Weekly Rundown: October 19 – 25, 2019
A quick review of the major military related headlines from the last week:
Kurdish locals in Syria, many of whom feel betrayed by the sudden US withdrawl, pelted American vehicles with potatoes as they left.
- Despite the ongoing withdrawal of US troops from areas of Syria they, until recently, defended with Kurdish allies, the Secretary of Defense Mark Esper announced it will deploy additional troops to defend the oil wells in the region. No details of the units being sent has been made public, but it is likely to include a deployment of mechanized units.
- The American troops being pulled out of Syria are headed to Iraq, albeit briefly. The Iraqi government demanded these additional soldiers be removed from their country within the next four weeks, at which time they’ll be redeployed to Kuwait or Qatar.
- Russian and Turkey announced their joint plan to control and occupy a large swath or northern Syria along the Turkish border as more troops from both nations, backed by allied Syrian militias, move into the region.
- The Iraqi government began the process of prosecuting military and police officers they consider responsible for the large number of casualties that have occurred during the ongoing violent protests across the country that killed 149 civilians and eight security force members so far.
Protestors in Baghdad this week.
- Army General Austin Miller, commander of NATO and US forces in Afghanistan, revealed 2,000 American troops have been withdrawn from the country over the last few months in a speech on Monday. Despite the decrease in American military presence, NATO reaffirmed their commitment to the mission in Afghanistan.
- A round of talks between the Taliban and Afghan government are scheduled to begin in China this coming week.
- A brief, worrying search for a West Point Cadet who disappeared with his M4 ended in tragedy with the discovery that he committed suicide in a basement on campus. He apparently laid out his intentions to end his life in a post on Snapchat shortly before his disappearance.
- Marine Colonel Daniel Wilson, whose conviction for a number of serious charges including sexual assault of a minor was overturned in a controversial decision by a three-judge panel in July, was released from the brig.
- The ever-troubled F-35 is not yet cleared for full production by the Department of Defense and may not be for at least another year
F-35 Lightning II’s under construction.
In Case You Missed It
- Using your GI Bill or VocRehab benefits to further your education after the military is a great idea, but the process of doing so isn’t always a bed of roses. Army veteran and college survivor Jenny Pacanowski has a cautionary tale and some good advice on the subject.
- The speech in Shakespeare’s play Henry V that gave us the phrase “band of brothers” was a work of fiction, but the bloody Battle of Agincourt it preceded was real enough
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