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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.

Michael Yon's War

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This year I will say and write some things that may sound outlandish.  Before dismissing my words, please remember that I am very careful with information that is delivered to your table.  Your time is valuable and is respected.  Those who pay attention to what I write will be ahead of the game in some areas.  Please remember my history:

Authored by: David W. Brown (First published on June 1, 2010 in The Atlantic)

It began with a bridge. On the morning of March 1, a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device detonated on Tarnak River Bridge near Kandahar, Afghanistan, killing multiple civilians and one American soldier. While the destruction of a single bridge might ordinarily pose a mere inconvenience to the U.S. war machine, in the oppressive terrain of Afghanistan it became a logistical chokepoint, halting ground-based operations for days.

War correspondent Michael Yon sought the answer to an uncomfortable question: who was responsible for the security of that bridge?

Yon is no ordinary reporter. A former Green Beret with U.S. Army Special Forces, he has spent more time embedded in Iraq and Afghanistan than any other journalist. His dispatches have produced some of the most memorable combat narratives of the war, and a large share of its most iconic images. Make no mistake; Michael Yon is not a dispassionate observer of the Columbia J-School variety. When writing about U.S. forces, he says "we." When writing about insurgents, he calls them terrorists or Taliban. And when reporting failures in the war effort, he names names. This has earned him both the respect and ire of senior military staff. In the case of the Tarnak River Bridge, the name most repeatedly mentioned as responsible for its security was Daniel Menard, the Canadian brigadier general in charge of Task Force Kandahar. Yon went public with this information.

Read more: Michael Yon's War

DEATH OF A GENERAL, A MOTHER’S LOSS, AND HOPE

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2 February 2016
Nineveh, Kurdistan

Written by: Free Burma Rangers

1Kurdish forces at Nineveh front.

Several days ago we came from the front line across from Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-held Nineveh to attend the memorial of a General killed as he led his troops in repelling an ISIS suicide attack. Our team, consisting of Karen, Kachin and Karenni Free Burma Rangers (FBR) team members from Burma, our family, and foreign staff, drove under snow-covered peaks and through a beautiful gorge arriving in mid-afternoon in the snowy mountain vastness of Soran.

The memorial service lasted two and a half hours with speeches, poems, as well as Kurdish music from Kurdistan’s greatest singer, Shivon Prewar. Kurdish Generals, Members of Parliament and people from all walks of life crowded in to pay their respects to General Shawkat and the others who died with him.

Read more: DEATH OF A GENERAL, A MOTHER’S LOSS, AND HOPE

This cool shot shows Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey generating Kopp-Etchell’s effect in the dust

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25 November 2015

MV 22 hasty landingImage credit: U.S. Marine Corps. H/T @DCDude1776 for the heads-up

By David Cenciotti

A U.S. Marine Corps Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft is depicted with seemingly solid rotor disks.

The image in this post shows a U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey assigned to Special Purpose MAGTF – CR – CC during a TRAP (tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel) drill at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia, on Nov. 16, 2015.

What makes the shot particularly interesting (and vaguely Star Wars-like…) is the halo effect caused by the sand hitting the blades and eroding their metal surface. The effect is more visible around the blades’ tips where the peripheral speed is higher.

Caused by the oxidation of eroded particles, the so-called “Kopp-Etchells effect” (named by war correspondent Michael Yon after Cpl. Benjamin Kopp, and Cpl. Joseph Etchells, two fallen American and British soldiers) makes the tilt-rotor aircraft more visible from distance, hence more vulnerable.

Click here to see the original article.

Japanese Scholars’ Reply to the American Scholars’ Comfort Women Statement: In search of a constructive dialogue based upon facts

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August 6, 2015

On May 5th, 2015, one hundred and eighty-seven American-based researchers of Japan issued a statement on the comfort women issue titled, “Open letter in support of historians in Japan” (hereafter, “American scholars’ statement”). It is our understanding that, subsequently, the number of signers increased to some four hundred and sixty people. In response to the challenge proposed by the American scholars’ statement, we Japanese scholars respond with the following views.

<1> Complete agreement that events should be viewed in their historical context, and weighed carefully in the balance

We were struck by this passage from the American scholars’ statement:



“[…] we believe that only careful weighing and contextual evaluation of every trace of the past can produce a just history. Such work must resist national and gender bias, and be free from government manipulation, censorship, and private intimidation.”



We are sympathetic to this suggestion, which we believe to be an important, fundamental principle of historical research. It is cause for celebration that researchers in both Japan and the United States are in agreement on this point.

That we are attempting a response here is due to our having detected, in the American scholars’ statement, a willingness to deal constructively with historical facts that has previously been lacking in American debate on the comfort women issue.

Read more: Japanese Scholars’ Reply to the American Scholars’ Comfort Women Statement: In search of a...

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