US Air Force Colonel Walker speaks about night vision considerations that directly apply to both Air and ground forces. Col Walker's presentation is a short explanation of how different lighting and atmospheric conditions affect what we see while using NVG's. Good basic information for ground forces towards understanding the adverse affects of ground lighting to aircrews when working with air support assets. Click on the video screenshot to view 26-minute presentation.
President Obama posthumously awarded on Thursday the nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, to a Massachusetts soldier who died in Afghanistan in 2006 after repeatedly trying to save a wounded comrade.
The soldier, Staff Sgt. Jared C. Monti, a team leader with the 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, died during a Taliban ambush in the mountains of Nuristan Province on June 21st, 2006.
In a somber White House ceremony attended by Sergeant Monti’s family, Mr. Obama said the 30-year-old soldier was twice driven back by gunfire when he tried to reach the wounded soldier 20 yards away.
“Faced with overwhelming enemy fire, Jared could have stayed where he was, behind that wall,” Mr. Obama recounted. “But that was not the kind of soldier Jared Monti was.”
On his third attempt to rescue the soldier, Sergeant Monti was felled by a rocket-propelled grenade. Three other soldiers died that day. Read more...
It became a tour of a Taliban-controlled district of Afghanistan, and that control appeared total. At no point did we see a single NATO soldier, Afghan policeman, soldier or any check to the Taliban’s ability to move at will.
We did see two green Afghan police pickup trucks, both full of Taliban fighters and weapons. “This is our jail,” went the running commentary. “This is the checkpoint where we expelled the government forces.”
It felt like a military embed with the American military, except at gunpoint. “You spend enough time with the Americans, you should spend some time with us,” one of the Taliban said, making the comparison explicit. In fact I had not spent any time with the American military in Afghanistan, but it seemed unwise to correct him.
A new report by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, in detailing the deteriorating situation there raises the question of whether to deepen American involvement in the war. At the same time, his strategy is not so much to kill Taliban insurgents as it is to isolate them by making ordinary Afghans feel secure — an approach that means less force and more economic development.
The latest assessment once again raises the issue of whether the coalition should negotiate with the Taliban. How might talks be carried out? What are the risks involved?
Read the differing opinions below...
- Elizabeth Rubin, NY Times reporter
- Ali Ahmad Jalali, former interior minister of Afghanistan
- Fotini Christia, MIT political science professor
- Michael Semple, Afghanistan specialist
- Carne Ross, a former British diplomat
- Nile Gardiner, Heritage Foundation
- Gareth Price, Chatham House
- Greg Mills, former security adviser in Afghanistan