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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An Iraqi security forces member provides security near a patrol base in Mosul, Iraq, June 22, 2017. (U.S. Army/Cpl. Rachel Diehm)

MOSUL, Iraq — It was after dark Wednesday when three buses pulled out of Mosul and headed southeast on a desolate desert road. The passengers were government-backed paramilitary fighters.

The city lights were well behind them when the convoy came under attack. By the time the shooting stopped, six paramilitary members were dead and 31 wounded.

Iraqi authorities quickly identified the culprit: Islamic State.

The attack, one of the deadliest since Iraq declared military victory over the extremist group in December 2017, was the clearest sign yet that the war isn't over.

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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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Airmen with the 379th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron pump water from a flooded common living area to an area with less impact on the local population, Dec. 13, 2009, in Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force/ Staff Sgt. Sharon Singer)

The definition of insanity, the old saying goes, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result — a definition that applies perfectly to the Trump administration's response to the looming national security threat of global climate change.

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Troopers assigned to Reaper Troop, 4th Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, drive their M1134 Anti-Tank Guided Missile Vehicle to it's firing position during the squadron's live-fire exercise at the Grafenwoehr Training Area, located near Rose Barracks, Germany, March 15, 2016. (U.S. Army/Sgt. William A. Tanner)

A four-person vehicle crew with the U.S. Army's 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Europe won a personal victory in early February 2019 when they beat out other crews to claim their squadron's "top gun" prize.

But the crew's achievement underscores an uncomfortable fact for the U.S. Army as it struggles to match Russia's own military build-up in Europe.

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