UCTV Series “Voices,” Tales From the Front Lines: Reporting From Iraq and Afghanistan with Dexter Filkins, author of “The Forever War” and winner of the Pulitzer Prize. 

pbstv:

The Iraq War: How We Spent $800 Billion (and Counting)
The Iraq war cost twice as much as the war in Afghanistan, and more than 16 times as much as the Bush administration predicted. But what did we pay for?
Dive deep into FRONTLINE’s new interactive to break down the cost of the Iraq War.

pbstv:

The Iraq War: How We Spent $800 Billion (and Counting)

The Iraq war cost twice as much as the war in Afghanistan, and more than 16 times as much as the Bush administration predicted. But what did we pay for?

Dive deep into FRONTLINE’s new interactive to break down the cost of the Iraq War.

(Source: pbs.org)

SF Chronicle

As service members have returned injured from Iraq and Afghanistan, the government has built an infrastructure for their caregivers. There are support groups and a national hotline that receives about 150 calls a day from caregivers, according to the VA.

Congress has also authorized funding for full-time caregivers, and about 8,500 applications for benefits have been approved. Stipends range from about $550 to $2,100 a month depending on geography and the care the veteran needs.

Jeannette Hilgert, the caregiver support coordinator at the San Francisco VA Medical Center, said that while caregivers tell her they feel isolated, they also find it rewarding to take care of their loved ones in such a way.

"Just when you think things can’t get any worse, the Syrian government finds ways to escalate its killing tactics."

At least 141 people, half of them children, were killed when the Syrian military fired at least four missiles into the northern province of Aleppo last week, Human Rights Watch has said. (via newsflick)

(Source: newsflick, via shortformblog)

BBC News:

The issue of civilian deaths caused by Nato strikes has been one of the greatest sources of tension between the US and Afghan officials, with President Hamid Karzai frequently speaking out in anger over deaths.

Earlier this month a UN report accused the US of killing hundreds of children in air strikes over the past four years.

The number of child casualties had doubled in 2010-2011 due to a “lack of precautionary measures and use of indiscriminate force”, the study found.

Isaf called the claims “categorically unfounded” and “false”.

From “The 13-Year War" on American Prospect:

To date, we’ve spent over half a trillion dollars in Afghanistan, a figure that includes only the direct yearly costs for both military expenditures and civilian aid. It doesn’t include the cost of replacing materiel and weapons used in Afghanistan, nor the long-term costs of caring for the thousands of servicemembers who were wounded there. Those factors will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the tally in the years to come. And today, keeping a single servicemember in Afghanistan costs upward of a million dollars per year.

From “The 13-Year War" on American Prospect:

To date, we’ve spent over half a trillion dollars in Afghanistan, a figure that includes only the direct yearly costs for both military expenditures and civilian aid. It doesn’t include the cost of replacing materiel and weapons used in Afghanistan, nor the long-term costs of caring for the thousands of servicemembers who were wounded there. Those factors will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the tally in the years to come. And today, keeping a single servicemember in Afghanistan costs upward of a million dollars per year.

Reuters:

More than 10 suspected al Qaeda operatives were killed by an explosion in a house in south Yemen where they were making bombs, and at least six others died in two strikes from U.S. drones, tribal and official sources said on Sunday.

Strikes by suspected U.S. drone aircraft killed three people on Saturday and another three on Sunday in two parts of central Maarib province, tribal and government sources said.

The Yemeni Defence Ministry said in an SMS text message that a number of militants were killed in two air strikes but gave no further details.

The United States never comments on strikes by its pilotless aircraft, which it has used to hunt militants in Yemen for years. The Yemeni government allows U.S. strikes but usually does not comment on the U.S. role in specific incidents.

The attack was targeted against 45 insurgents in the area and Major Adam Wojack said “many had been killed.”

Despite the headlines, “[i]n August, UN figures suggested the number of civilians killed and injured in the first half of 2012 had fallen 15% on the same period of 2011.” 

Even if drone strikes have improved in accuracy overall, or this specific mission did kill a significant number of insurgents, the question remains: does that matter if even more hatred is created by the civilian deaths that do occur?

Some things never change:

From my textbook on World War I: 

In some ways, life in Britain, and in other combatant powers, seemed to go on as before, which increasingly outraged soldiers returning from the front. Elegantly dressed people of means dining in the finest restaurants or watching the races at Derby and Ascot contrasted dramatically with the returning trainloads of badly wounded soldiers, and with the rationing of coal and food….Some big businessmen found the war very profitable, amassing fortunes on war supplies: Anglo-Persian Oil, which had lost money in 1914, enjoyed profits of 85 million pounds in 1916, 344 million points in 1917 and over 1 billion in 1918. Profits of rubber companies increased fourfold. 

BBC:

Senior officials in Kunar told the BBC the militants arrived in “dozens of vehicles” to burn houses of villagers and “possibly execute people”.