A massive operation is underway to retake the city of Tikrit, Iraq, from ISIS militants. Tikrit is the home of Saddam Hussein, the former ruler of Iraq, who was executed in 2006 for war crimes. A Washington Post photo essays shows the mission, which has already been a bloody fight, involving some 30,000 Iraqi troops and Shiite militiamen, some backed by the Iranian government. It could take days or more to retake the city of 250,000 people, and there are reports that militants have planted bombs throughout the region to slow the assault.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Coast Guard cutter Bertholf on a counterdrug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Trees
U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf left California on January 20 for a months-long mission in the Pacific to support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the largest of the U.S. military's geographic combatant commands.
Coast Guardsmen aboard the Bertholf left Alameda on the 30th day of what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. They left a few days after not getting their first paycheck since that shutdown started and without knowing when the next will come.