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Tuesday, Jul 29th

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A brand-new $34m U.S. military headquarters in Afghanistan. And nobody to use it.

Unused ilitary hq AfghanistanThe U.S. military has erected a 64,000-square-foot headquarters building on the dusty moonscape of southwestern Afghanistan that comes with all the tools to wage a modern war. A vast operations center with tiered seating. A briefing theater. Spacious offices. Fancy chairs. Powerful air conditioning.

Everything, that is, except troops.

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$ 7 billion in gear US sent to Afghan gone to waste

wasted US military equipmentRushing to wind down its role in Afghanistan by end of 2014, the US military has destroyed over USD 200 million worth of vehicles and other military equipment used by it in the war-torn country, in what has been described as "largest retrograde mission in history".

The massive disposal effort, which US military officials call unprecedented, has unfolded largely out of sight amid an ongoing debate inside the Pentagon about what to do with the heaps of equipment that won't be returning home, the Washington Post reported.

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Four-star general in eye of U.S. cyber storm

Keith AlexanderDepending on your point of view, U.S. General Keith Alexander is either an Army four-star trying to stave off a cyber Pearl Harbor attack, or an overreaching spy chief who wants to eavesdrop on the private emails of every American.

Alexander, 61, has headed the National Security Agency since 2005, making him the longest-serving chief in the history of an intelligence unit so secretive that it was dubbed "No Such Agency." Alexander also runs U.S. Cyber Command, which he helped to create in 2010 to oversee the country's offensive and defensive operations in cyberspace.

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Victims: Marines failed to safeguard Camp Lejeune water supply

Camp LejeuneA simple test could have alerted officials that the drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated, long before authorities determined that as many as a million Marines and their families were exposed to a witch’s brew of cancer-causing chemicals.

But no one responsible for the lab at the base can recall that the procedure — mandated by the Navy — was ever conducted.

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How many thousands of Camp Lejeune babies died because of the base's toxic water?

Camp LejeuneStudies have linked the kinds of volatile organic compounds found at Lejeune to such birth defects and cancers as spina bifida, cleft lip and palate, anencephaly, childhood leukemia and childhood lymphoma. Blakely decided to make copies of every child and fetal death certificate she could find between the years 1950 and 1990 with a connection to the Marine base.

"What I was going to do with them, I didn't know," she says.

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Mild traumatic brain injuries increase military suicide risk

Military suicidesU.S. researchers say those in the military who suffer more than one mild traumatic brain injury face a significantly higher risk of suicide.

Lead author Craig J. Bryan of the University of Utah and associate director of the National Center for Veterans Studies and colleagues surveyed 161 military personnel stationed in Iraq and evaluated for a possible traumatic brain injury.

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Why the military hasn't stopped sexual abuse

Military sexual abuseUSA Today interviewed lawmakers, social scientists and people who have worked on the sexual assault issue inside the military to determine why the Pentagon hasn't been able to stem this predatory tide. All pointed to two factors — one a new plague, the other as old as the military itself — standing in the way:

•A military culture more coarse toward women in the ranks, the result of stress from a decade of war and the status of females as second-class warriors barred from combat roles. Male recruits are drawn from a society where violence and objectification of women are staple elements of films and video games.

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