FROM Ben Watson
What the battle for Mosul says about the future of war A tank of the Emergency Response Division fires at Islamic State militants in the old city of Mosul. Photo by Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters Last October, Western-backed Iraqi forces began to re-take Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, from the occupying Islamic State. One hundred thousand troops have been involved — 10 times more than ISIS militants — but it's still taken eight months and the battle isn't completely over. Ben Watson is news editor for Defense One , which has an extensive account of the world's largest military operation in nearly 15 years.
US strategy in a Syria in turmoil Yesterday at the United Nations, Secretary of State John Kerry denounced Russia and pointed to the deadly bombing of a UN aid convoy in Syria. Today, before the Senate Armed Services Committee , Republican Chairman John McCain called Kerry " intrepid but delusional ," and challenged General Joseph Dunford, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "What's the Plan B? Is there a Plan B here, or do we just keep going back to the five-star hotels in Geneva meeting with our count, Mr. Lavrov, and come back with various declarations? What do we do if this one fails?” Ben Watson is following the story for the news site Defense One .
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.