U.S. Army Sgt. James R. Moore of Portland, Ore., a logitstics NCO with the 642nd Regional Support Group, shoots at the Fort Pickett rifle range as part of the Mortuary Affairs Exercise Aug. 15, 2018. (U.S. Army/Sgt. 1st Class Gary A. Witte, 642nd Regional Support Group)
It's official: After months of testing, the Army is moving forward with an intermediate round between the traditional 5.56mm and 7.62mm calibers for its M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon replacements.
Ever since President Barack Obama launched Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS in Iraq and Syria in 2014, U.S. military personnel and their regional allies have increasingly been forced to stare down the barrels of their own weapons. An exhaustive new investigation of ISIS weapons caches details just how many small arms and ammo caches are falling into terrorist hands — and highlights the Department of Defense’s cavalier attitude towards funneling weapons there, helping to fuel what investigators called “[an] industrial revolution of terrorism.”
The grueling ground offensive against the Islamic State in Mosul, Iraq, is entering its final stage. The last few neighborhoods held by ISIS — approximately five square miles of snaking alleyways and narrow city streets — are expected to be the most difficult to retake for the U.S.-backed Iraqi Security Forces.