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“Too Weak for Victory, Too Strong for Defeat”

The announcement followed a tweet from President Donald Trump earlier this week alleging that Pakistan gives “safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan.”

"If there is one consensus among Afghan leaders and their American counterparts, it is that dealing with Pakistan is both vital and difficult.

"Anti-government protests in Iran, where demonstrations of political unrest are rare, have left at least 20 people dead — and do not appear to be subsiding."

"When does 32,200 – 60,000 = 109,000?"

"Why does the U.S. need these capabilities? Because the main peacetime mission of the Navy is diplomatic and political."

"Rising populations, denser urban areas and existing security threats are forcing military and civilian emergency workers underground."

"The goal is to get the Afghan military moving on its military campaign sooner, rather than later."

"Despite Syrian and Iraqi claims of victory over Islamic State, thousands of militants still holed up in both countries have mounted a number of recent guerrilla-style attacks."

"The defense secretary expects general purpose forces will eventually shoulder missions once the province of their special forces brethren."

"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.