Amid the barrage of coverage of Specialist Ivan Lopez's shooting spree at Fort Hood, evidence that has been in plain sight for years of how the violence of America’s distant wars comes back to haunt the "homeland" was missing. In that context, Lopez’s killings are one more marker on a bloody trail of death that leads from Iraq and Afghanistan into the American heartland.
“Since President Barack Obama declared an end to combat operations in Iraq, U.S. troops have waged a gun battle with a suicide squad in Baghdad, dropped bombs on armed militants in Baquba and assisted Iraqi soldiers in a raid in Falluja.” Which leads us to ask, just what is a “combat operation,” anyway?
Much fanfare was made about the so-called withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq this month, but as this Al-Jazeera report explores, we might want to read the fine print on this one.
There was quite a struggle in Congress this week [July 27-Aug. 2]. The Department of Defense refused to allow the senior civilian in charge of its Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office to testify in Thursday's hearing on sexual assault in the military. Above, Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach, who reported being raped in 2007 and whose body was found buried in a backyard in 2008.
Jim Lehrer reports that the Army may be underestimating the severity of disabilities, denying servicemen and -women lifetime benefits. The Veterans Disability Benefits Commission found that disability ratings made by the Veterans Affairs Department were typically higher than those of the Army.
The US should pull nearly all combat troops out of Iraq by 2008 and push for a broad diplomatic and political solution -- or face a "slide toward chaos," according to the long-awaited Iraq Study Group's report