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COVER STORYMixing fighting and food in AfghanistanIt was a textbook example of the Obama administration’s new "whole of government" strategy for the U.S. military to advance the war in Afghanistan: Kill Taliban insurgents while simultaneously helping Afghan civilians. Yet there is something inherently wrong with that approach, according to international humanitarian aid and development organizations. Mixing fighting and food distribution, they say, is a recipe for disaster. • Story

Failing the stress tests?With an estimated 20 percent of U.S. servicemembers returning from war zones suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a burgeoning suicide rate in the ranks and occasional murder or other extreme outbursts of violence, the Pentagon is scrambling to grapple with the mounting psychological fallout from America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. • Story

Jared Monti’s soldiers watched him give his life, and it changed theirsEven though bullets came pouring in like hail, Staff Sgt. Jared Monti made a break for it. The enemy was strong — maybe 50, to the 16 Americans. But Pvt. Brian Bradbury was Monti’s guy. He was isolated and bleeding badly on this grim mountain ridge in northeastern Afghanistan’s Nuristan province. • Story

U.S. military seeks to reduce reliance on toxic hexavalent chromiumIt is a highly toxic chemical that allegedly sickened National Guardsmen in Iraq and caused the legal battle that inspired the movie “Erin Brockovich.” Now, hexavalent chromium is in the U.S. military’s sights under a recent Pentagon order to begin finding ways to reduce the use of the carcinogen. • Story

Some baby monitors cause problems in JapanWarning: Your baby monitor could knock your neighbors off their cellular phone grids and ground aircraft. • Story

Fairford operations and staff cuts plannedIn an effort to cut costs, England’s RAF Fairford will lose its permanently assigned airmen and greatly reduce its daily operations starting next year. • Story

Revelers drink up the fun at OktoberfestAt 10. a.m., two hours before the lord mayor of Munich was to tap the first Oktoberfest keg, the huge Hofbräu tent was already packed. The young, mostly English-speaking crowd inside played cards, drank cola and ate soft pretzels in the warm morning as they waited for the beer to flow. • Story

Okinawa official wants to require cleanups before land is returnedAn Okinawa official wants Japan’s new government to ensure the U.S. military cleans up environmental damage before it returns base property. • Story

Spouse CallsA weekly column in Stripes' Scene magazine by Terri Barnes, a military wife and mother of three who lives and writes in Germany. • This week's column • Terri Barnes' blog

About the U.S. editionFor the first time since the Civil War, Stars and Stripes is returning stateside. The U.S. edition, available to local newspapers as a supplement, features some of the best content from the week’s daily overseas editions ... the top military stories from several news bureaus within Stars and Stripes’ three theaters — Europe, Pacific and Middle East — as well as coverage of military issues from the Pentagon and Capitol Hill.

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