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"The White House has developed a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, whose relationship with President Trump has been strained."

Continue on for a holiday note.

"These are all serious issues. However, the Army's strategy for addressing network shortfalls is not a serious response."

Many resisted the concept at first, including the then-President Hamid Karzai, local units without central government’s authority would resemble the militias of the past.

"A once shadowy mission in the Sahel region of western and north-central Africa has been illuminated since the attack that killed four U.S. soldiers in Niger."

"The Assad regime and Iran are preparing for the next phase of the long-running war, in which they will attempt to conquer the rest of the country."

"It’s official: Seventeen years after adding another color to its array of distinctive headgear, the Army is getting another beret."

Battered and beaten in Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State terror group is surging fighters into Afghanistan, rebuilding its presence and perhaps setting up a new base.

"Today Iraq’s prospects are looking brighter. A resurgent central government has defeated Islamic State, thanks in part to renewed American military involvement."

"Whiskey is popular among America’s fighting forces... And it isn’t just any whiskey — it’s the American-made bourbons, ryes and whiskeys."

Add U.S. lawmakers to the ranks of those worried the country's special operations forces are being stretched to a possible breaking point.

"Afghan security forces supported by the U.S. military raped children but American troops were told to ignore it, according to a report by the Pentagon's inspector general Thursday."

“There are now 500 U.S. troops in Somalia, where the military has carried out daily airstrikes in the past week, but the Pentagon refuses to call it a buildup.”

“Like Islamic State, Iran and Hezbollah call for Israel’s destruction—but they have greater military capability.”

“Governing from Kabul has never been successful. The U.S. should look to local institutions.”

"A key senator is demanding top administration officials explain why their federal agencies haven’t addressed nearly $400 million in US-funded projects on the verge of failure."

"A growing, bipartisan number of lawmakers are expressing alarm over anticipated personnel cuts at the State Department."

"The Pentagon’s No. 2 civilian official pushed greater burden sharing for U.N. peacekeeping missions, saying the U.S. will drop its contributions by 3 percent."

A new documentary that chronicles USIP's work in Burkina Faso was featured in PBS NewsHour last week.

"While the Marines’ deployment to Helmand took shape in the last months of the Obama administration, their mission encompasses one of the main goals of Trump’s troop surge."

When the administration rolled out a new campaign to “annihilate” ISIS, Secretary of Defense Mattis praised changes that would provide “no escape” for the terrorists.

The U.S. government is testing new strategies to counter Islamic State propaganda in Central Asia, a fertile recruiting ground for militant groups.

Breaking up is hard to do, as separatists in Iraqi Kurdistan and Spain’s Catalonia have discovered. Even Scotland’s separatists have had to shelve plans.

The Asia Foundation’s "Survey of the Afghan People: Afghanistan in 2017".

Continue on for information on the College of William & Mary’s new Whole of Government Center of Excellence.

"The tragic loss of four American fighters in Niger reminds one that the United States has learned little from the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq."

"America’s largest and most secretive intelligence agency had been deeply infiltrated."

“Stay in your lane,” a common US military saying, is a metaphor for staying focused on one’s own task instead of trying to do someone else’s.

"The victors in the latest reversal of fortunes here in this part of northern Iraq have wasted no time erasing the legacy of three years of Kurdish rule."

"When Doundou Chefou first took up arms as a youth a decade ago, it was for the same reason as many other ethnic Fulani herders along the Niger-Mali border: to protect his livestock."