On Monday, member nations of NATO will endorse the International Security Assistance Force's exit strategy in Afghanistan. The plan calls for ISAF to hand over combat operations by mid-2013. Coordinating the withdrawal and financing the Afghan security forces have been top concerns at the negotiating table.
One million new veterans will come off active-duty in the next five years, writes Gen. Stanley McChrystal in The Wall Street Journal, and they should be welcomed as the antidote to America’s economic malaise. “Their return presents America not just with an important test of our values,” he writes, “but with an extraordinary opportunity—both to ensure our future and revitalize our economy.” Gen. McChrystal is a proud supporter of the “Got Your Six” campaign.
Former Marine Anthony Swofford sets out to discover why new veterans commit suicide at such high rates. “No one within the VA will use the word ‘epidemic’ when talking about suicide,” he writes, “but it can’t be denied that the rate of suicide among current-war veterans is drawing attention and concern.” An estimated 18 veterans commit suicide each day. The Veterans Crisis Line is available to all veterans 24/7, by phone at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or online at http://www.veteranscrisisline.net.
As the rest of the nation honored the military community on Armed Forces day, the city of Richmond, Virginia held a parade to honor veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. The parade mimicked the “Welcome Home our Heroes” event in St. Louis with a resource fair for veterans. A Vietnam veteran who was awarded the Medal of Honor served as Grand Marshal.
- A suicide bomber attacked a group of American soldiers on Sunday. NATO has not yet released figures for American casualties.
- This year’s poppy crop has been ravaged by blight, according to U.S. and Afghan officials. The crop has been a critical part of the Taliban’s revenue in previous seasons.
- Members of the Afghan National Army do not have the same quality equipment as their American counterparts, and morale has suffered as a result, reports Associated Press.
- The United States has agreed to sell unarmed surveillance drones to Iraq. The drones will be used to protect oil supplies.
- Iraq plans to spend nearly $10 billion on infrastructure by 2016.
- The Army Reserves will increasingly use simulators and long distance learning instead of traditional drill. The change has been made to cut costs.
- Future service members may be able to choose a kite runner MOS. The military is testing battle kites in Afghanistan.
- A group of new veterans expressed their disillusionment at the NATO summit in Chicago over the weekend, discarding their medals in protest.
NEW GREATEST GENERATION
- The Red Sox Foundation raised $2 million in Boston on Sunday with the third annual Run-Walk to Home Base event.
- A Marine based in Camp Pendleton was awarded the Navy Cross on Friday for gallantry in combat.
- Two hundred musicians gathered at Arlington National Cemetery on Saturday to celebrate the 150th anniversary of taps.
- The United States is on the road to a “hollow” military force, writes GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in The Chicago Tribune.
- President Obama’s position on the war in Afghanistan has evolved with his presidency, writes The New York Times.
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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