by Matthew Nizich

Yemen
US lawmakers want to stop Trump from supporting Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen
October 9, 2017
Representative Ro Khanna, a Democrat, and three other members of the House have co-sponsored a resolution that requires debate on US military involvement in Yemen. In the words of Khanna – “It’s beyond time for the country to stop conducting refueling for missions over Yemen…The United States has no national security interest…and we certainly shouldn’t be a participant in a coalition-led bombing raid that is violating basic human rights.” Khanna and his three House colleagues are looking forward to the vote on their resolution, which has picked up dozens of co-sponsors.

Stop the Unconstitutional War in Yemen
October 10, 2017
Representatives Ro Khanna, Walter Jones, and Mark Pocan released a joint statement piece discussing the US’s unlawful and unnecessary involvement in the Yemen humanitarian crisis, and the ability to end the human suffering by removing military and logistical support for the Saudi Arabian government in this regard.

Bipartisan Congressional Group Proposes Unlikely End to US Military Involvement in Yemen
October 5, 2017
A bipartisan group of congressman has put forward a resolution to force Congress to act on the War Powers Resolution of 1973 – but the odds of the bill actually removing US soldiers is not very good due to the fact that it will require President Trump to sign off on any law proposed.

Afghanistan
As The War In Iraq Winds Down, The US Military Shifts Its Attention To Afghanistan (Again)
October 10, 2017
The recent winding down of military operations in the Middle East has allowed the US military to refocus efforts on the liberating of ISIS holdouts in Raqqa. A total of 751 airstrikes were carried out against ISIS and Taliban targets in Afghanistan in September, according to U.S. Air Forces Central Command — a 50% increase over the previous month. The Taliban has made enormous progress in Afghanistan following the departure of NATO forces in 2014.

US Defense Secretary: For First Time, Afghan Military Fully Involved in Conflict
October 5, 2017
United States Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced that for the first time in 16 years, all six Afghan army corps are on the offensive at the same time. Mattis also noted that due to the lifting of Obama era restrictions on airstrikes – international forces have launched more airstrikes against enemy forces than in any other year since 2012. Despite this, some argue that we are still in a stalemate with the Taliban and that this is “not enough” progress.

Iraq
Russia Military Says U.S. ‘Pretending’ to Fight ISIS in Iraq, Letting Jihadis Flow Into Syria
October 10, 2017
Russia has accused the United States of pretending to fight ISIS and deliberately reducing their number of airstrikes to allow militants to stream into Syria. The purported result of this is that the US is driving ISIS combatants from Iraq and into Syria – impeding the Russian backed Syrian military. This is just the latest sign of tension between the US and Russian governments.

Troops in Iraq, Syria Ask Chairman’s Senior Enlisted Advisor: ‘What’s Next?’
October 10, 2017
Troops in Iraq and Syria have largely been successful int heir push against ISIS – destabilizing the combatants and taking back large swaths of captured territory from them. However, troops are now asking what will be next, and are being met with a lack of answers and a lack of transparency. It appears this is a long term engagement, and that there are no current plans for real diplomacy.

Islamic State driven out of last stronghold in northern Iraq
October 5, 2017
Iraqi forces announced that they have captured the Islamic State’s last stronghold in northern Iraq, the town of Hawija. According to Reuters – “with the fall of Hawija, which lies near the Kurdish-held oil city of Kirkuk, the only area that remains under control of Islamic State in Iraq is a stretch alongside the western border with Syria, where the militant group is also in retreat”. However, this news is being overshadowed by the rising tensions with Kurdish militants and their demands for independence in both Iraq and Turkey.

 

Syria
How the U.S. Lost the War in Syria to Russia and Iran
October 11, 2017
Tom O’Connor of Newsweek describes how he believes the US lost the war of influence in Syria to the Russians, and he details how he believes the US can reinvent their current strategy and gain ground in influence wise.

Russia threatens US forces, calls America an obstacle to defeating ISIS in Syria
October 4, 2017
The Russian Ministry of Defense released a statement calling the U.S. an obstacle to defeating ISIS in Syria, and threatened military action in and around a small U.S. military garrison known as Tanf. Russia claims that US bombings and airstrikes have seriously hampered their coalitions ability to carry out operations and maintain pressure on the enemy. The US’s coalition disagreed, responding that its partner forces “have hunted ISIS down for three years…ISIS has been defeated in nearly all of their strongholds as a result of the Coalition’s support to our partners through training, equipping, intelligence, precision fires, and combat advice.”