Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz. (Associated Press/Michael Conroy)

During a radio interview on Thursday, former CEO of Starbucks Howard Schultz opened his mouth and quickly inserted his foot, claiming that he spent more time with the military than other 2020 presidential candidates.

It's a claim he walked back real friggin' fast.

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In this March 12, 2016, file photo, Marines of the U.S., left, and South Korea, wearing blue headbands on their helmets, take positions after landing on a beach during the joint military combined amphibious exercise, called Ssangyong, part of the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle military exercises, in Pohang, South Korea. (Associated Press/Yonhap/Kim Jun-bum)

TOKYO — In recent years, thousands of U.S. and South Korean soldiers met face-to-face on a mock battlefield to prepare for a potential attack from North Korea.

Now, after President Donald Trump scrapped the biggest joint exercises, the bulk of the newly designed "Alliance" drill taking place through March 14 will involve senior officers sitting in front of computers for what's known as a "command post exercise." While the army won't provide exact figures, many soldiers who took part in previous years will be on the sidelines.

"It's like putting together a national baseball team by having professional players practice alone instead of together," said Kim Ki-ho, a former colonel in South Korea's army who oversaw military operation planning at the Combined Forces Command.

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Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.

KURSK, Russia -- When a trainload of tanks, guns, and other military hardware supposedly seized from the Syrian battlefields pulled up at Kursk railway station on a cloudy afternoon this week, a jubilant crowd was there to greet it.

An orchestra belted out Soviet war songs. A state-funded paramilitary youth movement performed a dance for world peace. A World War II veteran in battered shoes lauded Russia's armed forces. And officials in slick suits delivered the obligatory praise for the president and commander in chief, Vladimir Putin.

"The next generation must understand that the enemy is not far away," said Acting Regional Governor Roman Starovoit. "It must be liquidated on the threshold of our motherland's borders."

Kursk, a city of 450,000 people five hours by train from Moscow, was the third stop on a nationwide, 28,000-kilometer propaganda tour launched by Russia's Defense Ministry to showcase the achievements of its military campaign in Syria. Putin announced the campaign in September 2015 with the promise of air support for his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad's fight against the extremist Islamic State group (IS) and against rebel forces backed by the West.

The traveling exhibition, titled Syrian Breakthrough, is meant to raise support for the armed forces among a Russian population weary of the country's military campaigns in Ukraine and the Middle East, and increasingly preoccupied with problems at home amid stagnating incomes and falling real wages.

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U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sit down before their one-on-one chat during the second U.S.-North Korea summit at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

This article originally appeared on The National Interest.

The press has universally declared this week's summit between President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un in Hanoi, Vietnam a "failure." From the headlines of the New York Times and Washington Post to the Blob, Trump has been indicted for diplomatic malpractice. As Richard Haass summarized the matter: "The Hanoi summit showed the dangers of a president who over-personalizes diplomacy."

If this were just another card in the political war between Trump and the anti-Trumpers, I would not be moved to comment. But since the issue of North Korea's nuclear program is one that could lead to a nuclear bomb exploding in an American city, the U.S. government's efforts to prevent that really matters. So, here are my four takeaways.

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The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan, June 17, 2017 (U.S. Navy photo)

After two of its destroyers were involved in deadly accidents in the summer of 2017, the Navy's leaders pledged real change: more sailors for their ships, and better training for those sailors and the officers who led them. Old or broken equipment would be fixed, too. Most important, the Navy's top command would stop forcing ships out to sea before they were ready.

In late 2017, as part of an effort to assure commanders that the Navy was committed to genuine reform, Adm. Philip Davidson embarked on a speaking tour. Davidson was in charge of “readiness" — responsible for making sure that the Navy's ships were fully staffed, and that sailors were adequately trained and equipped and ready for combat. He had recently authored a public report laying out dozens of specific weaknesses that the Navy had begun fixing.

One of Davidson's stops in November 2017 was in San Diego, and inside the base's movie theater, he addressed hundreds of concerned commanders and officers. He was met with a series of tough questions, including a particularly sensitive one: If the commanders believed their ships were not ready, could they, as the Navy had promised, actually push back on orders to sail?

Davidson, according to an admiral inside the theater, responded with anger.

“If you can't take your ships to sea and accomplish the mission with the resources you have," he said, “then we'll find someone who will."

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Army Sgt. Jeremy Seals died on Oct. 31, 2018, following a protracted battle with stomach cancer. His widow, Cheryl Seals is mounting a lawsuit alleging that military care providers missed her husband's cancer. Task & Purpose photo illustration by Aaron Provost

The widow of a soldier whose stomach cancer was allegedly overlooked by Army doctors for four years is mounting a medical malpractice lawsuit against the military, but due to a decades-old legal rule known as the Feres Doctrine, her case will likely be dismissed before it ever goes to trial.

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