Podcast: How The US May Have Lost A War It Didn't Fight

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U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Jacob Connor

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When Syria was pulled apart seven years ago, the United States opted to stay on the sidelines. It was clear that President Bashar Al-Assad was a bad guy, but it was far less clear who the good guys were.

Unfortunately, inaction has also had its price for the U.S., according to our guest Steven A. Cook, who is the Eni Enrico Mattei Senior Fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.

You can listen to War College on iTunesStitcher, Google Play or follow our RSS directly. Our website is warcollegepodcast.com. You can reach us on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/warcollegepodcast; and on Twitter: @War_College.

Comedian Steve Carell will be starring in an upcoming Netflix show about the new Space Force that's being described as a "workplace comedy."

Yeah, that's right. The Office, but in freaking space.

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George Washington takes command of the Continental army. (Mount Vernon via Smithsonian)

The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot to Kill George Washington by Brad Meltzer and Josh Mensch; Flatiron Books (413 pages, $29.99)

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New York City has seen dark times, but in the spring and early summer of 1776 the outlook was especially grim. The Revolutionary War was in its early, chaotic days, the British fleet sailed en masse toward the city, and in a desperate defensive measure, General George Washington ordered thousands of his Continental troops into lower Manhattan. Almost a third of the city's citizens fled, and Washington's filthy, untrained and undisciplined soldiers quartered themselves in the elegant houses left behind. They were hungry, cold and scared, and they numbed their fear with drink, gambling and prostitutes. They were about to face the greatest military force in the world, outgunned and outmanned, fighting for a country that hadn't been created yet.

In hindsight, America's victory against the British seems like one of history's inevitabilities, but in the beginning it was anything but. And had a small group of pro-British conspirators had their way, the Glorious Cause might have lost its essential leader — George Washington — to imprisonment, execution or assassination.

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Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., center, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, are disagreeing with President Donald Trump's sudden decision to pull all 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite)

Sen. Lindsey Graham essentially laid the deaths of the unknown number of U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday at the feet of President Donald Trump during a hearing on Capitol Hill, Bloomberg News reports.

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Soldiers, family and community gathered in Morehead City to render honors and witness the transfer and memorial of U.S. Army Sgt James Slape Nov. 9-11, 2018. Slape will hold a temporary resting place in Morehead City before ultimately moving to Arlington Cemetery. Slape supported Operations Resolute Support and Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt Leticia Samuels, North Carolina National Guard)

An ISIS suicide bomber killed and wounded an unknown number of American soldiers in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday.

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