Archive for the ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ Category

The world is more dangerous than ever, and U.S. military is trying to defend against an ever-changing enemy. David Martin reports on military preparedness for CBS’ “Where America Stands”


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U.S. lawmakers called on the White House to quickly fill vacant cybersecurity posts in the wake of revelations that Iraqi insurgents have learned to intercept video feeds from unmanned military drones.

Lawmakers also expressed frustration that no action was taken until this year, even though the vulnerability of the video feeds had been known since the 1990s. The story was first reported Thursday by The Wall Street Journal. blog it

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Like their fellow soldiers in Germany, Vietnam or Korea, those deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq have created a language all their own, filled with black humor, cultural references and even the occasional crudity.

Most of us have heard of RADAR — originally a military acronym standing in for the cumbersome term “Radio Detection and Ranging.”

We may even have encountered, or experienced, the occasional SNAFU, for “Situation Normal: All (Fouled) Up.”

But what on Earth is a “death blossom?” Or a “fobbit,” for that matter?

Slang terms referring to features of a base are also common, for example, a sign someone put next to an oil-filled puddle on a base in Afghanistan reading, “Rainbow Lake.” blog it

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The Obama administration is forging ahead with its civilian surge in Afghanistan but some experts say thousands more are needed while others fear the security situation is making the push ineffective.

Obama, due to unveil a revamped strategy on Tuesday that is expected to include some 30,000 to 35,000 more troops, stressed again last week the importance of sending civilians to accompany the military push in Afghanistan.

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Obama and his team discussed how long it would take to implement the options he’s been presented, a senior administration official said, adding that the president believes that the U.S. needs to make clear to the Afghan government that its commitment is not open-ended.

Obama, who has spent more than two months mulling Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s request for more troops, is not expected to announce his decision until after he returns Nov. 20 from a trip to Asia.

But Senate Republicans, who support McChrystal’s request, put added pressure on the president to reach a decision.

“I feel very strongly that we owe it to the men and women in the military and the national security interests of the United States of America to have that decision made and made as soon as possible,” McCain, R-Ariz., said.


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The first MC-12 Liberty aircraft in-theater lands after its first combat sortie at approximately 6:20 p.m. local time June 10 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq. The Air Force's newest intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platform, the MC-12 is a medium-altitude manned special-mission turbo prop aircraft that supports coalition and joint ground forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Tiffany Trojca)

Defense Department officials have taken steps to stem mounting casualties in Afghanistan, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said here today.

October has become the deadliest month for American servicemembers in Afghanistan, with 56 killed, and Morrell said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has no higher mission than ensuring troops have everything they need to protect themselves from improvised explosive devices and other threats.

Some assets already are moving to Afghanistan, he noted, including additional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities. The theater also is receiving the most advanced drones and new platforms such as the MC-12.


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As the Obama administration considers relying more heavily on remote-controlled drones to attack militants along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, there are increasing concerns that the military will risk losing the hearts and minds of civilians along the way.

The civilian casualties resulting from the use of unmanned Predator aircraft have long been a subject of fierce criticism, particularly from local governments and from the media in Pakistan. But the Taliban and other militants have also used them to rally support for their attacks and drive up popular outrage and distrust against Pakistan’s government and Western forces.

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In a significant shift, the U.S. military is assisting the Pakistani army in its offensive on militants in South Waziristan
by providing valuable surveillance video and intelligence gleaned from CIA-operated unmanned aircraft, according to a report in The Los Angeles Times.
Recent attacks on Pakistan have rattled the government, likely swaying officials to accept American help in striking
the militant stronghold.
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U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his top commander in Afghanistan pressed NATO ministers Friday to send more troops and civilian aid to the war, as some allies appeared to be hedging their commitment until the Obama administration determines its strategy.
Gates said Friday he was “heartened” by allies’ commitment to the 8-year-old war, even as the Obama administration
mulls whether to order tens of thousands more U.S. troops to the fight, as recommended by the top U.S. and NATO commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal.