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U.S. Marine Killed in Afghan Insider Attack

Afghan armyA MARSOC Marine was killed in Afghanistan this week in an apparent insider attack.

Sgt. Charles C. Strong, 28, of Suffolk, Virginia, was killed Sept. 15, in Herat province, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command confirmed. Strong was a critical skills operator attached to 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion, out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to a news release, and had served in the Marines since 2003.

A former military police officer with two deployments to Iraq and a previous tour in Afghanistan, Strong joined MARSOC in 2013, officials said.

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Afghan conflict: Three Nato troops killed in Kabul bomb attack

NATo troops killed near KabulAt least three coalition personnel have died after a Taliban suicide car bomber rammed into a foreign military convoy in the Afghan capital Kabul, Nato says.

The blast killed a Polish soldier and two Americans serving with Nato. A fourth member of the Nato force was seriously injured.

At least 16 civilians were also hurt, Afghan government sources say.  The blast took place in heavy traffic on the airport road near the US embassy at about 08:00 local time (03:30 GMT).

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U.S. Inspector: Billions in failed programs wasted in Afghanistan

billions wasted in AfghanistanThe top U.S. official for monitoring aid to Afghanistan painted a grim portrait of the country’s future Friday, saying it is riddled with corruption and graft.

With most Americans’ attention riveted on Iraq and Syria, John F. Sopko, the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan, said the United States’ unprecedented $120 billion reconstruction investment there is at risk.

“The country remains under assault by insurgents and is short of domestic revenue, plagued by corruption, afflicted by criminal elements involved in opium and smuggling, and struggling to execute the basic functions of government,” Sopko said in a speech at Georgetown University.

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US military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,199

Afghanisgtan - US war deadAs of Wednesday, August 13, 2014, at least 2,199 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.

The AP count is four less than the Defense Department's tally, last updated Wednesday at 10 a.m. EDT.

At least 1,821 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers.

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Saving Iraqis the US left behind

Iraqis left behindAfter the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, Hakim, a 49-year-old Sunni Iraqi, helped the U.S. and NATO forces by serving as a guide in Mosul. He enjoyed this work, often traveling with American military units as they went door to door, aiming to win local support. This work financially sustained Hakim and his family, but it put them in danger.

After waiting four years, during which time his house was set afire and his younger brother killed for working as an interpreter and guide, Hakim was finally granted a special immigrant visa and resettled in New York, but without his wife. She still awaits an answer to her application for asylum. Now with renewed calls for military action in Iraq, Hakim worries that his wife will never get out of the country.

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U.S. airstrikes underway in Iraq, destroying Islamic State artillery

US hits ISISThe Pentagon confirmed Friday that the U.S. military has begun "targeted" airstrikes against Islamic State terrorists in northern Iraq.

Around 6:45 a.m. EDT on Friday, two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter jets dropped 500 lb. laser-guided bombs on militant artillery used by the IS (also known as ISIS and ISIL). The strike was launched against an unspecified area near the Kurdish capital of Erbil.

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Attack at Afghan base kills US general, wounds 15

Camp QuarghaA U.S. Army major general was killed in an attack at an Afghan military base in Kabul on Tuesday, according to a defense official who asked not to be named.

If confirmed would be the highest ranking American officer to be killed in the war in Afghanistan.  A defense official confirmed the information on the condition he not be named since the family had not been fully notified yet.

Coalition headquarters in Kabul would confirm only that one coalition servicemen was killed in an attack. The coalition headquarters did not detail the circumstances of the attack.

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