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November 6, 2013

News Briefs November 6, 2013

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,151

As of Nov. 5, 2013, at least 2,151 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count.

At least 1,782 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action, according to the military’s numbers.

Outside of Afghanistan, the department reports at least 131 more members of the U.S. military died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, 11 were the result of hostile action.

The AP count of total OEF casualties outside of Afghanistan is three more than the department’s tally.

The Defense Department also counts three military civilian deaths.

Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 19,447 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department. AP

 

Philippines, U.S. disagree in troop deployment talks

The Philippine defense chief says disagreements in negotiations between U.S. and Filipino officials may prevent an early conclusion of an accord allowing an increase in American military presence in the country.

U.S. and Filipino officials began negotiations in August on a defense agreement that would allow larger numbers of U.S. troops to have temporary access to Philippine military camps and bring in aircraft, ships and other equipment. U.S. troops have already been allowed to train Filipino anti-terrorism forces in the south since 2002.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said Nov. 5 one key issue involves a U.S. failure to clearly commit to a condition for the Philippines to have control over and access to temporary American facilities to be set up in local camps.

U.S. Embassy officials did not immediately comment. AP

 

UN: Private security on track to earn $244 billion 2016

The United Nations says that the private military and security business is growing by 7.4 percent a year and on track to become a $244 billion global industry by 2016. The United States is the biggest single spender on private security.

While most of that business is not illegal, independent U.N. expert Anton Katz says there are still vestiges of shadowy “dogs of war” activity.

His report Nov. 4 to the U.N. General Assembly cites alleged mercenaries, some from Eastern Europe and Africa, brought in by Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 to try to crush the uprising there.

The report also drew attention to mercenary threats to Ivory Coast from the Liberian border area. AP

 

California Marine reservists charged with travel scam

Authorities say more than two dozen Marine Corps reservists in Southern California have been charged in connection with a scheme of submitting fake travel vouchers that totaled more than $870,000.

The Internal Revenue Service said in a news release Nov. 4 that seven reservists were indicted in September on charges of conspiring to defraud the government. If convicted, each faces up to 10 years in prison.

Authorities say military administrative officer Bladimir Flores prepared and submitted phony travel vouchers for those who were on active duty. Investigators say Flores shared nearly $225,000 in kickbacks in return for sending the false forms. Flores is currently a fugitive.

Twenty-one reservists have pleaded guilty or have agreed to plead guilty to tax-related charges as part of the case. AP

 




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Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

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