U.S. military members often say "we own the night" due to their use of night vision devices, but the maxim no longer holds true.
That's because the Taliban has picked up much of that same tech, either by seizing it from slain Afghan troops or by acquiring it up on the black market. And while the Pentagon is well aware of the problem, officials don't have a good way to counter it.
Taliban fighters, many now outfitted with night vision goggles and infrared lasers, have more than doubled nighttime attacks on Afghan and U.S. troops between 2014 and 2017, according to a new report from The New York Times.
This has presented U.S. military officials with quite the conundrum: Do we give more night vision to our Afghan allies to protect themselves, even if that gear has a good chance of ending up in Taliban hands?
It's a serious problem. While the U.S. has mostly outfitted only Afghan special operations forces with the devices, it began to equip some conventional units with older night vision devices beginning in 2016, the Times reported, citing Pentagon documents.
The Pentagon sent 210 night vision devices to the Afghan National Army 215th Corps in Helmand Province, for example, but only 161 of them were returned. While the 215th Corps attributed the discrepancy to "battle losses," according to the Times, it's also quite common for Afghan troops themselves to dump their own gear on the black market to make a quick buck.
"Free reminder: almost every item issued to Afghan soldiers ends up in Taliban hands," C.J. Chivers, a Times journalist and Marine vet, wrote on Twitter. "If U.S. opts for wide issue of night-vision equipment, within months the Taliban will have even more."
Personally, I think we can probably solve this problem by just giving Afghan troops all the night vision, drone aircraft, tanks, weapons, and intelligence the U.S. has to offer. Since they are just about to turn the corner and take this one home for the big win, we might as well hook them up.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Congress fell short ahead of Memorial Day weekend, failing to pass legislation that would provide tax relief for the families of military personnel killed during their service.
Senators unanimously approved a version of the bipartisan Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act Tuesday sending it back to the House of Representatives, where it was tied to a retirement savings bill as an amendment, and passed Thursday.
When it got back to the Senate, the larger piece of legislation failed to pass and make its way to the President Trump's desk.
After more than a decade of research and development and upwards of $500 million in funding, the Navy finally plans on testing its much-hyped electromagnetic railgun on a surface warship in a major milestone for the beleaguered weapons system, Navy documents reveal.
Two airmen were administratively punished for drinking at the missile launch control center for 150 nuclear LGM-30G Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming, the Air Force confirmed to Task & Purpose on Friday.
The spectacle of hundreds of thousands of motorcycles roaring their way through the streets of Washington, D.C., to Memorial Day events as part of the annual Rolling Thunder veterans tribute will be a thing of the past after this coming weekend.
Former Army Sgt. Artie Muller, a 73-year-old Vietnam veteran and co-founder of Rolling Thunder, said the logistics and costs of staging the event for Memorial Day, which falls on May 27 this year, were getting too out of hand to continue. The ride had become a tradition in D.C. since the first in 1988.
"It's just a lot of money," said the plainspoken Muller, who laced an interview with a few epithets of regret over having to shut down Rolling Thunder.
Just in time for many high school graduations, Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed into law a measure ensuring that seniors in the military may wear their dress uniforms instead of a cap and gown at their ceremonies.
DeSantis, a former Navy officer, approved SB 292 to become law upon his signature, which came Thursday.