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“President Trump presided over a rare meeting of his full national security team Wednesday in the White House.”

“There were early signs that the State Department would be benched.”

“Islamic State has lost Mosul and is under pressure in Raqqa. But affiliates remain active in other countries.”

“The Mosul experience shows the difficulties of urban warfare—and the need for better training.”

"The U.S. should learn from the more than a decade and a half of fighting is not to declare 'mission accomplished' on the basis of even the greatest tactical victory."

“According to the CBO, fiscal reality is coming, and far faster than most Washington policymakers appear to realize.”

“In October, Iraqi forces set out to retake Mosul, ISIS’s biggest stronghold in the country. It would take them nine months and cost thousands of lives.”

“The U.S. effort to develop Iraq’s security forces is widely viewed as a monumental and costly failure, but there is at least one element that has been a smashing success.”

“Some in the United States are now questioning the strategic value of a globally engaged military, wondering if the Nation would be better off with fewer global commitments.”

“Post-combat responsibilities can be evaded. They can be handed off or ignored. But the consequences of evasion, as demonstrated in Iraq 2003 and Libya 2011, can be catastrophic.”

Continue on for 7 videos covering this 27 June RAND conference.

“The Army continues to fight in cities and must prepare for all aspects of urban warfare.”

"I am an enormous admirer of Jim Mattis, Michèle Flournoy, CEO of think tank Center for a New American Security, said on MSNBC about the current Defense secretary.”

“Private military contractors have spotted an opportunity as America’s longest war grinds on.”

U.S.-backed Syrian fighters fought Islamic State militants in the heart of Raqqa & in a Taliban propaganda film a fighter can be seen carrying a FN SCAR 7.62mm rifle.

“The country’s distinct and decentralized clan culture exacerbates nation-building efforts and calls into question the utility and practicality of a centralized national government....

“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that qualified, fresh blood is desperately needed in the Army’s general officer ranks.”

“Several hundred such volunteers have arrived since the Syrian civil war began six years ago, according to local estimates, and several dozen remain.”

“The most critical factor feeding jihadi movements is the collapse of effective central governments — a trend in which the West, especially the U.S., has been complicit.”

“Will the War of 1812 slip back into historical irrelevance in the decades to come? Why did Britain quit while it was ahead?”

"The battle of Mosul is over, but the war against the Islamic State is far from done."

Files of Grunt walking through the deep green….the rice paddies…the sand dune broken plain…the rough scree and pine branches of impossibly steep hills…

“From day 1, Iran saw a chance to make a client state of Iraq, a former enemy against which it fought a war in the 1980s.”

“The Iraqi military's hard-fought victory over the Islamic State group in Mosul marks a defining moment not just for them. It is also a key win for the US doctrine behind it.”

Continue on to download this classic book - and a tip of the hat to Colonel John Collins (The Warlord), U.S. Army Retired, for sending this along.

“Marines are back in Helmand with a changed mission, looking at an overwhelmingly changed map.”

"U.S. forces in Afghanistan killed the head of Islamic State’s branch in the country earlier this week, the Pentagon said Friday."

President Donald Trump was the guest of honor today at France’s Bastille Day celebrations, an elaborate display that marked the centennial of the U.S. entry into the First World War.

“U.S. leaders seem to believe that America can kill its way out of this mess—and that’s totally wrong.”

“IS Militants deployed suicide bombers and sought young boys for battle, according to commanders and residents.”