ABC substitute anchor Elizabeth Vargas pointed out that Afghanistan is now four times more deadly for US military personnel than Iraq when she introduced Jim Sciutto's report on the 101st Airborne Division's campaign against Pakistan-trained Taliban guerrillas in Logar Province. So far in June, the networks have started to follow those casualty ratios, treating Afghanistan (39 min) as almost twice as newsworthy as Iraq (21 min). Gen Jeffrey Scholesser took Sciutto on a helicopter ride along the mountainous Pakistan-Afghanistan border to make his pitch for help to the Pentagon: "I would like to have more troops for sure." NBC's Lisa Myers picked up on a Pentagon angle of the Afghan war as a $300m contract to supply ammunition to the Kabul military came under scrutiny at Congressional hearings. The ammo, provided by AEY of Miami Beach, was allegedly outdated and defective, imported from China. AEY was run by Efrain Diveroli, who describes himself as a "super nice guy" on his MySpace.com page. Diveroli is now under arrest. He is just 21 years old.
CBS' coverage from the Pentagon came from David Martin. He reported on the quarrel between Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Vice President Dick Cheney over going to war with Iran. According to CBS' in-house Middle East analyst Michael Oren, Israel has asked the Pentagon to use Stealth bombers and cruise missiles to attack Teheran's suspected nuclear facilities before George Bush leaves office next January. Cheney is in favor; Gates is opposed. An air strike "could touch off a third war in the region," Martin pointed out.
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