Military News Highlights: December 20, 2010

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Life and Death Decisions Weigh on Junior Officers

To command soldiers in combat is a privilege, one that this young infantry company commander relishes.  To be clear, life and death decisions weigh more heavily on rifle company commanders than any other combat line officer because of the nature of command and control that battlefield tactics require.  Rifle companies are organized by three-to-four platoons and operate exclusively at the whim of his command.  Often these companies are assigned large swaths of terrain to operate in, and carry out missions issued to him by higher headquarters with little appreciation for their on-the-ground tactical judgment.  It is a lonely perch at the tip of the spear.   What is most compelling about this particular rifle company commander is his commitment to compassion, the prism he uses to gauge his duty while leading his company with steely resolve.    

Afghan War Just a Slice of U.S. Coverage

As the grind continues, U.S. media coverage of the war accounts for only 4% of the news – and as described by the New York Times, “like a faint heartbeat.”  Unfortunately, the old adage that “no news is good news” can’t be applied to the “4%” that gets out to the public since all of the news is one more story or report concerning new casualty records beings set, increased Taliban operational strength in areas that NATO can’t operate in, outlandish tales of government corruption, and so on, and so on.  Simply put, while it may only be “4%” of the total media coverage, the news coming from the war in Afghanistan is bad 100% of the time.

Foreign troop death toll hits 700 in Afghanistan

This weekend the war in Afghanistan claimed its 700th foreign troop death as a result of an IED strike in southern Afghanistan – setting a new record for the number of combat deaths. 

The grind continues.

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