NATO suddenly classifies ratings of Afghan military and police capabilities

By Julia Harte

NATO abruptly classifies assessments of Afghan army and police, which the U.S. spent billions building up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… nsuring the validity of those self-reported assessments. In response, the United States Forces – Afghanistan wrote that ISAF would work to create an “overarch …"

Investigators find Islamic State used ammo made in 21 countries, including America

By Julia Harte and R. Jeffrey Smith

A new report from an arms tracking group highlights how easily munitions shipped to the Middle East shift from one owner to another.

Excerpts from this story referencing "London":

"… n Syria, Christoff said. The new data were collected by a three-year-old, London-based group called Conflict Armament Research, which sends investigators i …"

Afghan government can’t account for billions of dollars in Pentagon aid

By James Arkin

Military officials did not hold Afghanistan accountable for mismanaging the disbursement of funds to the army and police.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Defense":

"… d, according to a new report from the Pentagon’s internal watchdog. The Department of Defense provided $3.3 billion in such aid between October 2010 and October 2013, y …"

Why Republican control of Congress hinges on nine big-money Senate races

By Michael Beckel and Dave Levinthal

Nine big-money Senate races will determine whether Republicans control both chambers of Congress.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Arkansas":

"… eir allies have aired more TV ads to date than their GOP rivals in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina, according to data provided by Kan …"

"… pick up at least three seats. Meanwhile, Democratic incumbents in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina are bracing themselves against str …"

"… e, through late August, spent about $2.66 per eligible voter on TV ads. 2) Arkansas Incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is fighting for a third term in a st …"

"… dn’t even field a challenger to Pryor, whose family is an institution in Arkansas politics. This election cycle, Pryor is being challenged by freshman Rep. …"

Activists say gun debate overlooks gun-related deaths of children

By Kate Murphy and Jordan Rubio

An investigation found that at least 28,000 children and teens 19-years-old and younger were killed with guns in America over 10 years

Excerpts from this story referencing "North Carolina":

"… ember. He was hunting with his dad, uncle and step brother in Wake Forest, North Carolina, when a shotgun blast took his life. Sincere Tymere Smith was 2 when he f …"

U.S. now faces threat of U.S.-made weapons in Iraq

By Douglas Birch

Islamic State fighters seize U.S. military equipment in Iraq, become targets for U.S. warplanes.

Excerpts from this story referencing "M1 Abrams":

"… the three heaviest pieces of U.S.-built equipment in the Iraqi arsenal — M1 Abrams tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M109 self-propelled howitzers. Prege …"

"… ave captured. The jihadis claimed to have captured at least one abandoned M1 Abrams tank, and have posted photographs of flatbed trucks hauling Humvees to unk …"

U.S. loses track of weapons shipped to Afghanistan

By James Arkin

Three separate systems are used to track the arms sent to Afghanistan, but they are riddled with errors and not linked up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pentagon":

"… these ideas “positive steps toward better weapons accountability.” …"

"… nd correct all data errors within six months. It also recommended that the Pentagon work with Afghan forces to complete a full inventory of small arms, and de …"

Afghans don’t like soybeans, despite a big U.S. push

By Alexander Cohen and James Arkin

Washington ignored warnings that Afghans were unlikely to embrace protein-rich soy products.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… and poor spending controls. No one has calculated precisely how much the United States wasted or misspent in Afghanistan, but a special congressionally-chartered …"

25 years, countless investigations and 935 lies

By Charles Lewis

Founder Chuck Lewis tells how the Center for Public Integrity came to be in this excerpt from his new book.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Center for Public Integrity":

"… er for Investigative Reporting, in California), we named our new group the Center for Public Integrity. Although this title sounded a little odd and somewhat pretentious, we ha …"

"… private institutions, using the tools of investigative journalism.” The Center for Public Integrity was incorporated in Washington, D.C., on March 30, 1989, and months later …"

"… technical standpoint, is a mixed blessing in this regard. Of course, the Center for Public Integrity has also embraced online distribution, albeit in a different way than comm …"

