Bottom Line Up Front On October 26, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid by U.S. forces in northern Syria near the Turkish border. The October 27th announcement by President Trump marks another shift for a group that has persisted as a 'brand' and global insurgency for years. ...

Most of my adult life was spent as a soldier in special operations. One of the most persistent issues throughout my career was finding the right balance of deployment tempo (DEPTEMPO) with time in garrison to train and to be home. It wasn’t always balanced.  A big part of this ...

This Christmas season was unlike any previous holiday for many military families. U.S. Special Operations Command lost 47 troops in the line of duty, out of its ranks of 70,000 men and women. The Special Operations Warrior Foundation (SOWF) gained 92 Gold Star children in 2017. One widow – of ...

The situation between the US and North Korea remains tenuous and characterized by uncertainty. North Korea’s cancellation of the upcoming summit with South Korea over the recent US/South Korean joint military exercises underscores the fragile nature of the proposed talks between the two countries. While the United States Department of ...

Despite former President Barack Obama’s efforts to cut U.S. military commitments in the Middle East, events quickly drew his Administration back into the region. Civil war in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and, particularly, ISIS’s 2014 expansion into Iraq combined to keep Washington militarily involved the region. However, the nature of this ...

U.S. special operations forces are widely considered to be some of the most highly trained and effective military units in the world and, as a result, they have played a critical role in America’s wars. Nowhere is that truer than in the Middle East and North Africa, where the U.S. ...

The role of U.S. special operations forces (SOF) in the Middle East has expanded steadily since the inception of the counter-ISIS campaign in 2014. In part, this expansion is due to the metastasis of ISIS into Libya, Yemen, and other countries beyond its major land-holding presence in Iraq and Syria. But ...

When Syrian government forces retook the ancient city of Palmyra from ISIS for the second time in early March, they had the assistance of one of the world’s elite special operations forces: Russia’s Special Operations Command (SSO). In coordination with Russian air power, the combined forces killed or wounded 1,000 ...

Several Chinese government entities perform activities that fall under the rubric of special operations. China’s primary anti-terrorist forces are elements of the civilian Ministry of Public Security (MPS) police and paramilitary People’s Armed Police (PAP). People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Special Operations Forces (SOF) also are trained for anti-terrorism tasks along ...

As part of military reforms begun in 2008, Russia has overhauled its special purpose forces, or Spetsnaz to expand its capabilities and professionalization. It also created a new Special Operations Command known as the KSSO. Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and military support of the Assad regime in Syria ...

Following the tragic attack on 9-11, U.S. Special Operations Forces (SOF) and the CIA, supported by airpower, conducted a punitive expedition that resulted in the Taliban and al Qaeda being routed from Afghanistan.   In 2003, working with the Kurds, U.S. SOF conducted operations in northern Iraq, accomplishing the mission intended ...

Memorial Day brings a set of complex emotions. I think about the thousands of Americans who gave their lives so that we could live free. I think about the cemeteries and the flags and the names on the tombstones. Memorial Day brings up memories that are a bit less common ...