CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2013 |
Interviewers always asked Mikhail Kalashnikov the same question and he always gave the same answer: Yes, he could sleep at night. Quite easily, thank you. Kalashnikov, creator of the AK-47, a cheap, simple, rugged assault rifle that became the weapon of choice for more than 50 standing armies as well as drug lords, street gangs, revolutionaries, terrorists, pirates and thugs the world over, died Monday at a hospital in Izhevsk, the capital of...
December 22, 2013 |
SAFID SHIR, Afghanistan - Astride his dappled gray stallion, Mohammad Karim looked like a weathered warrior, though he wielded a grain sack instead of a carbine. Decades ago, Karim was a mujahid, a mountain tribesman who took up arms against Soviet soldiers and, later, the Taliban. Now 45, with white whiskers beneath his pakol , a traditional Afghan hat, he is again prepared to fight if his beloved Panjshir Valley is threatened. "If the Taliban tries to come back, we'll fight them and kill them," he said, as he rode his horse near the shimmering blue Panjshir River and hillside trees streaked with autumn gold.
December 19, 2013 |
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Fears of civil war in South Sudan grew Thursday, after South Sudan's military admitted losing control of a key town in the country's east to army mutineers. The army lost Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, to a military faction associated with former Vice President Riek Machar, who has been accused by President Salva Kiir of launching a coup. Fighting continued in the region Thursday. Machar denies any coup attempt, claiming that Kiir is inciting ethnic tensions.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 17, 2013 |
Authorities are investigating the hit-and-run death of a U.S. Army vet and father of 8-month-old twins in Canyon Lake over the weekend. Scott Bolger, 32, of Lake Elsinore was found dead about 2:17 a.m. Saturday on Railroad Canyon Road, about 245 feet west of Canyon Lake Drive, according to Riverside County sheriff's and coroner officials. He was apparently struck by a passing vehicle when he stepped off the sidewalk and into Railroad Canyon Road, according to the sheriff's department. The driver did not remain at the scene as required by state law. Investigators later determined that Bolger had been with a friend at a tavern before walking home.
December 9, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Syrian government forces have regained control of a strategic town along the nation's major north-south highway, state media reported Monday, as troops advanced in a sweeping offensive designed to secure the route and sever opposition supply lines from nearby Lebanon. The dangerous highway is expected to be used as a corridor for the transport of Syria's toxic stockpiles as part of a United Nations-backed plan to rid the country of its chemical armaments. State news outlets reported that government forces had established “full control” of Nabek, about 50 miles northeast of Damascus along the highway, which links the capital to the central city of Homs.
December 6, 2013 |
Pakistan's retiring army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, last week passed the baton of his nation's most powerful institution to Gen. Raheel Sharif. A fresh face at the helm of the Pakistani military undoubtedly raises American hopes for a less frustrating relationship, as the last six years of dealing with Kayani were anything but smooth. Realistically, however, Washington should keep its expectations firmly in check and at least one eye out for trouble. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (no relation to the new army chief)
November 29, 2013 |
BANGKOK, Thailand -- Hundreds of demonstrators forced their way into Thailand's army headquarters Friday, the latest building targeted in anti-government protests aimed at unseating Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Shortly after noon, protesters breached the gate of the army compound in central Bangkok and remained inside for about two hours without entering any buildings before drifting off. Demonstrators gave speeches and were heard demanding that the army take a side in the showdown.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 2013 |
Two men were arrested in connection with the identity theft of U.S. Army Reserve officers who were on active duty in Afghanistan, authorities said. Mauro Cortez, 25, and Rigoberto Cortez, 29, were arrested Wednesday after the Los Angeles County Identity Theft Task Force served a search warrant at a home in Pomona, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. The men were allegedly provided the identity information of more than five U.S. Army Reserve officers who were serving overseas in Afghanistan and then used it to establish lines of credit and buy cars. Deputies found evidence at the home allegedly linking the Cortez men to the identity theft. The loss is estimated to be more than $100,000.
November 13, 2013 |
KABUL, Afghanistan -- An independent federal watchdog has accused the U.S. Army in Afghanistan of allowing access to a prison complex by an Afghan contractor identified by a Pentagon command as having assisted insurgents by providing bomb-making components. The contractor, which had been blacklisted by the U.S. Central Command in September 2012, was allowed inside the American-run prison next to Bagram Air Field for two days two months later, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan reconstruction.
November 10, 2013 |
On the list of U.S. military priorities, Africa has always ranked right smack at the bottom. Now that appears to be changing. As Eric Schmitt recently reported in the New York Times, "thousands of soldiers once bound for Iraq or Afghanistan are now gearing up for missions in Africa. " Before the gearing up proceeds much further, Americans might want to ask a few questions. Chief among them are these: Why the sudden shift in priorities? What's the aim? Who stands to benefit? What risks does the militarization of U.S. policy in Africa entail?