COVER STORYTroops combat Taliban’s new weapon of choice – secondary bombsRoadside bombs are still effective in stopping a convoy. If the insurgents can disable a vehicle, they can force U.S. troops out of the protective vehicles to investigate, exposing them to secondary bombs — increasingly a weapon of choice in the badlands of southern Afghanistan. • Story

Muslim soldier’s fears lead to off-post housing requestStaff Sgt. Azhar Sher is a rare and valued commodity in the Army. Fluent in Pashto and a variety of other languages spoken in Afghanistan, the infantryman has spent most of the past five years there because, he said, he believes in the mission. Five deployments in five years, no problem. But back home, living on post? That can be a problem for a Muslim with Pakistan-born parents, no matter how patriotic. • Story

Afghan police slow to earn trust of AmericansThe Afghan police chief asked why the Americans still had their armor on after entering his unit’s compound during a recent visit. Army 1st Lt. Julian Stewart didn’t want to appear rude. Keeping things calm, he knew, is a key part of working with the Afghan National Police. • Story

Big time fun: Everyone is welcome at a Sumo wrestling tournamentSeeing a sumo tournament live in Japan is a must. I’d seen a clip or two on television, but watching it on the tube doesn’t do the sport justice. One might think that anyone can get big and put on a diaper — it’s actually called a "mawashi" — and slap another fat guy around a ring a few times. • Story

AFRICOM could add Marine Air Ground Task ForceA 1,000-strong Marine combat task force capable of rapidly deploying to hot spots could soon be at the disposal of the new U.S. Africa Command, which up to now has stressed training partnerships and security cooperation to wary African governments suspicious of U.S. military intentions on the continent. • Story

More stories:• IED school updating programs • New Army regs vague on how to remove stigma of seeking help • Seoul American forfeits games in three sports over ineligible players • Some retailers inflating costs to ship to APO addresses

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

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