IAVA Daily Brief 4.28.11
Posted by Isabel Black on April 28
Here are some of today's top stories and happenings at IAVA. Prefer to receive real-time updates about major stories and legislation that IAVA is tracking? Follow us on Twitter @IAVAPressRoom or subscribe at www.IAVA.org/DailyNewsBrief.
US supply convoys in Afghanistan, which are devoted in large part to transporting fuel into war zones, have suffered the loss of more than 3,000 troops or contractors over the past decade, Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn told a White House forum on energy security. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency estimates that 70 percent of the fuel transported over hazardous supply routes to Afghanistan is used for power generated at base camp and forward operating bases; hence, Lynn said, Defense needs to find new ways to provide power at those bases.
Digital media has amplified the young voices of democracy ringing around the Middle East, but the flip side here is that the authorities and insurgents alike are also adept at using technology, particularly cellphones, largely unavailable here before the 2003 American invasion, as part of their arsenals of intimidation. Actual violence may have declined substantially since the worst days of the war, but a culture of fear and intimidation still prevails. It has been on display during the intermittent protests that have rippled across Iraq in the wake of the regional uprisings.
With Afghanistan discussions under way about the future involvement of the United States in the country and the prospect of long-term military bases, the Pakistani government has urged Afghanistan to distance itself from the West and tie its future more tightly to that of China and Pakistan. During a landmark meeting in Kabul for which the most powerful figures in the Pakistani government flew to Afghanistan, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani of Pakistan suggested that Afghanistan needed to look to China, rather than hewing closely to the United States.
The governor of the Afghan jail where hundreds of insurgents this week escaped through a tunnel built by the Taliban has been detained along with several top aides.
When it comes to training and leadership for new Afghan patrolmen, there is confusion as to whether the US or the Afghan National Police will have the responsibility.
A police officer says a car bomb explosion has killed a police officer and three of his guards in northern Iraq.
The opening of a movie theater this week in a Baghdad social club marked the start of an ambitious plan to build 30 theaters in the capital in four years, giving Iraqis a chance to again see the first-run movies the rest of the world watches.
Adult children of military members and retirees now can buy TRICARE health insurance coverage out to age 26, and that coverage can be purchased back to Jan. 1 this year.
The Navy’s top civilian said that attack submarines are in the future for both enlisted and commissioned women.
President Obama’s choice of expert budget-cutter Leon Panetta to lead the Defense Department is a clear signal that the White House perceives the nation’s deficit crisis, not the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as its toughest challenge.
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