U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,176
As of March 3, 2014, at least 2,176 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 1,796 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 133 more members of the U.S. military died in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Of those, 11 were the result of hostile action.
The Defense Department also counts three military civilian deaths.
Since the start of U.S. military operations in Afghanistan, 19,665 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department. AP
Air Force Academy begins another cheating probe
The Air Force Academy in Colorado is conducting its fourth probe of cheating at the school since 2004.
Academy officials said March 3 about 40 cadets may have copied portions of a lab report assignment.
Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson said in a statement that any cadets found guilty will be held accountable.
The disclosure follows separate investigations launched by the U.S. Air Force in January after dozens of nuclear missile officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana allegedly cheated on their launch proficiency exams.
The alleged cheating, which was disclosed by Air Force officials, was the latest in a string of nuclear missteps revealed last year by The Associated Press. AP
North Korea fires seven suspected artillery shells
South Korea said North Korea fired seven suspected artillery shells into the ocean March 4, in what Seoul called a provocation apparently directed against its ongoing military drills with the United States.
North Korea also has launched six Scud missiles into the sea since the annual exercises began about a week ago. It earlier fired artillery shells days before the drills started. It says the exercises are a rehearsal for invasion, but Washington and Seoul say they are defensive in nature.
Despite the firings and launches, outside analysts say the North is taking a softer stance toward the drills this year than last year because it wants better ties with the outside world to revive its struggling economy.
Three of the projectiles fired Tuesday had a range of 50 kilometers (30 miles) and four could travel about 155 kilometers (95 miles), according to Seoul’s Defense Ministry. Spokesman Kim Min-seok said the various launches were apparently an ìarmed protestî by North Korea against the drills.
The Korean Peninsula remains officially at war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. Tension spiked sharply a year ago as North Korea responded furiously to last year’s drills and to international condemnation of its third nuclear test in February 2013. AP