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Mattis warns of ISIS comeback in wake of Trump pullout in Syria
Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is warning that it's "absolutely a given" that ISIS will come back if the U.S. doesn't keep up pressure on the group, just one week after President Trump announced the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from northern Syria.
"It's in a situation of disarray right now. Obviously the Kurds are adapting to the Turkish attacks, and we'll have to see if they're able to maintain the fight against ISIS," Mattis said in an interview on NBC's "Meet The Press," set to air on Sunday. "It's going to have an impact. The question is how much?"
"I think Secretary of State Pompeo, the intelligence services, the foreign countries that were working with us have it about right, that ISIS is not defeated. We have got to keep the pressure on ISIS so they don't recover," Mattis added.
Trump has come under harsh criticism among military professionals and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, some of whom have questioned Trump's apparent "abandonment" of Kurdish allies who bore the brunt of the fight against ISIS, suffering nearly 11,000 casualties in the process.
"This policy abandonment threatens to undo five years' worth of fighting against ISIS and will severely damage American credibility and reliability in any future fights where we need strong allies," wrote retired Army Gen. Joseph Votel, former commander of U.S. Central Command, in a recent op-ed for Defense One.
Turkey launched its planned incursion into Syria on Tuesday, seizing villages and dropping aerial bombs and artillery on Kurdish positions. At least 30 civilians have been killed, and roughly 100,000 have been displaced so far, according to human rights organizations.
"We may want a war over. We may even declare it over. You can pull your troops out, as President Obama learned the hard way, out of Iraq," Mattis said. "But the enemy gets a vote — we say in the military — and in this case, if we don't keep the pressure on, ISIS will resurge. It's absolutely a given that they will come back."
Mattis resigned in Dec. 2018 after Trump said the U.S. had "defeated ISIS in Syria" before ordering a "rapid withdrawal" of U.S. troops there. The order was later slow-rolled and walked back, but not before Mattis wrote a resignation letter to the president chiding him about "treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors," based on his four decades of military service.
Raccoon infestations and extreme rust didn’t stop an anonymous buyer from nabbing this Soviet-era submarine
A former Soviet submarine that became a tourist attraction docked adjacent to the Queen Mary in Long Beach is expected to be sold soon to an anonymous buyer, with plans to remove the rusting sub by mid-May.
The 48-year-old Russian Foxtrot-class submarine, known as the Scorpion, had hosted paying visitors for 17 years before it fell into such disrepair that it became infested with raccoons and was closed to the public in 2015.
Former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, whom President Donald Trump recently pardoned of his 2013 murder conviction, claims he was nothing more than a pawn whom generals sacrificed for political expediency.
The infantry officer had been sentenced to 19 years in prison for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men in 2012. Two of the men were killed.
During a Monday interview on Fox & Friends, Lorance accused his superiors of betraying him.
"A service member who knows that their commanders love them will go to the gates of hell for their country and knock them down," Lorance said. "I think that's extremely important. Anybody who is not part of the senior Pentagon brass will tell you the same thing."
"I think folks that start putting stars on their collar — anybody that has got to be confirmed by the Senate for a promotion — they are no longer a soldier, they are a politician," he continued. "And so I think they lose some of their values — and they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates — when they do what they did to me, which was throw me under the bus."
Fifteen years after the U.S. military toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Army's massive two-volume study of the Iraq War closed with a sobering assessment of the campaign's outcome: With nearly 3,500 U.S. service members killed in action and trillions of dollars spent, "an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.
Thanks to roughly 700 pages of newly-publicized secret Iranian intelligence cables, we now have a good idea as to why.
A U.S. Air Force combat controller will receive the nation's third highest award for valor this week for playing an essential role in two intense firefight missions against the Taliban in Afghanistan last year.
Tech. Sgt. Cody Smith, an airman with the 26th Special Tactics Squadron, 24th Special Operations Wing at Air Force Special Operations Command, will receive the Silver Star at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico on Nov. 22, the service announced Monday.
The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Harriet Lane intercepted a suspected semi-submersible smuggling vessel in international waters of the Eastern Pacific Ocean and seized approximately 5,000 pounds of cocaine October 23.