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Search Tags: Afghanistan
Afghanistan has been receiving a lot of attention in the last few weeks, most of it focused on the troop increase and the Afghan security forces.
The Air Force is assigning a new three-star general to oversee it's efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gen. Gilmary Hostage III is moving from Shaw Air Force base in South Carolina. The Air Force's top commander told Congress last month a change was needed to increase the service's focus on the air wars and intensifying operations in Afghanistan. The plan is to intensify the use of unmanned drones to aid in the hunt for militants.
In the past year, CACI has been recognized for it's work and success as a company. Paul Cofoni, CEO of CACI, spoke with Francis Rose on In-Depth about what has made his company so successful in the intelligence community.
Army aviators — the soldiers who fly attack missions, ferry troops and supplies and evacuate the wounded — are in ever-increasing demand even as America eyes the exits in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan conflict, which marked its 10th anniversary Friday, is in many ways a helicopter war.
"We are just beginning to get set in Afghanistan ... in doing everything that we can" says Ashton Carter, the Defense Department's chief weapons buyer. He said, because the country is so remote and lacks infrastructure, stopping roadside bombs there is much more difficult that it was in Iraq. Carter and General Jay Paxton Jr. are heading up a new task force to figure out how to deal with improvised explosive devices. A taskforce to do just that is already at work, but appears to have fallen victim to bureaucracy.
The use of homemade bombs extends well beyond Afghanistan and Iraq, making the weapons a global problem that requires an international solution, a senior U.S. military official said Thursday. The According to the Associated Press, Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz told Congress there have been more than 3,500 incidents around the world involving improvised explosive devices in the past year and the number is growing. "Violent extremists will continue to wage conflict against human targets and the weapon of choice will continue to be the IED," he said at a hearing held by the House Armed Services oversight and investigations subcommittee. The definition of an incident in this case includes IEDs that have exploded, failed to work, or were found and cleared. Metz, who heads the Pentagon office tasked with countering IEDs, also said his organization is working to improve its operations and how it coordinates with the military services to ensure troops in the field have the best technology and training to counter the makeshift bombs.
The Pentagon is investigating allegations that official money was used to create an under-the-table group of spys to hunt down terrorists in Afghanistan. In the meantime the list of top al Qaida and Taliban operatives killed or captured continues to grow. Predator drones have been the principle weapon, but human intelligence has been a key as well. Previously, many drone strikes have missed the mark, because of weak or faulty intelligence, the success is appearing to improve.
The U.S. offensive in Marjah, Afghanistan appears to have been a success, so far, says Rear Admiral Greg Smith. "There are probably several more weeks of what we call clearing operations. Meanwhile in other parts of Marjah, bazaars are opening, life is beginning to return to pre-operational sort of levels of activity." Smith says this campaign was not designed to go after the Taliban. "The Marjah operation was not about trying to go in and kill the Taliban. It was really trying to separate the Taliban from the people."