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 "Iraq":

"… have changed from report to report. Quarterly reports on the readiness of Iraqi security forces sometimes showed similar fluctuations, according to Stuar …"

"… according to Stuart Bowen, who served as the Special Inspector General for Iraqi Reconstruction between 2004 and 2013. His April 2008 quarterly report not …"

"… d 2013. His April 2008 quarterly report noted that attrition rates for the Iraqi Army were around 3.6 percent per month — but he also cited Defense Depa …"

"… n a month. “Changing methodologies” accounted for data variances about Iraqi Security Forces personnel, he wrote. Still, the U.S.-led military comman …"

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 "officer":

"… measures are still being developed. Joshua M. Paul, a former U.S. embassy officer in Iraq who is now a spokesman for the State Department bureau that overse …"

"… out the front door — and trying to get a receipt from the chief [Iraqi] officer, who was real enthusiastic about it, I can tell you.” Eventually, at th …"

Marine Corps settles dispute with whistleblower

By Julia Harte

Scientific adviser Franz Gayl, whose protests forced the Corps to buy costly MRAPs, is appointed to a new commission on whistleblowers.

Excerpts from this story referencing "MRAP":

"… build costly Mine-Resistant, Armored-Protected vehicles, commonly known as MRAPs. Gayl was subsequently accused by the Marines of improperly placing a th …"

The 47-year-old nuclear elephant in the room

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

A growing number of U.S. experts say that feigning ignorance about Israel’s nuclear arsenal creates more trouble than it averts.

Excerpts from this story referencing "George W. Bush":

"… am Leonard, who ran a government-wide declassification effort as President George W. Bush’s director of the Information Security Oversight Office from 2002 to 200 …"

Children's rights groups urge Defense program to stop giving school cops military hardware

By Susan Ferriss

Groups trying to curb use of police in school discipline urge federal officials not give military weapons to campus police departments.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Michigan":

"… l, from California, Texas, Nevada and Utah to Florida, Georgia, Kansas and Michigan.   In California, the San Diego Unified School District acquired an …"

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 "North Carolina":

"… a dozen states, with the battlefield stretching from Alaska to Colorado to North Carolina. Democratic candidates and their allies have aired more TV ads to date th …"

"… to date than their GOP rivals in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina, according to data provided by Kantar Media/CMAG. Republican candidates a …"

"… nwhile, Democratic incumbents in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana and North Carolina are bracing themselves against strong Republican challengers. And hotly c …"

"… chamber of Congress during the final two years of Obama’s presidency. 1) North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan is running for re-election against Republican s …"

Firearms used in homicides often purchased illegally

By Kelsey Jukam, Aaron Maybin and Jordan Rubio

A News21 analysis of the FBI’s national database of supplementary homicide reports found that across the country, 17,422 black men between a

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… liest cities. One is dedicated to a veteran who survived his deployment in Iraq unscathed only to be shot and killed in his hometown. “This is not a wa …"

White House faces Democratic Senate revolt over nuclear security cuts

By James Arkin

Members of the Senate are asking Obama to increase spending to secure global nuclear weapons stocks

Excerpts from this story referencing "Iraq":

"… nt and Budget Director Shaun Donovan. “The recent spate of terrorism in Iraq, Pakistan, and Kenya is a harrowing reminder of the importance of ensuring …"

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 "F-16":

"… ment. The CRS said Iraq has also struck a deal to pay $6.5 billion for 36 F-16 combat aircraft, the first of which scheduled for delivery next month. The …"

"… combat aircraft, the first of which scheduled for delivery next month. The F-16s were supposed to be based at Balad Air Base north of Baghdad, but InsideD …"

Nuclear weapons lab employee fired after publishing scathing critique of the arms race

By Douglas Birch

Los Alamos lets a 17-year employee go after retroactively classifying his published article.

Excerpts from this story referencing "R. Jeffrey Smith":

"… e security of the United States.” Managing editor for national security R. Jeffrey Smith contributed to this article. …"

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 "California":

"… profit organizations (including the Center for Investigative Reporting, in California), we named our new group the Center for Public Integrity. Although this t …"

Finding the truth in 935 lies about war with Iraq

By Bill Buzenberg

New book from Center's founder discusses the orchestrated deception that led to war in Iraq, and what it means for the future of truth.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Mike Wallace":

"… and then CBS News, including producing investigative reports for the late Mike Wallace on 60 Minutes.   “My dream was a kind of journalistic utopia,” h …"

Japan could be building an irresistible terrorist target, experts say

Japan has balked at U.S. security advice for its nuclear plants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "chemist":

