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IAVA Daily News Brief – January 14, 2016

71st Security Forces Squadron MWD Rea gets loose on the kennel section obstacle course at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. Obstacle work helps teach MWDs obedience and how to handle real-world obstacles in austere locations. Rea was one of two Vance MWDs that were a part of Pope Francis' security detail during his 2015 U.S. visit.  | Military Times >>

71st Security Forces Squadron MWD Rea gets loose on the kennel section obstacle course at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma. | Military Times >>

 

Today’s Top Stories

Here’s Where The 2016 Presidential Candidates Stand On Veterans Issues
As the 2016 presidential candidates ramp up their campaigns, there are a number of hot-button topics being debated. Among them are veterans’ issues. Using the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America organization’s annual 11-point policy agenda, Task & Purpose rated the 2016 candidates’ platforms and comments about the most pressing issues facing veterans and their plans to address them. | Task & Purpose >>

Service Members, Not Citizens: Meet The Veterans Who Have Been Deported
Immigrants have always made up a portion of the Armed Forces in America — joining the U.S. military has always been one of the fastest ways to get U.S. citizenship. About 8,000 troops with green cards became citizens that way last year alone. But it doesn’t happen automatically. And veterans who did not go through the process of becoming citizens — they can be deported, if they get in trouble later on, just like any other noncitizen. | NPR >>

VA Secretary to Visit Boston Hospital to Tout Research into PTSD, TBI
Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald plans to travel to Boston on Friday as part of a White House post-State of the Union messaging effort to promote administration accomplishments over the past seven years and discuss challenges still ahead. | Military.com >>

Afghanistan

Islamic State militants in Afghanistan claimed their first attack on a major city on Wednesday, after an assault near the Pakistani Consulate in Jalalabad that killed at least seven members of the Afghan security forces. | New York Times >>

Amid increasing concerns about instability in Afghanistan pouring over into the former Soviet republics and Russia, the Russian foreign ministry says it plans to supply small arms to Kabul though it will refrain from sending other weapons. | Associated Press >>

The battle for control of Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the Taliban’s traditional power base, has lasted for months. Lashkar Gah is the capital and in government hands. But large swathes of the province’s countryside, a centre for the drug trade that fuels the conflict, are controlled by the insurgents. | BBC News >>

Iraq

An elite U.S. Special Operations targeting force has arrived in Iraq and will carry out operations against the Islamic State, part of a broader effort in 2016 to strike at the militants and that also includes U.S. Special Operations troops in Syria, Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Wednesday. | Washington Post >>

Sinjar is yielding up its secrets — the whispers of those who prayed as they were killed. Grief for those captured and never seen again. Mahama al-Shangali is the mayor of this town of fewer than 90,000 people in northern Iraq, in the heart of Yazidi country. | CNN >>

Shia militiamen conducted reprisal attacks against local Sunnis in Muqdadiya, Iraq, following a double bombing Monday that killed at least 20 people. The blasts occurred in a cafe and mainly killed and injured militiamen with the Hashid Shaabi, or Popular Mobilization Forces, an Iran-trained Shia Muslim group fighting in Iraq against the Islamic State. | UPI >>

Military Affairs

Iran on Wednesday freed 10 American sailors from two small Navy vessels that Tehran claimed strayed into Iranian waters, prompting their overnight detention as Washington opened direct contacts with Iran seeking their release. | Washington Post >>

As predicted by Air Combat Command commander Gen. Hawk Carlisle in November, the Air Force is indefinitely freezing all plans to retire the A-10 Warthog, a warplane many officials, airmen and congressional members have rallied behind since the announcement of its withdrawal from the battlefield. | Military Times >>

The narrative myths of the Greatest Generation are so fixed in the American psyche that it can take a supreme cognitive effort to remember they were once angry young men who both feared and resented home. A 1947 War Department survey reported that 1 in 5 World War II veterans were “completely hostile” to civilians. A Gallup poll conducted the same year reported that approximately one-third of the 16 million or so young vets back in the United States felt estranged from civilian life. | Task & Purpose >>

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