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White House, Pentagon Remain In Dark Over Syria Withdrawal

Posted by Paul McLeary on


Republican Senators erupted in outrage, and there are some indications that Turkey pushed Trump to withdraw support from its traditional foes, the Kurds. The British government issued an equivocal statement, while the Kremlin applauded the move.

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Mattis Supports Saudi War in Yemen, Rejects Privatizing Afghan Fight

Posted by Paul McLeary on


“The training we have given them we know has paid off,” Mattis said of the Saudis. “We have had pilots in the air who recognize the danger of a specific mission and declined to drop even when they get the authority. We have seen staff procedures that put no-fire areas around areas where there’s hospitals or schools.”

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Air Force Drops First GPS Bomb From Reaper: GBU-38 JDAM

Posted by Colin Clark on


  CORRECTS: Attribution to Col. Joe  UPDATED: 432 Wing Commander Wants GBU-54 Next CREECH AIR FORCE BASE: The Air Force has added the Joint Direct Attack Munition (GBU-38)  a GPS-guided bomb, to the Reaper drone force, dropping the first one in a combat strike in Operation Inherent Resolve on Thursday. Lt. Col. David, director of… Keep reading →

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Mother Of All Bombs Dropped On ISIS Terrorist Mothers

Posted by Colin Clark on


WASHINGTON: There’s a lot we don’t know about MOAB, the bomb originally designed to terrify and obliterate Iraqi troops and used in combat for the first time today in Afghanistan. We know that it is guided by GPS. We know that it’s very big — 27,100 pounds or so — and works well against caves… Keep reading →

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Iraq & Syria Airstrikes Dip 30% Since June: Turkey & Russia Complications

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


WASHINGTON:  Airstrikes against the Islamic State have dropped 30 percent since June, because Islamic State retreats and Turkish advances have made it much harder to find targets, three experts told us. The administration’s self-imposed limits and negotiations with Russia — of which the military is very wary — restrict airstrikes as well. The ground war in Iraq… Keep reading →

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Fight Against Islamic State Not COIN, Increasingly High Tech: Carter

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


FORT BRAGG, NC: The US is not practicing traditional counter-insurgency (COIN) warfare in Iraq and Syria. Instead, the US is providing high-tech firepower, cyber power, and other “enablers” to local allies who don’t have them, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said here today. That approach, which ranges from stealth fighters to “cyber bombs,” has a lot in common with… Keep reading →

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CENTCOM Rebuts Breaking D’s Air War Critique

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CORRECTED strikes per day figure WASHINGTON: The air war against the Islamic State is not “anemic,” a Central Command spokesman told Breaking Defense, rebutting a critique of the campaign we published last week. To say the rate of airstrikes in Syria and Iraq is less than against Iraq in 1991 and 2003, Serbia and Kosovo in… Keep reading →

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Halfway To Transparency On Drone Strikes

Posted by Rachel Stohl on


As Pentagon enthusiasm grows for robotic weapons, and drones proliferate to militaries and terrorists around the world, it’s worth remembering some basic questions of ethics, law, and strategy remain unsettled. For insight, we turn to Rachel Stohl, the director of the Conventional Defense program at the Stimson Center and the primary author of the recently… Keep reading →

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McCain Hammers Commandant Nominee Neller Over Iraq

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


CAPITOL HILL: UPDATE BEGINS The administration’s nominee for Marine Corps Commandant, Lt. Gen. Bob Neller, set off a firestorm from Sen. John McCain this morning. After two hours of an otherwise congenial confirmation hearing, the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman erupted over Neller’s description of the current administration strategy against the Islamic State. That strategy relies on airpower and advisors… Keep reading →

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Trench Warfare With Wings: Can ISIL Airstrikes Go Beyond Attrition?

Posted by Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. on


Airpower sounds swift and surgical, but sometimes it’s really closer to trench warfare with wings. Earlier this week, with the smoke still rising from the retaken Iraqi city of Tikrit, Central Command released detailed data on air strikes against the self-proclaimed Islamic State. We’ve crunched the numbers, and it’s clear the eight-month-old campaign is becoming… Keep reading →

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