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This site gets much traffic from all around the world, from people searching for news from Iraq, making it an ideal place to host stories from deployed forces in harm’s way.  In my travels I’ve met many budding writers who are now wearing boots and carrying rifles, and I found their stories so compelling that I want the world to see.

Assessment of the Current Situation in Burma

30 January 2014

Burma is in the midst of change and we want to report to you what is happening, both good and bad. We are grateful for those who have brought greater freedoms to Burma. We also want to stand with those who have not yet experienced those freedoms and are still under attack. Thank you for your prayers and support.

A summary of the situation as we see it now in January 2014

Good news and improvement in some areas:

1.Aung San Suu Kyi holds a position in parliament and she, along with others continue to work for more freedom, reforms and justice in Burma.

2.There are some in the government at higher levels who do want to change the constitution and establish reforms before the 2015 elections.

3.Many political prisoners have been released and there is greater political freedom.

4.Censorship and travel restrictions have been eased.

Read more: Assessment of the Current Situation in Burma

Message from the Military: Afghanistan Farce

27 January 2014

UNCLASSIFIED//NONE
Ladies and Gentlemen:  Today's highlights:

Afghan Media

Afghanistan releases 37 of 88 prisoners from Bagram prison | Khaama Press

According to reports, the Afghan government has announced to release 37 out of 88 Bagram prisoners, who were marked as dangerous by United States. The decision was reportedly taken by Afghan Review Board, which was formed under a decree by president Karzai to review the cases of the prisoner held in Bagram jail. The US forces in Afghanistan following a statement condemned the ordered release of the prisoners. "U.S. Forces-Afghanistan has learned that under direction of the Afghan government, the Afghan Review Board, led by Abdul Shakoor Dadras, has ordered the release of the first 37 of 88 dangerous individuals under dispute who are legitimate threats to security and for whom there is strong evidence or investigative leads supporting prosecution or further investigation."

Afghan Govt Orders Release of 37 of 88 Bagram Prisoners | Tolo News

The US government has condemned an ordered release of the first wave of 88 prisoners from Bagram prison, saying that more than 40 per cent of the prisoners who are set to go were involved in direct attacks against the US and Afghan forces. The Afghan Review Board (ARB), led by Abdul Shakoor Dadras, has ordered the release of the first 37 of 88 from Bagram, which the US military categorised them as "dangerous". The US forces in Afghanistan has condemned the ordered release, saying 17 of the 37 released prisoners are linked to the production of IEDs and killing 11 Afghan forces.

US condemns Bagram detainees' release order | Wakht News Agency

United States Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) on Monday condemned the release of release of 37 detainees from Bagram jail, where the forces said they had evidences that they were legitimate threats to security. "(USFOR-A) has learned that under direction of the Afghan government, the Afghan Review Board, led by Abdul Shakoor Dadras, has ordered the release of the first 37 of 88 dangerous individuals under dispute who are legitimate threats to security and for whom there is strong evidence or investigative leads supporting prosecution or further investigation", said the forces in a statement. This extra-judicial release of detainees is a major step backward in further developing the rule of law in Afghanistan. The ARB is releasing these individuals without referral to an investigative body or the Afghan justice system despite the fact that the U.S. has disputed these 88 cases, the statement added.

Read more: Message from the Military: Afghanistan Farce

Air Force being Downgraded to "Air Persuasion Task Force"

Published on: 12 December 2013

From:
Eric K. Fanning, Acting Secretary of the Air Force
Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force Chief of Staff
Chief Master Sgt. James A. Cody, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force

To the Airmen of the United States Air Force:

We are the best Air Force in the world because we attract, recruit, develop and retain Airmen with the strongest character and commitment to our core values.

Even though we just finished over a decade of extended combat operations, retention in our Air Force remains at an all-time high. While this is a testament to the selfless service of all members of our Air Force family, we are now faced with some very difficult financial choices that force us to reduce the overall size of the Air Force.

To be blunt, we are going to get smaller... smaller than we've ever been as an Air Force. Over the next few years, we may have to reduce our force by approximately 25,000 Airmen and as many as 550 aircraft if we do not receive any budget relief.

Read more: Air Force being Downgraded to "Air Persuasion Task Force"

Storm Warning: The Trial and Conviction of CJ Grisham

by Barbara Lawrence, witness to trial

26 November 2013

Prelude

Two days before I left to attend the retrial of Master Sergeant CJ Grisham, I received my annual National Rifle Association membership card in the mail. It was a reminder that though MSG Grisham has sought and received considerable attention and support regarding his charge of “interfering with duties of a public servant,” the NRA wants nothing to do with him.

That is not surprising.

He claims to have been on an Eagle Scout hike with his son Chris within Temple, Texas, city limits on March 16, 2013. What is unusual is that he carried an AR-15, while having a cell phone camera within ready access.

This is likely to excite attention in an area that has seen two previous mass shootings: Fort Hood in 2009 and Killeen in 1991.

When a concerned citizen calls police to inform them of the suspicious pair, Sergeant Steve Ermis is dispatched to investigate. He is met with uncooperative defiance as he attempts to disarm Grisham, who is quick to video the incident. Grisham is charged with “rudely displaying a weapon” and “resisting arrest”. Bell County Attorney Jim Nichols later changed it to “interfering with the duties of a public servant.”

The first trial on October 15 ended in a mistrial after 16 hours of deliberation with 5:1 favoring conviction.

This is where it gets weird.

Read more: Storm Warning: The Trial and Conviction of CJ Grisham

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