterans of the Global War on Terror should get a fat stack of cash for their sacrifices.
On Tuesday, the Kentucky Republican announced his intent to introduce new legislation this week "to end a war that should have ended long ago" in a video message published to his Facebook page.
"I supported going to war in Afghanistan in 2001, attacking those who harbored the 9/11 terrorists or helped to organize the attack ... and going after al-Qaeda," Paul said. "But we are many, many years past that mission. We have turned to nation-building at the cost of more than $50 billion spent a year in Afghanistan."
"It's important when to know to declare victory and leave a war," he added. "I think that time is long past, but I think we can all agree that time has come."
And that's exactly what Paul's new legislation, titled the AFGHAN Service Act, would do: declare "victory" in Afghanistan. After all, Paul says, "Osama bin Laden was killed eight years ago ... [ and Pentagon officials] say al-Qaeda is nearly wiped out."
In this July 17, 2018, file photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks during a television interview as he defends President Donald Trump and his Helsinki news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Capitol Hill in Washington (Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite)
According to Paul, the AFGHAN Service Act would pay out a so-called "victory bonus" of $2,500 to every U.S. service member, past or present, who served in the post-9/11 military campaigns that make up the Global War On Terror.
For 3 million U.S. service members who have deployed as part of the GWOT since 2001, that comes out to $7 billion, a fairly cheap "peace dividend," as Paul put it.
"It's time to declare our mission over and our war won," Paul says. "It's time to build here, not there."
Never mind the 2008 UN Security Council report that indicated that al-Qaeda's "military and explosives experts" hadn't perished, but simply decamped from Afghanistan for bloodier pastures in Syria, or that the Taliban currently has the upper hand in the ongoing peace negotiations with U.S. officials — the most important part of Paul's proposed legislation is some moolah for GWOT vets.
And for what it's worth, that victory bonus can buy around 160 24-packs of Rip-It on Amazon. Just sayin'.
SEE ALSO: US Relied On Microsoft Excel To Track Gross Human Rights Violations In Afghanistan Until 2017
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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.
A sprawling new survey says a ‘culture of resilience’ helped US military families weather housing woes for years
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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."
Judge approves negligence lawsuit against Air Force and Pentagon by victims of 2017 Sutherland Springs church massacre
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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Not on this carrier, they don't. Although sailors here dropped a few hints about spotting movie stars around the ship as it was docked in San Diego for the film shoot, no cats — or Tomcats — were let out of the bag.
"I can't talk about that," said Capt. Carlos Sardiello, who commands the Roosevelt.