The 35th commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos, the 17th sergeant major of the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. Micheal P. Barrett, and their staff, board a Ch-53 Sea Stallion helicopter at Camp Leatherneck, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Nov. 24, 2011. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Mallory S. VanderSchans)

U.S. government officials have a "disincentive" to tell the truth about the situation in Afghanistan, said John Sopko, the blunt-spoken special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction.

"We have created an incentive to almost require people to lie," Sopko told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.

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Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon and Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin were killed on Jan. 11 in Kandahar Province. (Photos courtesy of the 82nd Airborne Division)

The Pentagon has identified two paratroopers killed in Afghanistan as Staff Sgt. Ian P. McLaughlin and Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon, both of whom were assigned to the 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, defense officials announced on Sunday.

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Elizabeth Warren (Associated Press photo)

Editor's note: Task & Purpose is determined to provide readers with the most detailed information possible about how the Democrats running for president would serve as commander in chief if elected.

While the candidates rarely talk about national security issues, we want to drill down on the specifics of how they would address the biggest challenges facing troops, veterans, and military families.

Below, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) answers questions from Pentagon correspondent Jeff Schogol about Iran, the F-35, and whether defense spending would conflict with her plans to expand entitlement programs, such as Medicare.

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Maj. Matthew Golsteyn in Afghanistan. (Photo courtesy of Philip Stackhouse.)

The Army has denied a request by retired Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn restore his Special Forces tab, but the service's decision is not final, Army officials said Thursday.

It is now up to the Army Board for Correction of Military Records to determine whether Golsteyn's Special Forces tab and his Distinguished Service Cross should be reinstated, Army officials told Task & Purpose.

The Army risks raising the ire of President Donald Trump, who pardoned Golsteyn on Nov. 15, little more than three months before the former Green Beret was expected to stand trial for murder. Golsteyn has repeatedly admitted killing an unarmed Afghan man, whom he believed was a Taliban bomb-maker in 2010.

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U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Brian A. Barbour

When most people find out you’re a Black Hawk pilot, the first question you can anticipate is, “Have you seen Black Hawk Down?” Yep, read the books, too. I crack up when I see Jeremy Piven slamming levers around like he’s closing a truck trailer. It’s telling that the thing most people relate to this helicopter dates from the first half of the 90’s.

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Editor’s note: The following thoughts are from a U.S. military veteran, a combat veteran of the war in Afghanistan, and a graduate of the military’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape program, who wrote this piece for Task & Purpose under the condition of anonymity.

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