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UN report: Afghan JTACs needed to curb civilian deaths | Military Times

The number of Afghan civilian casualties declined by 9 percent in 2017, and civilian deaths caused by pro-government forces in particular dropped 23 percent, according to the annual report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. Despite this good news, the UN mission still documented a 7 percent increase in civilian casualties from air operations specifically, and advised better air-to-ground integrationthrough the Afghan version ... Read More »

Source: Totaled | Seth’s Blog

A car is totaled when the cost of fixing it is more than the cost of buying a similar used car in good condition. The broken car is a sunk cost. It doesn’t matter how much you paid for it. It’s a gift from the you of yesterday to the you of today. And it arrived broken, so broken that ... Read More »

Army troops, Special Forces train Nigerian infantry for fight against Boko Haram, ISIS | Military Times

A dozen U.S. troops just wrapped up a seven-week trip to Nigeria, where they trained local soldiers in advanced infantry tactics that, in all likelihood, they’ll use to beat back religious extremist terror in their country. The soldiers, some two Green Berets and six conventional troops from Fort Bragg’s Security Assistance Training Management Organization and four infantrymen from 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, visited ... Read More »

Special Operations Command asks for more troops, biggest budget yet | Military Times

Special operations forces numbers are higher than they have ever been, but leaders in that community want Congress to approve their highest budget request ever made to increase the force by more than 1,000 troops. The special operations forces, which include Army Special Forces and Rangers, Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders and Air Force Special Tactics Operators and others, are being strained to their breaking point, ... Read More »

Turkey gains control of border strip inside Syria’s Afrin, sends special forces | Reuters

The Turkish army on Monday took control of the outer edge of Syria’s Afrin region, state media said, as Ankara said it was readying for a “new battle” by deploying police special forces. The military and allied Syrian rebel factions pushed some Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters back from the frontier near the Turkish border, effectively creating a “crescent” of control ... Read More »

Owoseni denies withdrawal of Special Forces from Benue | The Nation

The Benue State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, has debunked reports that the Special Forces had been withdrawn from the state. The social media was awash with news of withdrawal of the Special Forces deployed last month by the Inspector-General of Police (IG) Ibrahim Idris, following farmers/herdsmen clashes in parts of the state. But Owoseni said the joint operation, headed by ... Read More »

VA loans and new construction: When, and how, it can work | Military Times

One often-asked question about the VA home loan process skips over the “home” part entirely: Can veterans use the benefit to buy land? The short answer: No. The long answer is more complicated. VA-backed loans are designed solely to help a veteran purchase a primary residence, so if there’s no residence, there’s no loan. But an eligible veteran can apply for what VA calls a ... Read More »

Syria war: Who are Russia’s shadowy Wagner mercenaries? | BBC News

Russian mercenaries are reported to be in the thick of the fighting in Syria, helping President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. One shadowy group in particular, called Wagner PMC (Private Military Company), hit the headlines because of a clash on 7 February that resulted in dozens of Russian casualties. The toll of dead and wounded is disputed, but it is still not ... Read More »

Step inside the Texas school district that already arms its teachers | CNN

While the nation debates whether teachers should carry guns to protect students from armed intruders, the question’s already settled in one Texas school district, where educators have had firearms on campus for years. And while no teacher in Callisburg, Texas, has been called on yet to fire a weapon in defense of a classroom, students in the Callisburg Independent School ... Read More »

Turkey sends police special forces to Afrin, signaling urban fight | Hurriyet Daily News

Turkey has sent hundreds of special operations teams and volunteer village guards into Syria’s Afrin district, where “Operation Olive Branch” against Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants has been ongoing since Jan. 20. “God willing, you will perform your duties and return safe and sound,” Police Special Operations Chief Selami Türker said at a ceremony in Ankara on Feb. ... Read More »

Lithuania to deploy special operations forces to Afghanistan in NATO train and assist role | The Defense Post

Lithuania is to deploy special operations forces to Afghanistan in a train and assist role in support of NATO’s Resolute Support Mission following requests from NATO and allies, the Ministry of National Defence said in a press release. The additional troops are to deploy to Kandahar in April and will train and assist local forces alongside American troops, the Thursday, February ... Read More »

Afghanistan Unveils Plans for Controversial Militia Force | VOA

Afghanistan’s ministry of defense has announced the creation of a new militia force comprising about 36,000 men to defend areas that military-led operations have cleared of Taliban insurgents. The move comes despite long-running accusations of rights abuses against the existing Afghan Local Police, which consists of local militias trained and paid by the U.S. military. Defense Ministry spokesman, Dawlat Waziri, ... Read More »