military

Updated at 1:07 p.m. ET

President Trump ordered a bold strike against Iran this week that jangled the Middle East and Washington, drawing praise from allies, skepticism from critics and, most of all, questions about what comes next.

Updated at 3:15 p.m.

President Trump, in his first public remarks in the wake of a U.S. strike that killed Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, defended the action as necessary to protect national security.

"We took action last night to stop a war. We did not take action to start a war," Trump said Friday afternoon from his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

Qassem Soleimani, who was assassinated Friday in Baghdad in a U.S. airstrike, was at once both the shadowy commander of covert Iranian forces and a revered celebrity in an anti-American alliance that crosses sectarian lines across the Middle East.

Soleimani, 62, held the rank of major general and commanded the Quds Force, a subset of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The secretive organization — Quds is the Arabic and Farsi name of Jerusalem, which Iran has sworn to liberate from Israel — combines the roles of special operations and spy agency and operates outside of Iran.

Updated at 4:27 a.m. ET Friday

U.S. forces assassinated Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani in an airstrike early Friday near the Baghdad International Airport, an escalation of tensions between Washington and Tehran that is prompting concerns of further violence in the region.

Updated Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. ET

An angry mob protesting American airstrikes in Iraq and Syria tried to storm the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday, smashing through the main entrance and setting fire to a reception area as Marines guarding the compound fired tear gas to hold them back.

Dozens of national security specialists clustered inside a Washington hotel on a chilly December morning, warming up with coffee and checking out booths set up by intelligence agencies and defense contractors.

There were clues that the target audience for this event was a little broader than the usual D.C. security crowd: The unicorn logo behind the podium. A pop-up shop selling workplace fashion. Free child care. Talk of a line at the women's restroom.

A 33-year-old U.S. Army Green Beret has become the 20th American service member to be killed by hostile fire this year in Afghanistan. His death on Monday makes it the deadliest year for U.S. forces since the official end of combat operations was declared in 2014.

When President Trump signed a $738 billion defense spending bill on Friday, he officially created the Space Force. It's the sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Services, and the first new military service since the Air Force was created in 1947.

"Space is the world's newest war-fighting domain," President Trump said during the signing ceremony. "Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we're leading, but we're not leading by enough. But very shortly we'll be leading by a lot."

Civilian Control Of The Military

Dec 5, 2019
Sgt. Brandon D. Bolick / Wikimedia Commons

President Trump intervened last month in three high profile war crimes cases against two U.S. soldiers and a Navy SEAL.

His actions appeared to catch off guard military leadership concerned with maintaining discipline. 

Today on All Sides, we examine the history of relations between the president and the U.S. military. 

Updated at 4 p.m. ET

During a surprise Thanksgiving Day visit to troops stationed in Afghanistan, President Trump said that his administration has reopened peace talks with the Taliban, nearly three months after he abruptly canceled them. Trump made the announcement at a rally staged at Bagram Airfield outside Kabul, where he exchanged handshakes and posed for photographs with U.S. troops.

Updated at 6:25 p.m. ET

President Trump told reporters at the White House that he was "sticking up for the armed forces" in his pardons of military personnel.

The commander in chief has repeatedly intervened on behalf of the Navy SEAL recently convicted of misconduct. And Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Trump did it again over the weekend, directly ordering him to allow Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher to retire as a SEAL.

Ernie Hartong and his daughter Erin Sogal.
StoryCorps COLUMBUS / WOSU

Ernie Hartong enlisted in the army during the Vietnam War. Today, he volunteers at Columbus’s National Veteran’s Memorial and Museum.

Ernie sat down with his daughter Erin Sogal to reflect on his service, how soldiers stayed in touch with loved ones at home, and how he works to communicate his experience to young people.

Updated at 12:23 p.m. ET

A few years ago, money was very tight for Chasity Wohlford. The Houston resident, who was working a low-wage job, needed to fly to Colorado for a family emergency. She says a friend told her, "Oh, just go to this payday lender. It's super easy." But Wohlford ended up over her head in debt after taking out that loan.

Updated at 1 p.m. ET

President Trump says that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the founder and leader of the Islamic State, has been killed after a U.S. special operations mission targeted him in northwest Syria. Trump declared that U.S. forces have brought "the world's No. 1 terrorist leader to justice."

Describing a dangerous and daring nighttime raid, the president said after eight helicopters flew across Russian airspace, U.S forces located their target and blew a hole in a wall of Baghdadi's compound, fearing the main entrance was booby-trapped.

Updated at 6:49 p.m. ET

All U.S. forces involved in the anti-ISIS fight will withdraw from northeast Syria in the coming days, according to two U.S. officials close to the conflict. Only a small garrison of U.S. troops will remain at al-Tanf near Syria's border with Iraq and Jordan.

The troops in border areas are endangered by Turkey's incursion against Kurdish-led forces. The move is a sudden change in policy by the Trump administration.

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