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)

Two Fort Bragg paratroopers killed in Afghanistan this month are being remembered for their leadership and dedication.

Staff Sgt. Ian Paul McLaughlin of Newport News, Virginia, and Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon of Joliet, Illinois, were killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device. They were both assigned to Company B, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division.

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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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Navy Petty Officer First Class Michael J. Strange

PHILADELPHIA — It would not be accurate to say that Charles Strange felt a surge of anger when he read a newspaper report this week of evidence that U.S. military leaders misled the public about the war in Afghanistan.

No, for the Montgomery County father, the anger's always there, like a tiny earthquake rumbling below the surface. The intensity changes daily, but it never really goes away.

It's been more than eight years since his son, Navy Petty Officer First Class Michael J. Strange, was killed alongside 29 other U.S. soldiers and eight Afghan security forces on America's deadliest day of the war in Afghanistan. The crew, which included the 25-year-old Michael, were killed when Taliban fighters shot down their helicopter, Extortion 17, while they were carrying out a mission in a valley southwest of Kabul on Aug. 6, 2011.

Michael was a cryptologist and part of the elite Navy SEAL Team 6, the unit responsible for killing Osama bin Laden. At his core, though, he was a Wissinoming native, a graduate of North Catholic High School, and a "Philly boy" through-and-through.

This week, Charles Strange and his wife, Mary Ann, Michael's stepmother, sat in their home in Hatboro, parsing through the Washington Post's reporting on the Afghanistan Papers, which said what the Strange family has long thought: Military leadership can't always be trusted.

"This is what you get when your son dies: a pin and a flag," he said, his Gold Star pinned to his chest. "And lied to."

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Former Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis (DoD photo)

Former Defense Secretary James Mattis, who led a Marine task force to Afghanistan shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, said the Washington Post's recent reporting about the U.S. government's pattern of lies about the war over the last two decades is not "revelatory."

Mattis, who was interviewed by the Washington Post's David Ignatius on Friday, also said he does not believe the U.S. government made any efforts to hide the true situation in Afghanistan and he argued the war has not been in vain.

Here are 10 key quotes from Mattis regarding the Washington Post's reporting in the 'Afghanistan Papers.'

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U.S. Air Force airmen from the 405th Expeditionary Support Squadron work together to clear debris inside the passenger terminal the day after a Taliban-led attack at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 12, 2019. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Brandon Cribelar)

Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.

The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.

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U.S. Army Gen. Dan McNeill briefs reporters on stability and security operations in Afghanistan (Associated Press)/J. Scott Applewhite)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

The United States has been fighting in Afghanistan with no clear strategy for nearly two decades, a collection of documents obtained by The Washington Post reveal.

"I tried to get someone to define for me what winning meant, even before I went over, and nobody could," retired Army Lt. Gen. Dan McNeill, who served as the commander of American and coalition forces in Afghanistan told U.S. government interviewers, the documents show.

"Nobody would give me a good definition of what it meant," added McNeill, who commanded US troops in Afghanistan in 2002 and 2003, and the NATO coalition in 2007 and 2008.

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