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US Has More Troops In Afghanistan Than Previously Disclosed, Pentagon Reveals
The Pentagon revealed Wednesday that roughly 11,000 U.S. troops are currently deployed in Afghanistan, 2,600 more than the U.S. military had previously disclosed to the public.
Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White and Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., director of the U.S. military’s Joint Staff, blamed the significant undercount on head-counting rules the Obama administration had devised.
The Obama-era policies did not include troops deployed for less than six-months — a stint the military considers a “temporary basis” — as part of the military’s total for Afghanistan. Because the Obama administration had set caps on the number of troops allowed to be deployed to active war zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, U.S. commanders found ways to supplement their forces by “temporarily” adding additional troops who would not be counted.
Army Command Sgt. Maj. William F. Thetford, front left, U.S. Central Command's senior enlisted advisor, talks with Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Shane R. Wagner during a visit to Forward Operating Base Oqab in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 15, 2017.U.S. Air Force photo
Defense Secretary James N. Mattis expressed frustration with the approach and ordered a comprehensive review to give a more accurate picture of the U.S. military footprint, following last week’s announcement by President Donald Trump of a new military strategy in Afghanistan.
“The secretary has been clear about his commitment to transparency in our public reporting procedures and increasing commanders’ ability to adapt to battlefield conditions in countering emergent threats,” White told reporters at the Pentagon.
“Following a comprehensive review of our South Asia strategy, the secretary has determined we must simplify our accounting methodology and improve … the public’s understanding of America’s military commitment in Afghanistan.”
White said the new figures represent transparency in regard to total U.S. forces. He did not provide numbers, however for troop in Iraq and Syria, saying they were “under review.”
©2017 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Investigation clears former Naval War College president, who offered free hugs and games of Twister, of misconduct
NEWPORT -- The Office of Naval Inspector General has cleared former Naval War College president Rear Adm. Jeffrey A. Harley of most of the allegations of misconduct claimed to have occurred after he took command of the 136-year-old school in July 2016, The Providence Journal has learned.
Harley, in one of a series of interviews with the The Journal, called the findings "deeply gratifying." He said many of the most sensational allegations -- "offers of 'free hugs' and games of Twister in his office" -- reflected a misunderstanding of his sense of humor, which he describes as "quirky," but which he says was intended to ease tensions in what can be a stressful environment.
The allegations, reported last year by the Associated Press, prompted a national controversy that led to Harley leaving the college presidency after almost three years in office.
The U.S. government failed to effectively account for nearly $715.8 million in weapons and equipment allocated to Syrian partners as part of the multinational counter-ISIS fight, according to a new report from the Defense Department inspector general.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), has long been seen as an apologist for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, whom she met during a secret trip to Damascus in January 2017.
Most recently, a video was posted on Twitter shows Gabbard evading a question about whether Assad is a war criminal.
Since Gabbard is the only actively serving member of the military who is running for president — she is a major in the Hawaii Army National Guard — Task & Purpose sought to clarify whether she believes Assad has used chlorine gas and chemical weapons to kill his own people.
The Army is almost doubling its purchase of new bolt-action Precision Sniper Rifles as its primary anti-personnel sniper system of choice, according to budget documents.
What's cooler than a single missile? How about a missile with a high-powered machine gun attached?
That's exactly what the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working on, according to budget documents — and it wants $13 million to make it a reality.