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Military

The Takeaway

New Treatments for PTSD Among US troops

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Since 2001 almost two million American service personnel have been deployed in either Afghanistan or Iraq. These conflicts have taken their toll on the mental wellbeing of many veterans — thousands have come home suffering from various levels of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Our partner, the BBC, has been investigating some innovative new programs to help identify, treat and prevent PTSD at Walter Reed military base in Washington D.C., and Fort Hood in Texas.

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The Takeaway

US Military Offers Sheep as Apology for Killings in Afghanistan

Monday, April 12, 2010

In rural village of Khataba Afghanistan, one bereaved man, scarred more than most by the war, became the recipient of an unusual American apology.

The top U.S. special operations commander Afghanistan, Vice Adm. William McRaven traveled to the village to ask for forgiveness. He offered condolences to Haji Sharabuddin, the patriarch of a family that lost  five members when a U.S. special forces raid went awry. But it wasn't the personal appearance of top brass that made the moment so unusual, it was that the American forces made a traditional Afghan offering of two sacrificial sheep. 

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The Takeaway

Follow-Up: Digging Deeper Into the Wikileaks Video

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Noel King here — following up on a story I produced yesterday about a classified video that was released by the non-profit group Wikileaks showing footage of a 2007 incident in Iraq, in which Americans in an Apache helicopter fired on several Iraqis. Two unarmed employees of the Reuters news agency — as well as ten other men — were killed in that incident.

This morning, we spoke to Josh Ray Person, who served with the Marines from 1999 — 2003 and the BBC’s Baghdad Correspondent Jim Muir, who was gathering Iraqi reaction to the video.

A listener from Miami wrote in to say that we failed to mention a redacted report released by the Pentagon late Monday, which said some of the Iraqis — though not the two Reuters employees — were carrying weapons.

Mauro wrote:

Yesterday on NPR this same topic was discussed and the guest agreed that the journalists were there and that they were considered armed because of the straps on their shoulders, but it was also said that at least one RPG was found on one of the casualties and it is shown (but not highlighted) in the video that another of the victims did have an AK-47. Watchdogs are necessary, but they must also be impartial, this video is showing this situation from a very biased viewpoint, all of the editing and the intro are geared towards showing all involved as innocent victims, which is not the complete truth and we have to be fair if we are going to critique.

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The Takeaway

Leaked Video of US Troops Firing on Civilians in Iraq Raises Questions

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

A non-profit website called WikiLeaks has released footage of an incident in Iraq from July, 2007 that shows the death of two employees of Reuters News Agency at the hands of American troops. 

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The Takeaway

Challenges Ahead as Millitary Prepares to Move Troops from Iraq to Afghanistan

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The U.S. military is preparing for an unprecedented move, working to get thousands of troops into Afghanistan from Iraq. Transporting so many people and billions of dollars worth of equipment poses unique and dangerous logistical challenges for the military. The scale of the operation is vast and private contractors are working alongside troops to meet the August deadline.

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The Takeaway

Seven Years of Operation Iraqi Freedom From Two Soldiers' Perspectives

Friday, March 19, 2010

It's been seven years since the U.S.-led "coalition of the willing" invaded Iraq. We talk with two soldiers who fought in Iraq to find out what has changed on the ground since the war began.

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The Takeaway

Real Baghdad Bomb Team on 'The Hurt Locker'

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

"The Hurt Locker” was undoubtedly the star of this year’s Oscars, winning six awards, including Best Picture. The New York Times declared it the best American feature film yet about the war in Iraq. Cinematic awards are well and good, but how true to life is the film?

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WQXR News

Gates Visits Former Taliban Outpost

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is visiting troops in southern Afghanistan today. One stop he made was a remote outpost near Kandahar, Afghanistan.

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The Takeaway

As Marjah Battle Winds Down, Forces Set Sights on Kandahar

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited the Afghan capital on Monday. Gen. McChrystal said the U.S. has all but routed the Taliban from their former stronghold of Marjah and that the military will now turn its attention to Kandahar — a key city that dwarfs Marjah in size.

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The Takeaway

Pinning Down a Hard Number in Afghanistan

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Noel King here, producing on The Takeaway’s day shift.

