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Chinese Air Force drills in South China Sea and Western Pacific, calls exercises ‘rehearsals for future wars’ | The Japan Times

The Chinese Air Force has conducted a series of exercises in the contested South China Sea and the Western Pacific, where it sent fighter jets and bombers through Okinawa’s Miyako Strait on Friday, labeling the exercises “rehearsals for future wars.” In a statement Sunday, the air force said it had dispatched H-6K bombers and Su-30 and Su-35 fighters, as well ... Read More »

Pentagon chief presses for end to Yemen war in meeting with Saudi prince | AL-MONITOR

US Defense Secretary James Mattis today called on Saudi Arabia to “accelerate” the peace process in Yemen even as the Pentagon pushes to continue US refueling support for Riyadh’s bombing campaign against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. During a 45-minute meeting with visiting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the Pentagon, Mattis urged the Saudi leader to hasten peace talks that ... Read More »

Fifteen Years After the Start of the Iraq War, the U.S. Is at War in at Least Seven Countries | Slate

Fifteen years ago today, George W. Bush announced the beginning of the Iraq war. Two U.S. presidents, thousands of lives lost, a withdrawal and a reengagement later, American troops are still on the ground—and dying—in Iraq. There are no plans for withdrawal, even though the most recent foe there—ISIS—has been almost entirely defeated. The conflict in Iraq is just one facet of an ... Read More »

Turkish forces and Free Syrian Army capture Afrin city | Al Jazeera

Turkish forces and Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels captured the centre of Afrin in northwest Syria after Kurdish fighters who were in control evacuated the city in order to fight another day. Turkey’s military said in a tweet on Sunday that troops were searching for landmines and other explosive devices in the area. “Many of the terrorists had turned tail and ... Read More »

U.S. troops who repelled Russian mercenaries prepare for more attacks | NBC News

Standing on a windswept mound, Brig. Gen. Jonathan Braga pointed to the spot just a mile away from where Russian mercenaries and fighters loyal to the Syrian government fired at his soldiers. “Those artillery rounds could have landed and killed Americans, and that’s why we continue to prepare our defenses,” said Braga, the director of operations for the U.S.-led anti-Islamic ... Read More »

How Much Do America’s Arms Makers Depend on Foreign Metal? No One Seems to Know | Defense One

Certainly, no one seemed concerned about it until Trump’s tariffs sent them scrambling to find out. No one knows how the U.S. military and its weapons suppliers will be affected by President Trump’s surprise tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, because no one seems to know how much foreign metal is in America’s weapons. “I’ve asked because I’m interested,” Lockheed Martin CFO Bruce Tanner said March 5. ... Read More »

These are the rules NATO allies have about growing beards | We Are the Mighty

The U.S. military had a long tradition of glorious beards — until WWI when the need for properly sealed gas masks outweighed the benefits of intimidation through superior facial hair. Today, deployed special-operations troops and troops in outlying FOBs or submarines have some leniency, but it all depends on what your rank and unit can afford. Exceptions can be made for religious or medical ... Read More »

Inside the Networks of Sex Slaves, the Drug Trade, Colombian Cartels and Al Qaeda in Africa | The Daily Beast

When Moussa, a people smuggler from Niger, worked with jihadists from the so-called “Islamic State in the Greater Sahara” (ISGS), his task was to get inside Mali, pick up prospective migrants from the location the militants gave to him, and take them across the border to an encampment in Niger—the border village of Tongo Tongo. You may have heard of it. Tongo ... Read More »

ISIS Looks to Rebound in the Philippines—And Spread | The Cipher Brief

Bottom Line: Although the Philippine army managed to suppress an ISIS-affiliated rebellion in the country’s southern island of Mindanao last summer, ISIS fighters fleeing Syria and Iraq continue to trickle into the country and pose a growing jihadist threat throughout Southeast Asia. The U.S. and the Philippines have further bolstered their defense cooperation in light of these developments, yet the Philippines’ disparate ... Read More »