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Decades behind: Sexual assault unchecked as Defense Department ducks reform

Secual assaults in the militaryIn 2010, the parents of a Texas high school student told an Air Force officer they were concerned a recruiter was sending their daughter inappropriate text messages, showing up at her work and spreading rumors.

The officer listened to the complaint, but it went no further — a common practice for popular soldiers, according to a senior Defense Department official with knowledge of the case.

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Agent Orange’s reach beyond the Vietnam War

Agent OrangeNearly three dozen rugged C-123 transport planes formed the backbone of the U.S. military’s campaign to spray Agent Orange over jungles hiding enemy soldiers during the Vietnam War. And many of the troops who served in the conflict have been compensated for diseases associated with their exposure to the toxic defoliant.

But after the war, some of the planes were used on cargo missions in the United States. Now a bitter fight has sprung up over whether those in the military who worked, ate and slept in the planes after the war should also be compensated. Two U.S. senators are now questioning the Department of Veterans Affairs’ assertions that any postwar contamination on the planes was not high enough to be linked to disease.

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Army officer guilty of murder for ordering soldiers to shoot Afghans

Army Lt. guilty of murdering Afghan cilviliansA U.S. Army officer was convicted of murder Thursday for ordering soldiers under his command in Afghanistan to shoot all Afghans they saw on motorcycles.

First Lt. Clint Lorance, 28, was found guilty of a lengthy list of related charges after a court-martial at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer reported. Lorance could receive a life sentence with the sentencing phase beginning immediately.

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Bradley Manning cleared of 'aiding the enemy' but guilty of most charges

Bradley ManningBradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst who laid bare America's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by covertly transmitting a massive trove of sensitive government documents to WikiLeaks, has been convicted on 19 of 21 charges, including 5 counts of espionage. He was found not guilty of aiding the enemy, the most serious and controversial charge laid against him.

After warning a courtroom packed with 30 spectators, almost all of them Manning supporters, that she would accept no disruptions, the judge overseeing his military court martial, Col. Denise Lind, rapidly delivered her verdict in a crisp voice.

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Global Hawk: The drone the Pentagon couldn’t ground

Global HawkWith billions of dollars in spending reductions looming, Air Force officials looked around last year for a program they could cut that was underperforming, had busted its budget and wasn’t vital to immediate combat needs.

Eventually, they settled on the production line for a $223 million aircraft known as the Global Hawk, with the wingspan of a tanker but no pilot in the cockpit, built to fly over vast terrain for a little more than a day while sending back data to military commanders on the ground.

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'It was a kill mission': independent Bin Laden panel contradicts US claims

Bin Ladin death 'kill mission'Few secret US missions have been described to the public in as much detail as the one that killed Osama bin Laden. In the 26 months since the al-Qaida leader's death, a series of vivid accounts have emerged describing his final moments, including two relayed by men who claim to have shot him.

The latest came this week, in a newly released Pakistani intelligence report. But instead of clarifying, it has served only to complicate, and in some cases directly contradict, the most widely read accounts of the mission.

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A brand-new $34m U.S. military headquarters in Afghanistan. And nobody to use it.

Unused ilitary hq AfghanistanThe U.S. military has erected a 64,000-square-foot headquarters building on the dusty moonscape of southwestern Afghanistan that comes with all the tools to wage a modern war. A vast operations center with tiered seating. A briefing theater. Spacious offices. Fancy chairs. Powerful air conditioning.

Everything, that is, except troops.

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