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US bombs Afghan opium labs, lays out 2-year plan; Troop deaths rose in 2017; N. Korea back on terror list; Putin, Assad meet; and just a bit more...

November 21, 2017 President Trump wants to get rid of the Taliban’s drug supply. The U.S. military carried out airstrikes over the weekend in northern Helmand province — using B-52 bombers and F-22 stealth fighter jets (images here) — after Afghan A-29 Tucano jets laid down initial fire, Afghan war commander, Gen. John...

American troop spike in Mideast; USAF increasingly focused on space; US helps hunt for missing Argentine sub; Ukraine shows off armed drone; and just a bit more...

November 20, 2017 U.S. military presence in the Middle East grew 33% in the past four months, Chatham House’s Micah Zenko writes this morning on Twitter after glimpsing a new quarterly report from the Pentagon (which excludes data for Afghanistan). The increase: 40,517 troops and Defense Department civilians grew to 54,180, according to...

Iraq takes last ISIS-held town; Why US will stay in Syria; Cyber fight brews; Preconditions for NorK nuke talks, kind of; and just a bit more....

November 17, 2017 Iraqi security forces have retaken the last ISIS-held town in the country, the Associated Press reports from western Iraq. “At dawn, military units and local tribal fighters pushed into the western neighborhoods of Rawah in western Anbar province, and after just five hours of fighting they retook the town.” Get...

China contradicts Trump; USAF wants new nukes faster; US strikes soar in Somalia; Inside NATO’s weirdest relationship with Russia; and just a bit more...

November 16, 2017 China’s solution to the North Korean crisis isn’t what Trump expected. Just days after the U.S. president said he and China’s Xi Jinping “agreed that we would not accept a so-called freeze-for-freeze agreement,” Beijing said it would continue to push for that very thing — asking North Korea to freeze...

US Airstrikes Soar in Somalia

November 15, 2017 After nearly a decade of bombing Somalia, the U.S. military has markedly increased its air campaign against extremists there. Fourteen strikes since August have brought the year's total, as announced by U.S. Africa Command, to 18. This increased tempo comes as the Islamic State group lost nearly all of its...

Possible coup in Zimbabwe; House-passed NDAA busts budget caps; Riyadh’s eye-popping anti-missile claim; Coalition slaps back at Russian misinfo; and just a bit more...

November 15, 2017 Did a bloodless coup in Zimbabwe just end 37 years of one-man rule? It appears that way, especially after President Robert Mugabe and his wife were put under house arrest and the state TV broadcast was interrupted by a soldier telling viewers what they’re seeing on their screens is totally...

Trump ends Asia swing in Manila; China, CIA compete to fund AI startups; Congress holds hearing on nuclear launch authority; Mattis’s Syria plan: stay and expand safe spaces; and just a bit more...

November 14, 2017 President Trump’s “Indo-Pacific” tour comes to an end in the Philippines. And what would a visit between Trump and rowdy Philippine President Rody Duterte be without a little confusion. Was human rights brought up? The White House said, “Yes, briefly.” The Philippines said no. As for concrete takeaways from Manila,...

Trump’s Asia trip goes off-script; 3-carrier exercise strains fleet; Top cyber posts remain empty; Army increases recruiting waivers; and just a bit more...

November 13, 2017 Here’s what three carrier strike groups look like beside each other in the Sea of Japan. The flattops involved: the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS Nimitz (CVN 68). There are around “200 jet fighters in total” on board those three carriers, The Wall...

Trump and Putin in Vietnam; 3 countries order citizens out of Lebanon; Riyadh-aimed missile bore Iranian markings, USAF says; Laser demo for fighter jet; and just a bit more...

November 10, 2017 Will Trump meet Putin “on the sidelines” in Danang? That’s the big question looming over today’s White House delegation visit to Vietnam (photos here), where President Trump’s approval rating is higher than in his home country, The New York Times reports. While in Danang, Trump is expected to bring “a...

#DefOneSummit Day; USAF wants flight-line robots; $700B defense bill moves ahead; Guess who won US spies’ face-recognition contest?; and just a bit more...

November 9, 2017 It’s Defense One Summit day! Join us for our 5th annual Defense One Summit, happening right now in Washington. Broadly speaking, we’ll be discussing “geopolitical power shifts around the globe” over the past 12 months, and how all of that links up with the future of American and global security....