A Navy sailor instructs a Malian police officer

WASHINGTON: Two US special operators assisted with this morning’s hostage rescue operation in Bamako, Mali, a US Africa Command spokesman confirmed. The operators were in Mali already as advisors and so could swiftly respond to support the local forces, Col. Mark Cheadle told me. The Americans advised their Malian counterparts, who conducted the rescue, and physically helped… Keep reading →

BA14 LPD Arlington & Dutch boats from bridge of DE WITT IMG_0309

WASHINGTON: Is the US Navy really so short of warships that Marines must catch a ride on foreign vessels, like heavily armed hitchhikers? The answer is, well, sort of. Where there’s smoke, there’s often fire — the Marines definitely could use more amphibious warfare ships — but on this story, politicians, lobbyists, and some of… Keep reading →

Map of Djibouti and surrounding area

WASHINGTON: China is pushing hard for either special port access or basing rights in the former French colony of Djibouti, a key center where US and French special operations forces operate from against terrorism in both Africa and the Middle East. I confirmed with a senior allied official today that China is seriously pursuing a favored… Keep reading →

AFP protest Je Suis Charlie

This opinion piece — something Sydney and I rarely engage in — is offered to remind ourselves and our readers that, as yesterday’s Paris murders demonstrate, the cost of liberty can be high. Some think the currency of life and struggle — jihad, if you will — is worth paying. The Editor. If you want to be… Keep reading →

AFSOC pilots Capt Brett Cassidy (l) and Maj. Taylor Fingarson, pilots of Rooster 75

WASHINGTON: Air Force Tech. Sgt. David Shea sensed no danger as he stood with his .50 caliber machine gun ready at the open ramp of “Rooster 73,” one of three CV-22 Ospreys coming in to land on a small, rutted airstrip in Bor, South Sudan. A crowd of up to 10,000 people milled about a United… Keep reading →

An Army reservist conducts medical training.

AUSA: Even as the first wave of 4,000 Army regulars deploys to West Africa, the service’s mobilization command is preparing for a possible call-up of Reserve and National Guard troops to replace them in six months, Lt. Gen. Michael Tucker told me today. “There are no orders yet,” the First Army commander cautioned, just precautionary… Keep reading →

Bradley armored vehicles from the 1st Cavalry Division shipped out in August for a deployment to Eastern Europe.

WASHINGTON: The Mideast may have the spotlight right now, but it’s not the only area that has the Army of Chief of Staff worried. In an uncanny parallel to the 1990s, the end of a large-scale ground deployment — in Europe then, in Iraq and Afghanistan now — has led to steep Army budget cuts even as… Keep reading →

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn in happier days, taking command of the Defense Intelligence Agency just two years ago.

In this exclusive exit interview with Breaking Defense contributor James Kitfield, the outgoing chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, talks about metastasizing Islamic terrorism, his struggles to reform intelligence-gathering, and the risk of lurching from crisis to crisis in an Internet-accelerated world.  – the editors. “Disruptive.” That’s how Michael Flynn’s enemies… Keep reading →

SINGAPORE (April 18, 3013) Sailors attached to Forward Liason Element, USS Freedom (LCS 1), observe Freedom as it arrives in Singapore during an eight-month deployment to Southeast Asia. Fast, agile, and mission focused, LCS platforms are designed to employ modular mission packages that can be configured for three separate purposes: surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare. Freedom will remain homeported in San Diego throughout this deployment to Southeast Asia. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Jay C. Pugh/Released)

WASHINGTON: Some 45 football fields and gear worth $5 billion. That’s how much excess inventory and storage room the Defense Logistics Agency has sold or destroyed since the height of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it’s not finished. DLA’s first sale of surplus equipment to local businesses in Afghanistan is scheduled for next… Keep reading →

US, Ugandan, Tanzanian, and Kenyan troops stand at attention during a joint exercise.

WASHINGTON: Friday’s Navy SEAL raid aimed at capturing the Somali terrorist known as Ikrimah is a glimpse at the future of American warfare, one where a small US combat presence is boosted by widescale support to local forces who bear the brunt of the fighting. The raid itself came like a blitzkrieg from the blue… Keep reading →

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