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US Armed Forces

Written by Simon Roberts

A recent installation in a shopping mall on the outskirts of Philadelphia may well provide the US Army with a new angle for which to recruit new personnel. Opened in August, and costing $13 million, The Army Experience Centre is 14,500 square feet of predominantly shot-em-up video games, with three full scale simulators, including an AH-64 Apache Longbow helicopter, an armoured Humvee and a Black Hawk helicopter.

The centre itself replaces five smaller recruitment stations within the Philadelphia area, at roughly the same annual operating cost. In addition, apart from being a straight up recruitment hub, the centre is also designed to dispel and misconceptions

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Written by Simon Roberts

Soldiers at Camp Phoenix, located near Kabul, are facing hard times. With the shelves at the base store looking a little bare; there's no Irish Spring Body Wash, no Doritos and no Aspirin. While actual items themselves may seem a little trivial, the missing supplies underscore a more serious problem, which senior military officials have been saying for months: U.S. and coalition troops must find new routes to supply what will be a rapidly growing force in Afghanistan, ones that avoid the treacherous border areas of Pakistan where convoys have been ambushed.

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Insurgents in Iraq have hacked into live video feeds from unmanned American drone aircraft, US media reports say.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8419147.stm

 

By BING WEST

Task Force Chosin, Afghanistan

More coalition soldiers have died in July than in any previous month in the nine-year war in Afghanistan. Last week, the soldier who slept on the cot next to me was killed. A rocket-propelled grenade fired from a snow-capped mountain in remote Nuristan Province killed Staff Sgt. Eric Lindstrom, a father of twin baby girls and the best squad leader in the platoon.

Strangely, our military leaders rarely talk about the battles here. They urge shooting less and drinking more cups of tea with village elders. This is the new face of warócounterinsurgency defined as nation-building, an idealistic blend of development aid and John Locke philosophy. Our generals say that the war is "80% non-kinetic."

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US 10th Mountain Division 2-87 Infantry Battalion

* Over 300 roadside bomb attacks

* About 180 actually exploded

* 19 soldiers killed

* About 100 major injuries

* Over 100 MRAPs knocked out

* One year tour of duty

As reported in The Times 8 October 2009

 

Afghan and US forces are thought to have killed Ghulam Yahya Akbari, a senior insurgent leader with ties to the radical Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin and the Taliban. Akbari, who claims to have hundreds of fighters at his disposal, is thought to be behind the surge in attacks in Herat over the past year.

Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2009/10/senior_insurgent_lea.php#ixzz0TZDfPIPe

 

By George Friedman

Barack Obama is the Democratic candidate for president. His advisers in foreign policy are generally Democrats. Together they carry with them an institutional memory of the Democratic Party's approach to foreign policy, and are an expression of the complexity and divisions of that approach. Like the their Republican counterparts, in many ways they are going to be severely constrained as to what they can do both by the nature of the global landscape and American resources. But to some extent, they will also be constrained and defined by the tradition they come from. Understanding that tradition and Obama's place is useful in understanding what an Obama presidency would look like in foreign affairs.

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David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, has been chosen to head the Central Command (CENTCOM), which oversees military operations in central Asia, the Horn of Africa and the Middle East.

 

In a surprise announcement on Tuesday, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates revealed and accepted the "resignation" of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) commander Navy Adm. William J. Fallon. This was no regular personnel shift in Washington, especially since Fallon held the post for less than a year. With two wars under way and a crisis looming in the Levant, Fallon either resigned in protest or was forced out. The question is why.

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In the Quadrennial Defence Review, a† longer-term strategy document mandated by the US Congress every four years, the Pentagon declares winning "today's wars" as the military's top priority, citing Afghanistan, Iraq and other unnamed countries where U.S. forces can help to "dismantle terrorist networks," according to a draft of the report.

It discards a long-running doctrine that required the military to prepare to fight two wars at the same time.
Instead, the military will have to prepare for a range of threats in an "uncertain security landscape" where extremists or "non-state actors" pose a growing danger along with the spread of weapons of mass destruction and cyber attacks, the document says, according to a report carried by AFP.

The review also for the first time identifies global warming as a potential trigger of instability and urges the military to renew efforts to reduce its dependence on oil.

 
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