Russia is having its Desert Storm moment in Syria. The near-daily release of Russian fighter cockpit videos and missiles being launched from Russian ships in the Caspian Sea is making millions of Russians feel proud and strong. For instance, on Oct. 21, Russian media reported that 53 strike sorties struck 72 “terrorist targets.” Oddly those same reports are even convincing some in the United States that Russia is somehow more effective in Syria than the United States and its allies. Read More
In 1954, U.S. Representative W. Sterling Cole, chairman of the Joint Atomic Energy Committee, announced what had been suspected: that the U.S. Air Force could deliver an H-bomb anywhere in the world. Hardly a revelation, this boast since has been echoed for more than half a century. Indeed, Air Force talking points regularly repeat a version of this theme: We can hold any target at risk anywhere in the world in any time, any place. This idea is deeply embedded in the Air Force’s transformation efforts, as an aspirational statement became a “requirement” and thereby a justification for airpower capabilities. “Any target, any time, any place” is a centerpiece of service dogma, offered in place of coherent airpower strategy. Unfortunately, that means very little for the nation’s air, space and cyber power entrusted to the Air Force. A capability is not a strategy, and can’t be substituted for one. It’s strategy that matters. Read More
Russian officials claim that a flotilla of four ships in the Caspian Sea sent a barrage of 26 guided cruise missiles across Iran and Iraq to strike Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets in Syria — more than 900 miles away.
Those claims were bolstered on Wednesday when Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting ISIS released a video on Twitter showing a guided cruise missile streak by their encampment. Read More
The extreme radical beliefs and brutal actions that caused al Qaeda in Iraq to fail earlier remain the heart of the success of today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL), all because the political context of a decade ago and today have changed, a leading scholar on Islamic terrorism said Monday. Read More
The following is the Sept. 16, 2015 Congressional Research Service report, Iraq: Politics and Governance. Read More
The following is the Congressional Research Service Aug. 7, 2015 report, A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics. The report covers: Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Read More
“The devil is in the details” in deciding whether the current deal with Iran to bar it from building or acquiring nuclear weapons is acceptable, a member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees said Wednesday. Read More
Since the fall of Mosul—Iraq’s second largest city—a year ago, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) has proven to be a “stronger, tougher and smarter” adversary than the United States expected, displaying the ability to recover quickly even after suffering the deaths of key leaders and sustaining heavy casualties. Read More
The following is an account of the mine strike on the Oliver Hazard Perry frigate USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) which originally ran in Proceedings in the April 2013 issue.
In February 1988, the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) reported for duty in waters made deadlier by war. The conflict between Iran and Iraq had spread from land to sea, and the United States had pledged to defend Kuwaiti tankers plying the Persian Gulf. Read More