Rogue Afghan soldiers and police turning their weapons on their allies are now the leading cause of death for NATO troops. On Aug. 28 a man wearing an Afghan army uniform opened fire on Australian soldiers in the southern province of Uruzgan, killing three and wounding two.
Archived posts from category ‘Afghanistan’
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Insurgencies are amongst the hardest conflicts to predict. Insurgents can be loosely organized, split into factions, and strike from out of nowhere. But now researchers have demonstrated that with enough data, you might actually predict where insurgent violence will strike next. The results, though, don’t look good for the U.S.-led war. And [...]
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN In 2008, the Pentagon began investigating whether the main supplier of food to troops in Afghanistan overcharged taxpayers. Since then, there have been audits, recriminations and the discovery that the supplier may have overbilled the military as much as $756.9 million. Now lawmakers are squeezing both the Pentagon and the contractor in [...]
TAMPA, Florida — Dial down the godawful soundtrack and try to ignore the choppy camera work, but re-watch Lockheed Martin’s promo video depicting its two-year-old Human Universal Load Carrier exoskeleton. Because inside of the year, an improved version of this combat exoskeleton could be headed to Afghanistan for combat trials. That’s right: cyborg soldiers might, might just be months away from becoming a front-line reality.
TAMPA, Florida — Sure, it took an extra year or so, but Northrop Grumman has finally penciled in the first flight of the giant surveillance airship it’s building for the U.S. Army. The Long Endurance Multi-Intelligence Vehicle — a football-field-size, helium-filled robot blimp fitted with sensors and data-links — should take to the air over Lakehurst, New Jersey, the first or second week of June. K.C. Brown, Jr., Northrop’s director of Army programs, crows: ”We’re about to fly the thing!”
by DAVID AXE Air Force Magazine has identified the previously undisclosed company that uses a single Vietnam-era Caribou airlifter to make daredevil airdrops to the most remote U.S. bases in Afghanistan. It’s Flightworks, Inc.
The U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan has pinned its hopes on a new local-militia program to help shore up street-level security ahead of the coalition’s planned 2014 departure after more than a decade of war.
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN The CIA offered in January to scale back its unofficial drone war in Pakistan, hoping to convince the country’s reluctant spy chiefs to acquiesce to a continued robotic campaign against al-Qaeda and its allies. The problem: a fair-sized chunk of Pakistan’s political leadership would rather have the drones leave altogether. The offer [...]
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN The military waited six days before releasing the name of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians earlier this month. One of the reasons for the somewhat unusual delay: to give the military enough time to erase the sergeant from the internet — or at least try [...]
A U.S. Army AH-64 Apache gunship has crashed in Marzak, Afghanistan, in restive Paktika province along the border with Afghanistan. The incident, captured in the video above, illustrates the dangers of aggressive, low-level flying in a part of Afghanistan where U.S. troops are almost entirely dependent on airplanes and helicopters for resupply and fire support.
The Caribou airlifter flies so low through the mountains and valleys of eastern Afghanistan that it’s invisible from the ground … until it’s right on top of you. The Vietnam-era, twin-engine cargo plane with the cranked wings and bulbous nose appears suddenly, racing just a couple hundred feet over the U.S. Army outpost on the outskirts of Marzak, in remote Paktika province. At a precisely timed moment, the Caribou pitches upward. A dozen black plastic pallets tumble from its cargo hold and, parachutes unfurling, drift down onto a snowy field adjacent to the American base. The Caribou, hundreds of pounds lighter, dives for the safety of a nearby valley.