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"The Taliban came at the Afghan Security Forces more intensely than perhaps we anticipated," Army Lt. Gen. John Nicholson, President Obama's nominee to become the next top American commander in Afghanistan, testified last week to Congress. (Associated Press)

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APTOPIX Brazil Zika Virus.JPEG-05ba2.jpg

A health worker stands in the Sambadrome as he sprays insecticide to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmits the Zika virus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. Inspectors begin to spray insecticide around Sambadrome, the outdoor grounds where thousands of dancers and musicians will parade during the city's Feb. 5-10 Carnival celebrations. Brazil's health minister says the country will mobilize some 220,000 troops to battle the mosquito blamed for spreading a virus linked to birth defects. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

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Georgia state Rep. Tommy Benton, a Republican, says the House Democrats pushing to end state holidays celebrating the Confederacy are committing "cultural terrorism" comparable to the Islamic State terrorist group. (Facebook/@Tommy Benton)

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Submarine

NAVY - ATTACK SUBMARINES (SSNS). The Navy deploys three classes of these sleek subs: the Los Angeles, Seawolf and Virginia. All are capable of performing seek-and-destroy missions on enemy ships and subs, surveillance and reconnaissance, irregular warfare, covert troop insertion, mine and anti-mine operations and more. Plus, each is armed with Tomahawk® cruise missiles to stealthily strike targets from far out.

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AIR FORCE - The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15E Strike Eagle is an American all-weather multirole fighter, derived from the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. The F-15E was designed in the 1980s for long-range, high speed interdiction without relying on escort or electronic warfare aircraft. United States Air Force (USAF) F-15E Strike Eagles can be distinguished from other U.S. Eagle variants by darker camouflage and conformal fuel tanks mounted along the engine intakes. The Strike Eagle has been deployed for military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. During these operations the F-15E has carried out deep strikes against high-value targets, combat air patrols, and providing close air support for coalition troops. It has also seen action in later conflicts and has been exported to several countries. An F-15E Strike Eagle deploys countermeasure flares Nov. 12 over Afghanistan. The aircraft is assigned to the 391st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon)

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AIR FORCE - B-1B Lancer is a four-engine supersonic variable-sweep wing, jet-powered heavy strategic bomber used by the United States Air Force (USAF). It was first envisioned in the 1960s as asupersonic bomber with Mach 2 speed, and sufficient range and payload to replace the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. It was developed into the B-1B, primarily a low-level penetrator with long range and Mach 1.25 speed capability at high altitude. It is commonly called the "Bone" (originally from "B-One"). Designed by Rockwell International (now part of Boeing), development was delayed multiple times over its history due to changes in the perceived need for piloted bombers. The initial B-1A version was developed in the early 1970s, but its production was canceled, and only four prototypes were built. The need for a new platform once again surfaced in the early 1980s, and the aircraft resurfaced as the B-1B version with the focus on low-level penetration bombing. However, by this point, development of stealth technology was promising an aircraft of dramatically improved capability. Production went ahead as the B version would be operational before the "Advanced Technology Bomber" (which became the B-2 Spirit), during a period when the B-52 would be increasingly vulnerable. The B-1B entered service in 1986 with the USAF Strategic Air Command (SAC) as a nuclear bomber. In the early 1990s, following the Gulf War and concurrent with the disestablishment of SAC and its reassignment to the newly formed Air Combat Command (ACC), the B-1B was converted to conventional bombing use. It first served in combat during Operation Desert Fox in 1998 and again during the NATO action in Kosovo the following year. The B-1B has supported U.S. and NATO military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. The B-1B is expected to continue to serve into the 2030s, with the Long Range Strike Bomber to start supplementing the B-1B in 2030. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)

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ARMY and MARINES - M1 Abrams is an American third-generation main battle tank produced by the United States. It is named after General Creighton Abrams, former Army chief of staff and commander of U.S. military forces in the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1972. Highly mobile, designed for modern armored ground warfare,the M1 is well armed and heavily armored. Notable features include the use of a powerful multifuel turbine engine, the adoption of sophisticated composite armor, and separate ammunition storage in a blow-out compartment for crew safety. Weighing nearly 68 short tons (almost 62 metric tons), it is one of the heaviest main battle tanks in service. The M1 Abrams entered U.S. service in 1980, replacing the M60 tank. It served for over a decade alongside the improved M60A3, which had entered service in 1978. The M1 remains the principal main battle tank of the United States Army and Marine Corps, and the armies of Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Australia and Iraq. Three main versions of the M1 Abrams have been deployed, the M1, M1A1, and M1A2, incorporating improved armament, protection and electronics. These improvements and other upgrades to in-service tanks have allowed this long-serving vehicle to remain in front-line service. In addition, development for the improved M1A3 version has been known since 2009

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MARINES - Marines are known for being adaptable, versatile and reliable. With numerous variants and a proven track record on the battlefield, the LAV-25 has also earned this reputation. Marine Light Armored Vehicles combine speed, maneuverability and firepower to perform a variety of functions, including security, command and control, reconnaissance and assault. Able to operate on land and in water, carry communications equipment and provide a weapons platform, the LAV isn't just part of a combined arms force—it is one. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. John Robbart III)