"… making in Washington, D.C., and state capitals. We like to think that the Center for Public Integrity’s publication of thoughtful, in-depth investigative reporting—and the …"

U.S. military describes its mistakes in Afghanistan

By R. Jeffrey Smith

A report by the Joint Chiefs of Staff says that both military and civilian officials failed to tackle corrosive corruption.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Taliban":

"… not an incompetent military, not an inadequate police force, and not the Taliban’s sanctuary in neighboring Pakistan, all longstanding U.S. concerns — …"

"… that federal decision-making was itself corrupt. Some citizens viewed the Taliban and its shadowy judicial processes as less prone to the bribery, selective …"

U.S. literacy program for Afghan military comes up short

By Mattie Quinn and R. Jeffrey Smith

Auditor says a program in Afghanistan costing hundreds of millions of dollars has been undermined by poor contracts and weak monitoring.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Taliban":

"… d write is a steppingstone to their success on the battlefield against the Taliban and other insurgent forces, particularly after the U.S. Army and its coali …"

Afghanistan's narcotics problems grow worse

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Mattie Quinn

A costly and ambitious U.S. effort to curtail Afghanistan's poppy production falters as U.S. forces draw down.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Taliban":

"… “surge” during Obama’s first term. This grim news is a boon to the Taliban, which is now drawing at least $155 million a year from narcotics-related …"

"… ing the funds in insurgency, according to United Nations estimates. “The Taliban is involved in taxing opium poppy farmers; operating processing laboratori …"

Dwindling number of judges burdens workers

By Jim Morris

The number of judges overseeing a federal worker compensation program has fallen, even as worker caseloads rise.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Social Security":

"… ral workers’ compensation system] is all they have other than, probably, Social Security.” Birnbaum, the lawyer, said that when the Longshore program is “admi …"

Rising caseload, fewer Labor Department judges triggers painful mix for suffering laborers

By Jim Morris

A federal worker compensation program once viewed as a model now suffers rising caseloads — but fewer judges, triggering frustration.

Excerpts from this story referencing "San Diego":

"… For another Dupree client — Robert Durbin, a fiberglass technician for a San Diego yacht-building firm in the 1980s — the challenge isn’t winning a Longs …"

How shipping unions sunk food aid reform

By Sasha Chavkin

Maritime unions, shipping industry block reform to U.S. food aid distribution with campaign contributions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government Accountability Office":

"… the goods free of cost for humanitarian groups to distribute. Although the Government Accountability Office has concluded that this system is “inherently inefficient” and can be …"

Exporting mismanagement to Afghanistan

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Auditors cannot account for many spare parts purchased for the Afghanistan Army.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. military":

"… eful, but the proof is in the pudding." …"

Sequestration nation: military communities feel nation's budget stress

By James Politi

Civilian Pentagon workers hit hard by sequestration-related cuts to federal budget.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Robert Gates":

"… the case that the Pentagon budget is bloated and needs to be slashed. Even Robert Gates, the former defense secretary, warned that defense spending was “divorce …"

Audit: U.S. lacks anti-corruption plan for Afghan aid

By Douglas Birch

Audit says U.S. lacks blueprint to assure Afghan assistance is well-spent

Excerpts from this story referencing "Taliban":

"…   The situation has weakened local governments and strengthened the Taliban, the report said. Meanwhile, U.S. military officers sometimes rely on corr …"

Some charities claiming to support veterans spend heavily on overhead instead

By Chad Garland and Andrew Knochel

News21 investigation finds that some charities supposedly supporting veterans actually spending more to keep their program alive.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… ars, as increasing numbers of veterans returned home from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a charity called Disabled Veterans Services of Pompano Beach, Fla., repor …"

U.S. agency rejects internal warnings about potential waste in Afghanistan aid program

By R. Jeffrey Smith

USAID commissioned two reports that raised red flags about aid to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Health but decided to keep spending millions.

