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IAVA Daily Brief 6.2.11
Posted by Isabel Black on June 2

Here are some of today's top stories and happenings at IAVA. Prefer to receive real-time updates about major stories and legislation that IAVA is tracking? Follow us on Twitter @IAVAPressRoom or subscribe at www.IAVA.org/DailyNewsBrief.

MUST READS

1) Joblessness among post-Sept. 11 vets remains high

The unemployment rate among military veterans who served after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks remains stubbornly higher than that of the general population, especially for the youngest men to leave the service, according to a congressional report released Tuesday.  The Memorial Day-themed report cites new federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data and suggests that one major reason for the high unemployment is that post-9/11 veterans were more likely to be employed in industries that were hit hardest by the recession.

2) Brain injuries are seen in new scans of veterans

A new study may help explain why some military personnel exposed to blasts have symptoms of brain injury even though their CT and MRI scans look normal. Using a highly sensitive type of magnetic resonance imaging, researchers studied 63 service men injured by explosions in Iraq or Afghanistan and found evidence of brain injuries in some that were too subtle to be detected by standard scans. IAVA intern Nick Colgin discussed with the New York Times his experiences with a TBI and the standard scans that were used following his injury.

3) Marines wrestle with exasperation in battle for hearts and minds

Two months ahead of President Barack Obama’s target date for a reduction in forces, Marines in Helmand province are still fighting daily battles with Taliban militants who have recently returned from their winter hideouts.  Though commanders in many parts of Afghanistan predicted that Taliban fighters would not return in force this year to face coalition troops who are more entrenched in more areas than ever before, some companies predicted a fight, and the insurgents have brought one.

AFGHANISTAN

  • After 10 years of bloody battle in Afghanistan, the United States is looking to talk peace with Taliban officials before the July drawdown of American troops.

  • Potential Republican presidential candidate Sarah Palin warned today that Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s recent clash with NATO is a “dangerous” development that could lead to a scenario in which the US should immediately withdraw both troops and aid from Afghanistan.

  • IRAQ

    • Unsolved violence against media in Mexico rose sharply in 2010 but Iraq remained worst in the world when it comes to punishing murders of reporters, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday.

    • MILITARY AFFAIRS

      • US military dining facilities in Europe and other food service facilities serving US troops are pulling raw cucumbers, tomatoes and lettuce from their menus, in accordance with recommendations by health authorities struggling to find the source of a deadly E. coli outbreak that began in northern Germany and is spreading across Europe.

      • The first civilian convicted by a military court in more than 40 years is arguing that the Constitution forbids military justice for civilians.

      • INSIDE WASHINGTON

        • The chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee announced a goal on Wednesday of finding jobs for 400,000 veterans within two years, a move that would reduce the unemployment rate for veterans of all generations.

        • Several US Senators are demanding that the Obama administration pressure Pakistan to cut off the supply of chemical fertilizer to Afghanistan, where it is used as the main ingredient in homemade bombs, the number one killer of US troops.

        • A wide-range of views, positions, and publications are represented in these articles. These views, positions and publications are not endorsed by nor do they necessarily represent the views of IAVA.