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Friday, Nov 24th

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Pentagon Crew Lived Large in $150 Million Afghan Villas

Money wasted in AfghanistanA Pentagon task force established in 2006 to help lure private businesses first to Iraq and then Afghanistan allegedly blew as much as $150 million on lavish villas in Afghanistan for a few lucky members of its staff—instead of lodging them cheaply, or for free, at the U.S. embassy or any one of numerous large American military bases in the war-torn country.

The alleged waste by the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, first described in a five-page Nov. 25 letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter from John Sopko, from the military’s special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, or SIGAR, should come as no surprise. TFBSO, as it’s known inside the Pentagon, has long attracted criticism for apparently wasteful spending and other abuses.

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Raytheon moves forward with Multi-Object Kill Vehicle program

Raytheon kill vehicleRaytheon completed the first Program Planning Review with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency for its Multi-Object Kill Vehicle concept, advancing the program.

The completion marks a milestone for the program's Concept Development Phase, designed to ensure the company is meeting the Missile Defense Agency's expectations. The Concept Review takes place in December.

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Obama's drone war a 'recruitment tool' for Isis, say US air force whistleblowers

drones a recruitment tool for ISISFour former US air force service members, with more than 20 years of experience between them operating military drones, have written an open letter to Barack Obama warning that the program of targeted killings by unmanned aircraft has become a major driving force for Isis and other terrorist groups.

The group of servicemen have issued an impassioned plea to the Obama administration, calling for a rethink of a military tactic that they say has “fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like Isis, while also serving as a fundamental recruitment tool similar to Guantánamo Bay”.

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Risk for child abuse increases after return from Army deployment

child abuse increases after army deploymentChildren of U.S. Army soldiers may be at greater risk for abuse during the six months after a parent returns from deployment, and the risk increases for the children of soldiers deployed more than once, according to a new study.

The study was funded by the Defense Health Program to assess the abuse risk in Army families in order to develop support programs to prevent or deal with child maltreatment issues.

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Obama nominates openly gay man to lead Army

Eric FanningPresident Barack Obama nominated Eric Fanning to be the next secretary of the Army, the White House said Friday, paving the way for the first openly gay leader of a military branch in U.S. history.

Fanning is currently serving as acting Army undersecretary and previously worked as an Air Force undersecretary and a chief of staff to Defense Secretary Ash Carter. His nomination to the post must be confirmed by the Senate.

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The West Point Professor Who Contemplated a Coup

West PointOn Monday, West Point law professor William C. Bradford resigned after The Guardian reported that he had allegedly inflated his academic credentials. Bradford made headlines last week, when the editors of the National Security Law Journal denounced a controversial article by him in their own summer issue:

As the incoming Editorial Board, we want to address concerns regarding Mr. Bradford’s contention that some scholars in legal academia could be considered as constituting a fifth column in the war against terror; his interpretation is that those scholars could be targeted as unlawful combatants.

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Okinawans decry noise, chemical pollution at US bases across island

Okinawa bases pollution protestedSeventy years after the end of World War II, there are 32 U.S. military facilities in Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost prefecture. Many of the U.S. bases there are concentrated in the crowded southern part of the island

. The sparsely populated north is home to the U.S. Marine Corps Camp Gonsalves and the Jungle Warfare Training Center (JWTC). The northern and central training areas make up a 37,000-acre expanse of rugged subtropical jungle that includes the U.S.’s only site designated for practicing jungle warfare and have played a major role in training since before the Vietnam War.

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