Excerpts from this story referencing "John F. Sopko":

"… in 2012 and 2013 — described in general terms in a Sept. 5 audit by John F. Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction — hav …"

One-fifth of female veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan show signs of sexual trauma

By Caitlin Cruz and Asha Anchan

News21 investigation reveals that the VA is struggling to deal with female vets who have been sexually assaulted.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… this summer. …"

"… help. Young female veterans — those returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — often don’t show up for their first VA appointments, if they show up …"

"… health clinic in Germany and prepared soldiers to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. She also comforted families who lost soldiers in the war. But back home …"

Women veterans face stereotypes on and off the battlefield

By Asha Anchan, Kelsey Hightower and Caitlin Cruz

News21 investigation finds that more than a quarter-million post-9/11 veterans are women, but fair treatment is lacking.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Department of Defense":

"… tion operator and analyst. Siska applied for more than 150 jobs posted on Department of Defense websites geared toward applicants with security clearances. The result alw …"

"… erienced similar scenarios, and she realized her story was not unique. The Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office estimates that 26,000 ca …"

GI bill covered tuition for nearly a million post-9/11 veterans without tracking their progress

By Meg Wagner, Anthony Cave and Hannah Winston

News21 investigation finds that despite billions spent, no federal agency keeps track of veterans who use the GI Bill.

Excerpts from this story referencing "White House":

"… /11 GI Bill is estimated to hit $42 billion next year, according to VA and White House projections. The VA has not released a 2011 breakdown of payments to indi …"

Suicide rate for veterans far exceeds that of civilian population

News21 investigation finds that veterans are taking their own lives more than twice as often as civilians.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… n Portland, Ore., working as a supply-chain analyst. He served in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army specialist and was discharged in 2007. One of his close friends …"

Hearing loss widespread among post-9/11 veterans

By Kay Miller

News21 investigation finds that 414,000 post-9/11 veterans have returned home with hearing loss or "ringing in the ears."

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government Accountability Office":

"… ability among all veterans is hearing related, according to a January 2011 Government Accountability Office report. Despite being such a prevalent condition, hearing problems don’ …"

Health care costs will mushroom as injured veterans age

By Jessica Wilde

News21 investigation finds injured veterans returning from Iraq, Afghanistan will need costly care for decades.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector General":

"… r whom follow-up care is particularly important, according to VA Office of Inspector General reports. The VA doesn’t always provide timely mental health evaluations …"

Veterans Affairs, Defense Depts. spend billions in effort to coordinate records

By Hannah Winston

News21 investigation finds Veterans Affairs, Defense departments dropped at least $1.3B on failed records system.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… 000 service members who will make their way home within the next year from Afghanistan. Nor does it include veterans who have yet to file disability claims. Tho …"

"… or chronic back pain. All are common among veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2012, the average time a claim waited for evidence to be processed …"

Claims processors received bonuses while backlog more than doubled

By Mary Shinn, Daniel Moore and Steven Rich

Veterans Affairs processors shared millions in awards while claims piled high, News21 investigation finds.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… the toxic chemical, Agent Orange. In addition, more than 830,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans returning home had filed claims as of March 2013, according t …"

"… eterans seeking disability compensation. Stephen Leon served two tours in Afghanistan and won the Army Commendation Medal for valor after a firefight with three …"

"… and PTSD. When he returned home July 2011, he couldn’t get his mind off Afghanistan, the battles and the friends he lost. “You’re used to a life of being …"

Post 9/11 veterans come home to a nation that cannot address their needs

By News21 Staff

News21 team investigates problems facing Iraq, Afghanistan veterans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Taliban":

"… , physical disabilities and military sexual trauma. Veterans who survived Taliban and al Qaida attacks, roadside bombs, mortar fire and the deaths of fellow …"

Returning veterans focus of new series by investigative program, News 21

By Bill Buzenberg

Center and other publications to run reports from Arizona State University student journalists.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… arly 2 million young men and women who have served the country in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade of war since 9/11.  The “struggles and blindi …"

"… e Challenges Facing Post-9/11 Veterans Returning from the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,”  this series of in-depth online reports will be published by the …"