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Breaking Defense

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David Petraeus

The Great Afghan Paradox

Posted by James Kitfield on


By most metrics the war in Afghanistan is going badly.

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Hard Lessons from America’s Longest Wars

Posted by James Kitfield on


This is one of two pieces by our contributor James Kitfield, who’s won more Gerald Ford Defense Reporting awards than anyone else (3), on the challenges and mistakes America has made in grappling with the complex threat of global terrorism. As James puts it in his summary sentence: U.S. counterterrorism forces continue to learn and adapt… Keep reading →

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Afghanistan: It’s Trump’s War Now

Posted by James Kitfield on


When he stepped before the cameras last night to deliver his first prime time address to the nation, Donald Trump became the third president to reluctantly take ownership of the war in Afghanistan. After campaigning on ending costly entanglements for a war-weary country, the president admitted he was hemmed in by some hard realities. “A… Keep reading →

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Too Many Generals In Trump Administration?

Posted by Joan Johnson-Freese on


President Donald Trump named retired Marine Gen. Jim Mattis as Defense Secretary, the highest-ranking civilian position in the Pentagon. Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly was named first to head the Homeland Security Department and then replaced Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff. Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster replaced Air Force Gen. Mike Flynn… Keep reading →

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Why We Lost The Afghan War

Posted by Douglas Wissing on


U.S-enabled corruption lost the Afghan War. The Afghan government is a failed state, incapable of effectively governing or defending its citizens. Corruption funds the enemy, with hundreds of millions of dollars skimmed from U.S. logistics and aid money. Former Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker said in 2016: “The ultimate point of failure for our efforts … wasn’t an insurgency.… Keep reading →

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Will Daesh 3.0 Rise From Mosul’s Ashes?

Posted by James Kitfield on


They’re surrounded, targeted by constant bombardments and slowly strangled of supplies and reinforcements for months so fighters for Daesh (aka ISIS) might reasonably have abandoned Mosul and tried to slink off into the night. That’s what happened last June in the battle to recapture Fallujah, when Daesh fighters were relatively quickly routed, and hundreds were killed by U.S.… Keep reading →

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The Military’s Real Readiness Crisis; Petraeus & O’Hanlon Are Wrong

Posted by Justin Johnson on


It’s no news to Breaking Defense readers that the U.S. military faces a readiness crisis. But retired Gen. David Petraeus apparently disagrees. Yes, the military’s budget has been cut by 25 percent in real terms since 2011—much of it coming from accounts used to maintain and build combat readiness. Yes, leaders from the Army, Navy,… Keep reading →

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How To Stop Islamic State’s Escalation Dominance

Posted by James Kitfield on


While President Barack Obama’s declared both that the U.S. is hitting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria “harder than ever” and that progress in the campaign to degrade and defeat the group “needs to keep coming faster,” he revealed clearly that the administration is in a race against time. American officials believed that their anti-ISIL… Keep reading →

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Witty Video Pokes Fun At Petraeus, Allen Muddle

Posted by Colin Clark on


Our clever Chinese friends at Next Media Animation have done it again with a video offering their unique perspective on the scandal that has enveloped two of our top military leaders — and several women. We haven’t pursued these stories with much gusto, keeping our focus on strategy, policy and politics and leaving the prurient… Keep reading →

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