IAVA Daily News Brief 7.27.11
Posted by Caitlin Kenney on July 27
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.
In a meeting at the White House on Tuesday, officials from President Obama’s administration met with veteran groups to discuss the potential impact of a U.S. default on service members, veterans, and their families. The administration officials were unable to guarantee that military paychecks and veteran benefits would not be affected by a government default. IAVA Policy Director Jonathan Schleifer was present alongside representatives from American Legion and fellow veterans service organizations. Read IAVA's reaction to the meeting here.
On Wednesday, IAVA Founder and Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff will testify at 10am EST before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee at a hearing on “Examining the Lifetime Costs of Supporting the Newest Generation of Veterans.” Ahead of large-scale troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, the hearing will examine the long-term impact of the wars and how the public and private sectors can join forces to support new veterans from their initial transition home through the rest of their lives.
Walter Reed Army Medical Center, the Washington, D.C., hospital that has treated the country's war-wounded for more than a century, is closing its doors today after 102 years. Walter Reed's operations will move to a new location in Bethesda, Md., that will consolidate three military hospitals. The move, which has been planned since 2005 to cut costs, will take place throughout August though patients and staff will say goodbye at a ceremony on the grounds today.
The mayor of Kandahar was assassinated on Wednesday, the third major political figure to be killed in the region in the past month. Mayor Ghulam Haider Hamidi was killed when a suicide bomber detonated explosives hidden in his turban. The Taliban has been credited with the killings, which come at an inopportune time for coalition forces as they seek to withdraw from major operations in Afghanistan.
On Tuesday the Afghan government heatedly denied the recent U.S. report, which found that central bank officials in Afghanistan were hostile and uncooperative with coalition-appointed auditors.
In an address before Afghan officers at the presidential palace in Kabul, Hamid Karzai urged his audience to take on more responsibility so that Afghanistan no longer has to rely on NATO for security.
At the behest of Muqtada al-Sadr, an anti-American cleric with growing influence, the Iraqi Prime Minister requested amnesty for over 50 prisoners who had been jailed on charges including murder, kidnapping, and attacks on U.S. troops.
The Iraqi branch of Al Qaeda published an appeal on the Internet calling for ideas on how to raise money on behalf of the widows and children of deceased militants.
The Department of Defense has proposed a new plan that would replace the military's current 20-year retirement model with a corporate-style benefits program, featuring an annual deposit into a mandatory savings plan rather than a monthly pension.
With the death of Osama bin Laden in May and an increase in drone strikes in recent years, U.S. officials now believe that Al Qaeda is on the verge of collapse.
The chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee is pushing a bill [H.R. 2383] that would allow the VA to process claims more efficiently by utilizing email instead of regular mail to send notifications.
In a confirmation hearing on Tuesday, the nominee for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, spoke out against a possible $800 billion cut to the defense budget, a measure he believes would seriously harm the military’s strategic capabilities.
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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