IAVA Daily Brief 5.24.11
Posted by Isabel Black on May 24
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.
VA health care workers and benefits processors are receiving new training in how to handle disability evaluations for veterans claiming traumatic brain injuries after an internal investigation found a high percentage of errors on those types of claims. A May 18 report by the VA Inspector General says a spot review of disability claims found an 8 percent error rate in claims related to post-traumatic stress disorder and a 19 percent error rate in claims related to traumatic brain injury.
Depressed property values have become a national crisis for homeowners who purchased their houses before the collapse of the housing market. But for members of the military who must comply with relocation orders or face disciplinary action, waiting out the housing crash is often not an option. Service members begin every assignment with the knowledge that they could be relocated at any point, and will likely be moved within five years. The Defense Department encourages military employees to rent, not buy.
The death of Osama bin Laden, the top name in the US military’s high-value target list, dealt a serious blow to enemy fighters in Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere. But it’s the systematic elimination of other names on that “capture or kill” list that many are now crediting with turning the region’s terrorists and insurgents into a younger, less experienced and less fanatical group.
Troops on foot patrol in Afghanistan are finding an increasing number of makeshift bombs before they explode, helping to defuse the effectiveness of the Taliban’s No. 1 weapon, military data show. The US military’s counterinsurgency strategy has emphasized increased use of foot patrols as a way to hunt down insurgents without endangering civilians, and as a result troops are in a better position to find and defuse improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.
The Taliban has warned majority Muslim Kazakhstan that its decision to send troops to the NATO-led war in Afghanistan would have severe consequences and was not in its regional interest.
The Afghan intelligence agency said Monday that the reclusive leader of the Taliban has disappeared from a suspected hideout in Pakistan and has been out of contact with his commanders for days- adding further questions about Mullah Mohammad Omar after a media report said he was killed.
An administrative law judge has referred a US insurance company for criminal investigation after the firm failed to pay benefits owed to survivors of Iraqi translators killed while working for the American government.
Iraq has signed a tentative deal with Iran to import natural gas to ease its electricity woes, an official said Monday, in a step that deepens economic ties with Tehran as US troops prepare to leave at the end of the year.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Monday at Fordham Village, a new facility launched by the Jericho Project in the Bronx that provides housing for veterans.
Defense Department officials late last week announced more than $15 million in grants designed to improve how voter registration forms and absentee ballots are sent to overseas voters, in an effort to solve problems well in advance of the 2012 presidential election.
The man credited with being the first to try to stop the Fort Hood gunman is getting an Army heroism medal more than a year after the rampage in which he died.
The military too quickly destroys records from the hundreds of rapes and sexual assaults reported confidently each year, say victims’ advocates and some members of Congress.
The $553 billion bill providing a budget for the Pentagon boasts millions of dollars that President Obama didn’t request for weapons programs, installations and other projects in districts from Illinois to Mississippi represented by House GOP freshmen.
A wide-range of views, positions, and publications are represented in these articles. These views, positions and publications are not endorsed by nor do they necessarily represent the views of IAVA.
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