"1000" 

On Tuesday afternoon a number of news organizations reported that U.S. forces in Afghanistan had reached the grim milestone of 1,000 troop deaths. That's because the website icasualties.org changed its tally to 1000. The Pentagon called those reports incorrect - and they are. I’d begun digging into this story on Sunday and, with some phone calls, discovered what's contributing to these false reports. It's all laid out below. 

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The Takeaway

Some See Iran's Influence on Upcoming Iraq Elections

Friday, February 19, 2010

Iraq's elections, scheduled for March 7, have already led to a spike in violent attacks throughout the country. Now, in Washington, there's concern that Iran is attempting to influence those elections.

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The Takeaway

Sexual Assault Still Major Problem in Military

Thursday, February 18, 2010

More women serve in America's armed services than in most other nations. Yet 30 percent of female veterans report being sexually assaulted or raped while serving, according to a 2003 survey funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. This month, Congress is hearing testimony from service members who say they were sexually attacked.

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The Takeaway

Troops Grapple with New Challenges in Afghan Offensive

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

American, British and Afghan troops have entered day five of a major offensive in a Taliban stronghold in Southern Afghanistan. While the offensive is largely going to plan, troops on the ground are dealing with far more than just encounters with Taliban fighters. The accidental killing of 12 civilians in Afghanistan in recent days has troops bringing condolences to the families of the victims.

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The Takeaway

US, Pakistani Intelligence Forces Capture Senior Taliban Figure

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

U.S. and Pakistani intelligence forces, working together, have captured a leading Taliban figure. The apprehension of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar may cause a significant disruption to Taliban operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and raises questions of whether ties are warming between Pakistan's intelligence service, the ISI, and the CIA. Baradar is reportedly being interrogated by both American and Pakistani operatives. Georgetown Prof. Christine Fair, who focuses on Pakistan and Afghanistan, joins us for analysis.

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The Takeaway

NATO-Led Offensive Continues in Afghanistan

Monday, February 15, 2010

U.S., U.K. and Afghan forces continue a military assault against Taliban fighters in Marjah, Afghanistan this morning. Plans for the offensive were widely discussed by U.S. and NATO commanders before the operation began, in an attempt to warn civilians in the area and limit civilian casualties. But on Sunday, two coalition rockets missed their mark, killing 12 civilians. We look at how coalition forces are doing in this critical operation with Jeffrey Dressler an Afghanistan expert with the Institute for the Study of War and Global Post correspondent, Jean MacKenzie, who is on the ground in Afghanistan.

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The Takeaway

US Led Forces in Afghanistan Prepare for Helmand Offensive

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

United States and NATO forces in Afghanistan say U.S. Marines will launch an assault on a Taliban stronghold in Helmand Province in the coming days. The announcement of the offensive puzzled many military analysts who said that secrecy is generally one key to the success of any military campaign.

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The Takeaway

The Case for Ending 'Don't Ask Don't Tell'

Thursday, February 04, 2010

This week, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen said they are prepared to repeal the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gay and lesbian service members. We talk with Michael Hyacinthe, who served in a Navy construction battalion from 1997-2005, about why he thinks the policy should be overturned.

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The Takeaway

Military Leaders Seek End to 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' Policy

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Yesterday, top military brass announced their desire to see "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" laws investigated, and ultimately repealed. But not everybody who wears the uniform agrees. Over 1000 former military officials signed a document expressing their wariness of any type of reform to the culture of the armed forces. We talk to Ret. Col. David F. Bedey a 30-year Army veteran, who says that the U.S. military has a lot more to lose than it has to gain by repealing current legal restrictions.

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The Takeaway

Takeouts: Pentagon Investigating 'Don't Ask Don't Tell,' Super Bowl Profiles, Listeners on Helping Unemployed Friends

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

  • CONGRESS TAKEOUT: Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich joins us with details of yesterday’s Senate Armed Forces Hearing which sent shockwaves through Capitol Hill after top ranking military members expressed their desire to see the repeal of the ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ law.
  • SPORTS TAKEOUT: Ibrahim Abdul Matin counts down to the Super Bowl and talks about players and coaches that you might not know much about, like Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Larry Coyer.
  • LISTENERS TAKEOUT: Listeners tell us how they help their friends who are unemployed and give us their picks for what television shows need to call it quits.

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WQXR News

Pentagon Moves to End Gay Ban

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Top Pentagon officials told a Senate panel today that they will study ways to allow gays to serve openly in the military.

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