In 2017, U.S. Special Operators Have Deployed to 137 Countries
The tabs on their shoulders read “Special Forces,” “Ranger,” “Airborne.” And soon their guidon—the “colors” of Company B, 3rd Battalion of the U.S. Army’s 7th Special Forces Group—would be adorned with the “Bandera de Guerra,” a Colombian combat decoration. “Today we commemorate 16 years of a permanent fight against drugs... Read more
‘It Was the Biggest Explosion I Have Ever Experienced’
“The air was filled with white smoke!” Sgt. Hussein of the Iraqi Federal Police said as the sound of small-arms fire, air strikes and helicopters boomed in the background. Hussein was one of many Iraqi troops who witnessed the immediate aftermath of the demolition of the ancient Al Nuri... Read more
Higher-Quality U.S. Weed, Police Crackdown Spiked Homicides in Jamaica
This article originally appeared at InSight Crime. Jamaica’s homicide rate has risen steeply in 2017, in what is likely the symptom of a splintering underworld. Between January and June 10, 639 people were murdered in Jamaica, an average of four murders a day, police data revealed. This reportedly represents a... Read more
Why There Are No Military Solutions to North Korea
Any attempt to curtail North Korea’s nuclear weapons program through military force would be an unmitigated disaster. “A conflict in North Korea … would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people’s lifetimes,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis told CBS News. “The bottom line is it would... Read more
Iraqi Troops Work Under Fire to Save Mosul’s Trapped Civilians
A group of civilians walk along a raised section of a West Mosul highway beneath the morning sun. It’s only 9:00 a.m. and, despite a cool start, the temperature is steadily rising. Beyond the civilians, smoke rises from a large fire, burning somewhere along the front line where Iraqi soldiers... Read more
The Taliban’s Plot to Assassinate the UAE’s Ambassador Relied on an Inside Man
Before anything else, Sayeed Mahboob Agha was a cook. He had been one for nearly three decades, and for a time served dutifully to Mullah Mohammad Omar, the founder of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Agha’s most significant contribution to the jihad waged by the Taliban was to ensure that... Read more
Drones Are Dropping Like Flies From the Sky Over Syria
Syria is buzzing with drones. There are days when the people of Idlib governorate can simultaneously see Russian Orlan tactical UAVs, Iranian Ababil, Mohajeer and Shahed-129s and CIA or U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reapers circling the same air space. It’s not much different over southern Syria. There it’s Hezbollah... Read more
Confusion in the Air and on the Ground as U.S. and Syrian Planes Clashed
On June 18, 2017, a U.S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane over southern Syria. The incident was a direct result of the often-murky relations between the different parties fighting in Syria. From the American standpoint, the crucial reason for an American fighter to open fire at... Read more
A U.S. Navy Fighter Jet Just Shot Down a Syrian Warplane
For nearly three years, Syrian, Russian and U.S. war planes have maintained an uneasy truce over Syria — a truce that progressively frayed early-to-mid 2017. But the main parties had so far refrained from engaging each other in air-to-air combat. That all changed at 6:00 in the evening, local... Read more
Trauma Inflicted on Child Refugees Threatens the Planet’s Future
“This is a war against normal life.” So said CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward, describing the situation at this moment in Syria, as well as in other parts of the Middle East. It was one of those remarks that should wake you up to the fact that the regions the... Read more