January 15, 2014
When recent headlines roared that Fallujah had fallen to al-Qaeda, the American public became mildly interested, recalling U.S. troops' 2004 fight for control of the city in Iraq's Anbar province. But few Americans want to be reminded of those bad old days, and the country's interest waned quickly. Once reassured by President Obama that the setback for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's forces would not lead to more U.S. troops being deployed to Iraq, most of the nation turned to other concerns, such as the icy weather being produced by something called a polar vortex.
January 7, 2014 |
In Afghanistan's Helmand province, a squad of Marines and Afghan soldiers had just crossed what they call the "trigger line" - an invisible point that sets off an ambush by Taliban fighters. They were quickly pinned down and radioed for help. More than a mile away, Lt. Mark Bodrog and other Marines and Afghans donned 70- to 80-pound packs of gear and ran through the 125-degree heat toward battle, hoping to avoid IEDs along the way. "As if the gates of hell had opened, they fired hundreds of machine-gun rounds [on the enemy]
December 23, 2013 |
A little more than a month since the completion of her second tour of duty in Afghanistan, former Eagles cheerleader Rachel Washburn will be honored as a "Hometown Hero" at Sunday night's game against Chicago. The 25-year-old intelligence officer is a first lieutenant in the Army. She was an Eagles cheerleader from 2007 to 2009 while she was enrolled in Drexel's Army ROTC program. "Initially, it was kind of a novelty to people I met if they ever found out," Washburn told USA Today.
December 8, 2013 |
Standing at the pulpit, Mariah Loper recalled, in a small shaking voice, the day she went to the airport to greet her older cousin, a Marine fighting in Afghanistan. Her hero was finally home. "I still remember holding up the 'Welcome Home Timmy' sign," Mariah Loper said Friday, looking down at the casket draped in an American flag. "I cherished every moment we spent together. . . . He made us so proud, and he will always be our Marine. " Timothy Loper Jr. was laid to rest Friday after a packed funeral attended by family, friends, community members, and fellow servicemen.
December 4, 2013 |
A TOUR in Afghanistan didn't kill Timothy Loper, but trying to break up a fight outside a Camden bar did. Loper, a Marine who grew up in Gloucester Township, Camden County, had gone to a party at the 20 Horse Tavern near the Camden waterfront and tried to intervene when he observed a fight in the parking lot at 2:46 a.m. Sunday, authorities said. Shots were fired and Loper, married with a 6-year-old daughter, was struck multiple times, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said yesterday.
November 27, 2013
Senate rule abused The filibuster was properly tolerated because it was used rarely up until the presidency of Barack Obama, when the Republican Party, having decided that it had nothing to offer but obstruction, resorted to heels-dug-in, scorched-earth, fanatical opposition to anything and everything that Obama wanted passed ("Senate just got worse," Nov. 25). Richmond L Gardner, Horsham, email@example.com Reid once was a fan In an act of breathtaking cynicism and hypocrisy, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has ignored what he once called "the vision of the founding fathers" in granting "the right to extend the debate" by moving to ensure that one party, the Democrats, have total control of the Senate ("Party's new breed drove 'nuclear option," Nov. 24)
November 25, 2013 |
At a recent Georgetown University symposium, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Laura Bush, and John Kerry all urged Americans not to abandon Afghan women after U.S. troops exit next year. Their pleas were emotional. Bush, who, together with Clinton, has taken up the cause of Afghan women, said she feared that "once the troops leave, American eyes will move away. I want the people of Afghanistan to know the people of America are with them. " Secretary of State Kerry recalled the anxiety he has heard from Afghan women who have "legitimate concerns that the gains of the past decade could be lost.
August 12, 2013 |
With 17 months to the end of 2014 - the tentative withdrawal deadline for U.S. troops - President Obama has said the war in Afghanistan is winding down. So on Monday, Pfc. Jordan Hayes will kiss his fiancée, parents, and 5-year-old brother goodbye and depart for a nine-month tour deconstructing military bases, tearing down air strips and fence lines; all the tasks necessary to erase the footprint of a 12-year war. "Honestly, I didn't think I'd be going," Hayes said, holding his fiancée's hand at the Army National Guard's Joint Military and Family Assistance Center in Bordentown on Saturday.
July 28, 2013 |
Only 28 percent of Americans say the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting, the lowest number on record and clearly below the least-popular stretches of the Iraq war, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Overall support for U.S. military operations in Afghanistan has dropped 11 percentage points since March, a precipitous fall during a period of tension between U.S. officials and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, a spring and summer resurgence in Taliban attacks, and the failure of peace talks with insurgents to get off the ground.
July 15, 2013 |
If President Obama has any strategy for a decent exit from Afghanistan, he is certainly keeping it a secret. The latest White House effort to jump-start peace talks with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, ended in an embarrassing fiasco. Then, last week, the White House once again floated the idea that it would pursue a "zero option" in Afghanistan, meaning Washington would leave no residual force behind after U.S. troops exit in 2014. If this is the new U.S. exit strategy, it is destined to fail.