When former Air Force Academy cadet Eric Thomas faced a disciplinary board in August 2012, a special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations said he would come to explain how Thomas worked dozens of cases as a confidential informant and had been of great service to the Air Force.
The Pentagon faces budget cuts of $487 billion over the next 10 years — and the threat of $500 billion more under sequestration. But paring down the budget by killing weapons programs is no easy task on Capitol Hill, where politicians, backed by the defense industry lobby, fight to protect jobs in their home districts.
Bamiyan, a picturesque but deeply impoverished province in north-central Afghanistan, has remained largely peaceful since international forces left earlier this year, but now a neighbor’s instability is making life difficult for residents.
Less than an hour’s drive from the sleepy city of Bamiyan, with its giant Buddhas, nascent tourism industry, and zero foreign troops, this rugged mountain district in what many consider the safest province in the country has quietly become a tense battleground between government forces and insurgents. It may provide a peek at what Afghanistan faces in a post-NATO world.
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