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US troops repelled a brazen Taliban attack that was literally on Bagram Airfield's doorstep
Taliban fighters attempted to fight their way into Bagram Airfield on Wednesday by invading a medical facility just outside of the base's perimeter, a spokesman for Operation Resolute Support said Wednesday.
J.P. Lawrence of Stars and Stripes and Jim LaPorta of Newsweek first reported that the battle lasted for several hours after using car bombs to attack the hospital, which is near the base's northern corner. Helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft were reportedly used to drop ordnance on the hospital.
A video posted on Twitter by an administrator for Army WTF Moments purportedly shows the airstrikes on the abandoned hospital during the attack.
The Resolute Support spokesman, who would speak only on condition of anonymity, was unable to confirm that the video showed the airstrikes on the hospital.
No Taliban fighters were able to get inside the wire and none of the munitions was dropped inside Bagram, the spokesman claimed. The hospital, which borders the airfield, is currently under renovation. Both coalition and Afghan security forces informed local residents of the impending airstrikes and cordoned off the medical facility ahead of time as a safety measure.
The Taliban fighters who had barricaded themselves inside the hospital were eventually killed by a series of airstrikes in Wednesday evening, the spokesman said.
Two Afghan civilians were killed and more than 70 other civilians were wounded in the attack, the spokesman said, citing the Afghan interior ministry. Several coalition troops were treated and released for minor injuries, the spokesman said.
At Wednesday's House Armed Services Committee hearing, two lawmakers – one Democrat and the other Republican – both called for Congress to look into revelations reported by Craig Whitlock of the Washington Post that government officials have lied to the American public for nearly 20 years about supposed progress in Afghanistan.
Even as officials privately acknowledged the war was unwinnable, they manipulated statistics and other metrics to create the appearance that the military mission in Afghanistan was succeeding, Whitlock reported.
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) mentioned a 2003 memo from then Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in which Rumsfeld admitted he had "no visibility into who the bad guys are" in Afghanistan.
"Mr. Chairman, I would request that this committee hold hearings on the Afghan papers and call before Congress with subpoena every person who has misled this country," Khanna asked House Armed Services Committee Chair Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.)
Smith replied that he was in favor in such hearings, but he added: "I'm not going to call every single witness who has anything to do with this. I do not believe that would be a productive use of the committee's time."
In a rare moment of bipartisanship, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) also supported Smith and Khanna's call for hearings into the Washington Posts' Afghanistan reporting.
"We have been trading the same villages back and forth in Afghanistan for 20 years and I think the American people deserve answers," Gaetz said.
Once again, the United States and the Taliban are apparently close to striking a peace deal. Such a peace agreement has been rumored to be in the works longer than the latest "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" sequel. (The difference is Keanu Reeves has fewer f**ks to give than U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad.)
Both sides appeared to be close to reaching an agreement in September until the Taliban took credit for an attack that killed Army Sgt. 1st Class Elis A. Barreto Ortiz, of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. That prompted President Donald Trump to angrily cancel a planned summit with the Taliban that had been scheduled to take place at Camp David, Maryland, on Sept. 8.
Now Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has told a Pakistani newspaper that he is "optimistic" that the Taliban could reach an agreement with U.S. negotiators by the end of January.
75 years ago, Audie Murphy earned his Medal of Honor with nothing but a burning tank destroyer's .50 cal and insane bravery
Editor's note: a version of this post first appeared in 2018
On January 26, 1945, the most decorated U.S. service member of World War II earned his legacy in a fiery fashion.
Florida senators are pushing for Purple Hearts for service members wounded in the NAS Pensacola shooting
Florida's two senators are pushing the Defense Department to award Purple Hearts to the U.S. service members wounded in the December shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
The Navy Department is in the middle of a new force-structure review, which could change the number and types of ships the sea services say they'll need to fight future conflicts. But instead of trying to project what they will need three decades out, which has been the case in past assessments, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the services will take a shorter view.
"I don't know what the threat's going to be 30 years from now, but if we're building a force structure for 30 years from now, I would suggest we're probably not building the right one," he said Friday at a National Defense Industrial Association event.
The Navy completed its last force-structure assessment in 2016. That 30-year plan called for a 355-ship fleet.
When Oscar Jesus Temores showed up to work at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story each day, his colleagues in base security knew they were in for a treat.
Temores was a master-at-arms who loved his job and cracking corny jokes.
"He just he just had that personality that you can go up to him and talk to him about anything. It was goofy and weird, and he always had jokes," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Derek Lopez, a fellow base patrolman. "Sometimes he'd make you cry from laughter and other times you'd just want to cringe because of how dumb his joke was. But that's what made him more approachable and easy to be around."
That ability to make others laugh and put people at ease is just one of the ways Temores is remembered by his colleagues. It has been seven weeks since the 23-year-old married father of one was killed when a civilian intruder crashed his pickup truck into Temores' vehicle at Fort Story.