"… That’s the best we can do with measurement,” said Shirley Johnson, a chemist and retired IAEA safeguards inspector, who has worked at Rokkasho. While …"

"… ential to become a bomb fuel. Paul Dickman, the former NRC official, is a chemist and a policy fellow at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Labor …"

"… m oxide and the pure metallic plutonium preferred by bomb-builders “is a chemist.” Extracting the plutonium from the mixture would not be difficult, he s …"

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 "Iraq":

"… ing to military contract workers, are mounting steadily due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In a memorandum to Deputy Secretary of Labor Seth Harris …"

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 "Iraq":

"… s. Terry Dean Ratliff left his home in Arizona in 2009 to drive a truck in Iraq for Service Employees International Inc. (SEII). He did it for the money …"

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 …"

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 "Iraq":

"… ho stormed Normandy on D-day. Its troops helped lead the 2003 invasion of Iraq; men and women from the 4th brigade are still toiling in Afghanistan. At l …"

"… inancial outlook.” Some cuts occurred naturally as troops withdrew from Iraq and Afghanistan, meaning communities such as Fort Campbell had been grappl …"

Russian site eyed for Syrian chemical weapons destruction

By R. Jeffrey Smith

There’s a reason why Western officials are being nice to Moscow now — they want Russia to destroy Syria’s deadly arsenal on its own soil.

Excerpts from this story referencing "VX":

"… een estimated at between 1,000 and 1,300 tons of deadly Sarin, mustard and VX nerve gas — equivalent to at least 239,000 gallons, some in vats, some i …"

"… Moscow, where its employees have been destroying Russia’s own stocks of VX and Sarin since 2009. The plant was constructed over a decade with $1 bill …"

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 "Iraq":

"… r four years, as increasing numbers of veterans returned home from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a charity called Disabled Veterans Services of Pompano Be …"

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 "Florida":

"… he also comforted families who lost soldiers in the war. But back home in Florida, de Leon found no comfort with therapists at the West Palm Beach VA. They …"

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 "Iraq":

"… s have been historic, with more than 280,000 returning from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last decade. A News21 demographic analysis shows t …"

"… ecade. A News21 demographic analysis shows that 17.4 percent of post-9/11 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans are women. More than a quarter of those women …"

"… uard Spc. Crystal Sandor muscled a 5-ton truck through the ragtag roads of Iraq and likely would be dead from an exploding fireball had the 4-foot-10 sold …"

"… 18, 2004. She was a driver in a 20-truck convoy during a night mission in Iraq. She laughs just a little, remembering a conversation with a fellow soldi …"

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 "Government Accountability Office":

"… efits paid to each school. VA officials replied to auditors in a May 2013 Government Accountability Office report that the primary VA job is to provide benefits, “not to be respon …"

Is the Veterans Affairs Dept. too stringent on veteran-owned companies?

By Steven Rich

News21 investigation details the complex verification process for contracts aimed at veteran-owned companies.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government Accountability Office":

"… ompanies have still been able to get into the system. In October 2011, the Government Accountability Office issued 13 recommendations for the VA to improve its fraud-prevention progr …"

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 "Iraq":

"… sponse to the Joshua Omvig Veteran Suicide Prevention Act — named for an Iraq war veteran who committed suicide in 2005 — the department’s efforts i …"

"… , lives in 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 h …"

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 "Iraq":

"… t get a drink of water. Hancock, 27, joined the Army in 2004 and went to Iraq, where he drove a tank. On Memorial Day 2007 — one month after the birth …"

"… t of health care for the large number of post-9/11 veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with life-lasting wounds. But it is certain to be high, wi …"

"… rsity and coauthor of "The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict." As veterans age, their injuries worsen over time, she said. Th …"

"… 3, according to the VA budget. Like Hancock, many veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have survived multiple combat injuries because of military …"

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 "Iraq":

"… disorder 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 …"

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 "Iraq":

"… result of the toxic chemical, Agent Orange. In addition, more than 830,000 Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans returning home had filed claims as of March 2 …"

"… ave creative ways to get the work done,” Bump said. Jonathan Bivens, an Iraq veteran living in California, Md., is one of the 3 percent of veterans who …"

"… office. Sean Meade was a National Guardsman who deployed with the Army to Iraq for a tour during 2006 and 2007. Claims processors denied his disability c …"

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 "Florida":

"… as an Army medic in Bamberg, Germany, from 2007 to 2009. Once back home in Florida, she said she found no comfort with therapists at the West Palm Beach VA a …"

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 "Iraq":

"… s, the nearly 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 “stru …"

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

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