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ARMY - BGM-71 TOW (Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) is an anti-tank missile. First produced in 1970, the TOW is one of the most widely used anti-tank guided missiles. 10 Humvee-mounted TOW missiles were used by U.S. forces in Iraq, in the 22 July 2003 assault that killed Uday and Qusay Hussein. Although TOW missiles are generally used against armored vehicles, these missiles were used on the house the two men were in. (US Army photo by Pfc. Victor J. Ayala, 49th Public Affairs Detachment (Airborne))

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ARMY and MARINES - M2 Machine Gun or Browning .50 Caliber Machine Gun is a heavy machine gun designed towards the end of World War I by John Browning. Its design is similar to Browning's earlier M1919 Browning machine gun, which was chambered for the .30-06 cartridge. The M2 uses the much larger and much more powerful .50 BMG cartridge, which was developed alongside and takes its name from the gun itself (BMG standing for Browning Machine Gun). It has been referred to as "Ma Deuce", in reference to its M2 nomenclature. The design has had many specific designations; the official designation for the current infantry type is Browning Machine Gun, Cal. .50, M2, HB, Flexible. It is effective against infantry, unarmored or lightly armored vehicles and boats, light fortifications and low-flying aircraft. The M2 machine gun has been produced longer than any other machine gun. The Browning .50 caliber machine gun has been used extensively as a vehicle weapon and for aircraft armament by the United States from the 1930s to the present. It was heavily used during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Falklands War, the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan in the 2000s and 2010s. It is the primary heavy machine gun of NATO countries, and has been used by many other countries. The M2 has been in use longer than any other small arm in U.S. inventory except the .45 ACP M1911 pistol, also designed by John Browning.

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ARMY - AH-64 Apache is an American four-blade, twin-turboshaft attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement, and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew. It features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems. It is armed with a 30 mm (1.18 in) M230 chain gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft's forward fuselage. It has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons, typically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 has a large amount of systems redundancy to improve combat survivability. The Apache originally started as the Model 77 developed by Hughes Helicopters for the United States Army's Advanced Attack Helicopter program to replace the AH-1 Cobra. The prototype YAH-64 was first flown on 30 September 1975. The U.S. Army selected the YAH-64 over the Bell YAH-63 in 1976, and later approved full production in 1982. After purchasing Hughes Helicopters in 1984,McDonnell Douglas continued AH-64 production and development. The helicopter was introduced to U.S. Army service in April 1986. The first production AH-64D Apache Longbow, an upgraded Apache variant, was delivered to the Army in March 1997. Production has been continued by Boeing Defense, Space & Security; over 2,000 AH-64s have been produced to date. The U.S. Army is the primary operator of the AH-64; it has also become the primary attack helicopter of multiple nations, including Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates; as well as being produced under license in the United Kingdom as the AgustaWestland Apache. American AH-64s have served in conflicts in Panama, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo,Afghanistan, and Iraq. Israel used the Apache in its military conflicts in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip; British and Dutch Apaches have seen deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. (U.S. Army photo courtesy of 25th Combat Aviation Brigade)

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ARMY and MARINES - M-109A6 Paladin is an American 155mm self-propelled howitzer, first introduced in the early 1960s. It has been upgraded a number of times, most recently to the M109A7. The M109 family is the most common Western indirect-fire support weapon of maneuver brigades of armored and mechanized infantry divisions. The M109 has a crew of six: the section chief, the driver, the gunner, the assistant gunner and two ammunition handlers. The gunner aims the cannon left or right (deflection), the assistant gunner aims the cannon up and down (quadrant). The M109A6 Paladin needs only a crew of four: the commander, driver, gunner and an ammunition loader. The British Army replaced its M109s with the AS-90. Several European armed forces have or are currently replacing older M109s with the German PzH 2000. Upgrades to the M109 were introduced by the U.S. (see variants below) and by Switzerland (KAWEST). With the cancellation of the U.S. Crusader and Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon, the Paladin will remain the principal self-propelled howitzer for the U.S. for the foreseeable future. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Stroud, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)

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Iraqi soldiers participate in a training exercise with American and Spanish trainers, which includes live ammunition, at Basmaya base, 40 kilometers southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, in this Jan. 24, 2016, file photo. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim, File)

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After two major public attacks by Muslim terrorists in 2015, French President Francois Hollande is taking such measures as closing mosques that teach extremist ideals. (Associated Press)

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An audit of The Metropolitan Police Department finds that police shootings between 2008 and 2015 were in the range of three to eight per year, a significant drop from 2007 when officers fired their weapons 31 times. (The Washington Times)

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DEADLY CONFRONTATION: Authorities in Oregon say shots were fired Tuesday during the arrest of members of an armed group that has occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. One of the protest group's leaders, Robert "LaVoy" Finicum, was killed in the incident. (Associated Press)

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Protesters march down Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 7 near the spot where Michael Brown was killed by a police officer. (Associated Press)

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Sgt. Tom Hutchison stands in front of an Oregon State Police roadblock on Highway 395 on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 between John Day and Burns, Ore. The FBI on Tuesday arrested the leaders of an armed group that has occupied a federal wildlife refuge in eastern Oregon for the past three weeks. (Dave Killen/The Oregonian via AP)

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Meeting of the minds: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (left) met in private with Pope Francis at the Vatican Tuesday during a European trip aimed at positioning Tehran as a potential top player in efforts to resolve Middle East conflicts — including Syria's civil war — as Tehran's nuclear sanctions dissolve. Story, A9. (Associated Press)

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Illustration on worldwide Islamist terror by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times