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June 18, 2014

News Briefs June 18, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,185

As of June 17, 2014, at least 2,185 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 1,813 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 AP count of total OEF casualties outside of Afghanistan is five 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, 19,798 U.S. service members have been wounded in hostile action, according to the Defense Department. AP

Navy’s top officer revising U.S. maritime strategy

The U.S. Navy’s top officer asked naval officers, scholars and students at the Naval War College June 17 for their help in updating the nation’s maritime strategy, last revised seven years ago when the country was fighting land wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert told an audience at the college he needs their suggestions before he signs off this year on a new maritime strategy for the 21st century.

The document helps guide how defense contracts are awarded and where assets are assigned. It was last revised in 2007, in the midst of the two wars and before the economic recession.

The updated strategy will have a new emphasis on cyber warfare and the changing security landscape, and will address such current issues as climate change in the Arctic that has allowed more shipping.

√¨We have to articulate our being, what we’re about, to our allies and our partners, and our adversaries as well, Greenert said.
Greenert said U.S. presence will continue to be a guiding principle in the country’s strategy. He noted that the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush was able to get to the Persian Gulf quickly this weekend at President Barack Obama’s behest amid the escalating violence in Iraq because the ship was already in the North Arabian Sea.

Greenert said he also plans to develop a trained, educated ìstrategic cadre within the Navy that would be positioned throughout the force. AP

Britons honor Czechoslovaks who fought for RAF

A memorial honoring 2,500 Czechoslovakians who fought against Nazi Germany in Britain’s air force has been unveiled in Prague.

The two-meter bronze statue of a winged lion by Colin Spofforth is placed in a park in the central and picturesque Little Quarter. It was unveiled June 17 by Nicholas Soames, a grandson of Britain’s wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Corporate and individual sponsors from the British expatriate community donated 100,000 pounds ($170,000) for the project.

The soldiers, including 88 respected pilots, fled Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to join the Royal Air Force. They participated in the Battle of Britain in World War II. Some 500 died.

Authorities approved the project despite a claim by the National Heritage Institute that its location wasn’t suitable, saying another monument is already in the small park. AP

General: U.S. hikes surveillance on Pakistan border

The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan says the U.S. has increased its surveillance over the Afghan-Pakistani border, as Pakistan pounds a militant stronghold with airstrikes. So far officials haven’t seen militants fleeing the latest offensive, which began June 15.

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford tells The Associated Press in an interview that the U.S. is not coordinating military operations with Pakistan along the border, but officials have increased the amount of intelligence-sharing with the Afghans. He says the Afghan troops and U.S. forces in that region are ready for any effects of the strikes, including extremists seeking refuge in Afghanistan.

The U.S. has long pressed Pakistan to root out Taliban militants who have found safe haven in the lawless tribal region of North Waziristan. AP




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