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Thursday, Dec 08th

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Afghanistan: Explosion hits US airbase in Bagram

Baghram bas attackNATO says at least four people have been killed in an explosion inside the largest US military base in Afghanistan, with the Taliban claiming responsibility for the attack.

The explosion struck at dawn on Saturday inside the heavily fortified Bagram Airfield, north of Kabul, as the Taliban step up attacks on Western targets before the onset of winter, when fighting usually ebbs.

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'Fearful' national security officials prepare for major shift in US policy

National security officials fearful of TrumpA US intelligence officer operating in a dangerous part of the world prepared this week for Donald Trump’s presidency by making a pact with a colleague: they resolved to disobey any order to commit torture.

The two officers’ pledge reflects a wider debate within the national security bureaucracy, as some officials – concerned by Trump’s authoritarian inclinations – debate whether to quit in protest at his electoral victory or to remain at their post in the hope of checking impulses they consider dangerous.

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U.S. sales to foreign military hit $33.6 billion in 2016

arms sales increase- U.S. Foreign military sales in fiscal 2016 reached a total of $33.6 billion, according to the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency.

DSCA, which manages the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program, announced that the total includes $2.9 billion of Foreign Military Financing-funded cases; $5.0 billion in Building Partner Capacity-funded cases; and $25.7 billion funded by partner nations.

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Chelsea Manning Attempts 2nd Suicide

Chelsea ManningChelsea Manning tried to commit suicide last month at the start of a week of solitary confinement at the prison barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., that was imposed on her as punishment for a previous attempt to end her life in July.

Ms. Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst who is serving a 35-year sentence for leaking archives of secret documents to WikiLeaks, disclosed the attempted suicide, which took place Oct. 4, in a statement she dictated over the phone to a member of her volunteer support network. She asked that it be sent this week to The New York Times, according to members of the network who want to keep their identities private.

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Pentagon: 3 US military members killed at Jordanian base

3 US soldiers deadAn American official in Washington said one U.S. service member died at the scene and two who were wounded died at a hospital in Amman, the Jordanian capital. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because details of how the attack happened were still being investigated.

Jordan is a key U.S. ally and member of a U.S-led military coalition fighting the extremist Islamic State group, which controls parts of neighboring Iraq and Syria.

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Ash Carter suspends California Guard bonus repayments

Ashton CarterDefense Secretary Ash Carter has suspended collections and ordered a review of the process that's forcing members of the California National Guard to repay enlistment bonuses that may have been paid improperly.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Pentagon chief called the process "unfair to service members and to taxpayers."

"First, I have ordered the Defense Finance and Accounting Service to suspend all efforts to collect reimbursement from affected California National Guard members, effective as soon as is practical," Carter said. "This suspension will continue until I am satisfied that our process is working effectively."

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California Guard vets told to repay millions in enlistment bonuses

Natl Guard CaliforniaTen years after the Pentagon enticed soldiers to reenlist by offering hefty bonuses, officials are demanding thousands of those veterans pay the money back.

Christopher Van Meter is one of the affected veterans in California. He earned a Purple Heart after he was hurled from an armored vehicle in Iraq. By 2007, he had already served 15 years in the Army and was about to retire -- until the military encouraged him to reenlist.

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