April 6th, 2012
11:27 AM ET

Board recommends dismissal of anti-Obama Marine

By Michael Pearson and Moni Basu

A Marine Corps board has recommended that a politically active Marine sergeant who questioned President Barack Obama's authority be dismissed from service with an "other than honorable" discharge.

Sgt. Gary Stein, who posted anti-Obama comments on his Facebook page, stands accused of violating a catch-all military justice provision against conduct endangering "good order and discipline."

He is also accused of violating a Department of Defense policy limiting the political activities of service members.


Survey: Veterans say Afghanistan, Iraq wars not worth it
US Marines on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan Photo From: AFP/Getty Images
October 5th, 2011
02:37 PM ET

Survey: Veterans say Afghanistan, Iraq wars not worth it

By CNN's Moni Basu

America's veterans are proud of their military service, but in a new report published Wednesday, they expressed ambivalence about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In a new Pew Research Center report on war and sacrifice, half of post-9/11 veterans said the Afghanistan war has been worth fighting. Only 44% felt that way about Iraq, and one-third said both wars were worth the costs.

Some of those costs were outlined in the Pew study, which comes out as the United States marks the 10th anniversary Friday of the Afghanistan conflict, the longest-running war in the nation's history.

For instance, four of every 10 veterans reported they had difficulties adjusting back to life at home after the combat zone, and 37% said they suffered from post-traumatic stress, even though they might not have been formally diagnosed as such.

"The ambivalence that many post-9/11 veterans feel about their military mission has a parallel in the mixture of benefits and burdens they report having experienced since their return to civilian life," the report said.


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Filed under: 10 years of war • 9/11 • Afghanistan • Foreign Policy • Iraq • Military • Pentagon
Not just SEALs: Son wants father recognized
August 9th, 2011
12:21 PM ET

Not just SEALs: Son wants father recognized

By CNN's Ashley Fantz

A week ago, 10-year-old Braydon Nichols started to think about his dad and how much he missed him.

Army Chief Warrant Officer Bryan Nichols, a helicopter pilot, had been deployed for two months in Afghanistan.

The little boy, in the car with his mother running errands, brushed back his dirty-blond hair and ran his hand over his cheek.

Jessica Nichols looked over when she heard sniffles. Her son was crying.

"When is Dad coming back so we go camping?" he asked her.

Soon, she assured him. "Your dad is off fighting for this country."

The boy replied, "As soon as he gets home, we're going to go on a camping trip, just me and him."

Jessica Nichols cannot stop replaying that scene in her mind. That's because only a few days later, on Saturday night, she was cradling her boy who was crying once again. Except this time she could not tell him that his father was coming home. She had just received a call informing her that Bryan Nichols was one of the 30 Americans who died that afternoon when their Chinook helicopter was shot down in Wardak province in east-central Afghanistan.

Continue reading the story

June 16th, 2011
03:00 PM ET

Analysis: Al-Zawahiri takes al Qaeda's helm when influence is waning

Ayman al-Zawahiri's coronation as the king of al Qaeda came with some anxiety over another major attack and a barrage of questions about the future of the terror network.

Since 1998, al-Zawahiri had been Osama bin Laden's personal physician and closest confidant, a steadfast deputy who eulogized his boss after his death last month in Pakistan. But it took this many weeks for an al Qaeda announcement on its new leader, and that suggested to some analysts that there had been head-bashing over who should take the helm.

"It doesn't suggest a vast reservoir of accumulated goodwill for him," said Peter Bergen, CNN's national security analyst.

When the founder and leader of any organization dies, it's a challenge to thrive. In al Qaeda's case, the road ahead is lined with major bumps, especially for its newly anointed leader. FULL POST

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Filed under: Al Qaeda • Al-Zawahiri