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Tuesday, Aug 04th

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The Company Getting Rich Off the ISIS War

Paul WolfowitzFor the Middle East, the growth of the self-proclaimed Islamic State has been a catastrophe. For one American firm, it’s been a gold mine.

The war against ISIS isn’t going so great, with the self-appointed terror group standing up to a year of U.S. airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

But that hasn’t kept defense contractors from doing rather well amidst the fighting. Lockheed Martin has received orders for thousands of more Hellfire missiles. AM General is busy supplying Iraq with 160 American-built Humvee vehicles, while General Dynamics is selling the country millions of dollars worth of tank ammunition.

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U.S. helicopter 'friendly fire' incident kills eight Afghan soldiers

US Friendly fire kills AfghanisAt least eight Afghan Army soldiers were killed and five were wounded after two U.S. helicopters attacked a military checkpoint the country's Logar province on Monday.

The attack happened at 6:40 a.m. local time, according to Mohammad Rahim Amin, district chief of Baraki Barak.

"The outpost was completely destroyed; it was fired upon a lot," Amin told The New York Times. "The bodies were in bad shape."

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Perpetual war creates endless consequences

Perpetual warWhen the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, began this month by issuing a farewell report on U.S. military strategy, the gist was hardly big news. “Dempsey to Pentagon: Prepare for the Never-Ending War” read the headline on the cover page of the National Journal.

The “war on terror” now looks so endless that no one speculates anymore about when it might conclude. “This war, like all wars, must end,” President Barack Obama declared in a major speech more than two years ago. “That’s what history advises. That’s what our democracy demands.” But midway through 2015, this war seems as interminable as ever.

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How One U.S. Soldier Blew the Whistle on a Cold-Blooded War Crime

US soldier exposes war crimeJess Cunningham was a staff sergeant in a mechanized unit of the U.S. Army—Alpha Company, First Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, First Infantry Division—during the intensified fighting that accompanied the surge of American troops in Baghdad in 2007.

This was his second tour in Iraq, and his first with Alpha Company. He had been a high-school football star in Bakersfield, California, before heading off to war. He had excelled in the army, rising rapidly through the ranks. Now 26, he was strong, alert, and accustomed to battle. He had a bright future.

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Al-Qaeda confirms Yemen leader killed in US drone strike

Nasir al-WuhayshiAl-Qaeda in Yemen leader Nasir al-Wuhayshi has been killed in a U.S. bombing, the group said in a statement posted online Tuesday morning.

“Our Muslim nation, a hero of your heroes and a master of your masters left to God, steadfast,” senior operative Khaled Batrafi said in the video. “To the infidel America: God has kept alive those who will trouble your life and make you taste the bitterness of defeat.”

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) had met and appointed its former military chief Qassim al-Raimi as his replacement, Batrafi said.

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US spending on Islamic State fight totals $2.7bn

cost of war against ISISThe US spends more than $9m (£5.7m) a day on the war against Islamic State, and has poured $2.7bn (£1.7bn) into the bombing campaign since the start.

An international coalition has been conducting air strikes in Iraq and Syria since last August.  The first breakdown of US costs, released by the Pentagon, show that two-thirds of the total bill has gone to the Air Force.

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How US Cluster Bombs Banned by Most Countries Ended Up in Yemen

cluster bombsOn April 29, three adults and a child came across some fist-sized canisters on the ground outside of Baqim, a Yemeni town controlled by Houthi rebels. To the 10-year-old boy among them, they "looked like toys." Out of curiosity, they picked up the cannisters, which then exploded.

All four were injured; a nurse told Human Rights Watch that the child was wounded in the stomach, and one of the adults received injuries to his face, torso, thigh, and crotch. Considering the kind of damage that cluster-bomb submunitions can cause, they're lucky to still be alive.

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