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 .
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.