War

Before the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, Gen. Najm al-Jabouri would stand at the border crossing with Turkey and look longingly across the gate.

"As an officer, I had a dream to travel outside of Iraq," he says, sitting in a garden in Saddam Hussein's former palace complex in Mosul. "Sometimes I would go to Ibrahim Khalil gate just to see outside Iraq — to see whether the ground outside Iraq was different from inside Iraq."

The jitters over North Korea's missile tests have led Hawaii to bring back air raid sirens. The state already has sirens in place in case of tsunami, but starting this month the state will once again test the "wailing tone" meant specifically to warn of attack.

First Use and Nuclear Command

Nov 30, 2017
kalhh / Pixabay

Presidential powers and The Bomb. How federal lawmakers are rethinking presidential "first use" of the bomb and what are the latest prospects for World War III.

Five years ago, before he was a candidate for president, Donald Trump was pretty sure he knew what to do about Afghanistan. It was a losing proposition, "a complete waste" in terms of "blood and treasure."

"Why are we continuing to train these Afghanis who then shoot our soldiers in the back?" he asked on Twitter in 2012. "Afghanistan is a complete waste. Time to come home!"

More recently, candidate Trump was less certain about exactly when the U.S. should exit the struggle that he had railed against continuing.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET on Aug. 20

President Trump's calculation about Afghanistan boils down to a familiar question in U.S. national security: Of all the bad options, what's the least worst?

Trump will "provide an update on the path forward" in Afghanistan and South Asia on Monday night at 9 ET, the White House said on Sunday. The president will make the announcement at Fort Myer in Arlington, Va.

The Defense Department says two U.S. servicemembers died in action in eastern Afghanistan Wednesday.

According to a statement released by the headquarters of United States Forces — Afghanistan, "Two U.S. Servicemembers were killed in action and a third was wounded in action on Wednesday evening when they came under attack during a raid against insurgents in Nangahar Province."

The statement says "The servicemembers were conducting a partnered operation with Afghan National Defense and Security Forces."

The U.S. has dropped the most powerful conventional weapon ever used in combat to hit an underground ISIS complex in Afghanistan, Pentagon officials say.

The nearly 22,000-pound "MOAB" — standing for Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or as it's also known, the "Mother of All Bombs" — was designed during the Iraq War but had never before been used on the battlefield.

The U.S. has used the bomb's predecessor, a smaller but still massive weapon known as the "Daisy Cutter," in Afghanistan before.

An airstrike that was meant to target ISIS in Syria instead killed 18 Syrian Democratic Forces personnel because it was "misdirected," U.S. Central Command said Thursday.

The strike Tuesday by an aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition was called in by American allies, the U.S. military says. It adds that the coalition is now studying what went wrong to prevent similar mistakes in the future.

Updated at 8:45 a.m. ET Wednesday

Poisonous chemicals are suspected of augmenting an aerial bombardment of a rebel-held town in Syria's Idlib province Tuesday, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying at least 20 children were among those who died. The group says the initial death toll of 58 has risen to 72, and that all the victims were civilians.

The attack was reportedly carried out in Khan Shaykhun, a town in northwest Syria that sits about halfway between Homs and Aleppo on the country's main north-south highway.

A United Nations report says both Russian-backed Syrian forces and rebel factions committed war crimes in the besieged eastern districts of Aleppo between July 21 and Dec. 22, 2016, when the city was recaptured by the government.

Ohio State University

Synthetic blood is the Holy Grail for doctors. And though a true version has so far escaped scientsts, researchers at Ohio State University think they may have at least found a temporary solution.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

President Trump's budget will propose a $54 billion increase in defense spending, while slashing domestic programs by the same amount. The president told the nation's governors on Monday that his plan "puts America first," and that "we're going to do more with less, and make the government lean and accountable to people."

Updated at 1:38 p.m. ET

A raid in Yemen ended in the death of an American service member and left three others wounded on Saturday. U.S. Central Command announced Sunday that the casualties were sustained in an operation against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our elite servicemembers," Commander of U.S. Central Command Gen. Joseph Votel said in a statement. "The sacrifices are very profound in our fight against terrorists who threaten innocent peoples across the globe."

Syrian rebel factions say they are freezing their participation in peace negotiations, citing breaches of the cease-fire agreement brokered by Russia and Turkey.

This casts doubt on rebel participation in planned talks in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, later this month.

"A cease-fire has technically been in place across Syria since Friday, and violence is lower than usual," NPR's Alice Fordham reports from Beirut. "But the opposition says the regime has pressed offensives in the suburbs of Damascus and a river valley northwest of the capital in violation of the agreement."

Agreement Reached On Syria Cease-Fire

Dec 29, 2016

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced in Moscow that the Syrian government and Syrian opposition forces have agreed to a nationwide cease-fire to begin at midnight local time.

The Syrian army said the agreement excludes the Islamic State as well as Jabhat Fateh al Sham — the group formerly known as the Nusra Front — and all groups linked to them. Turkey's foreign ministry said the agreement excludes groups the U.N. deems terrorist organizations.

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