National Security

Weekly Ops Briefing: War with China, U.S.-Mexico Border, NATO Exercise, Iraq War Study, Drones

We live in a busy world with a lot of information being thrown at us. Don’t feel overwhelmed. OpsLens will give you a weekly briefing on the major stories you need to know about and cut out all the extra information that isn’t important. Here’s your weekly briefing on what’s going on in national security and military news.

Retired General Says War is Likely with China in the Next 15 Years

Retired Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the former commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, said on Wednesday that it’s likely the U.S. and China will go to war in the next 15 years.

“I think in 15 years — it’s not inevitable, but it is a very strong likelihood — that we will be at war with China,” said Hodges at a security forum in Warsaw. “The United States does not have the capacity to do everything it has to do in Europe and in the Pacific to deal with the Chinese threat.”

Concerns about trade, claims to the South China Sea, North Korea, and military posturing in other parts of the Pacific Ocean have caused many to suspect that the U.S. and China are on the road to an unavoidable military conflict.

Active-Duty U.S. Army Troops Deployed to U.S.-Mexico Border

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to deploy active-duty U.S. Army troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

The military is now preparing to send 800 troops to the border to assist the U.S. Border Patrol in preventing the illegal entry of a caravan of thousands of migrants into the United States. The troops are mainly for logistical, medical, and aviation support, and will not include combat soldiers. There are already over 2,000 National Guardsmen deployed to the border, assisting U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.

NATO Conducts a Massive Exercise in Norway and Angers Russia

Since the end of the Cold War, this week NATO kicked off its largest military exercise in Norway, a country which shares a border with Russia, and Russian President Vladimir Putin responded with statements regarding Russia’s continued focus on developing new weapons systems that will be without comparison in the world.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday that “NATO’s military activities near our borders have reached the highest level since the Cold War times.” Shoigu also noted that the war games will be “simulating offensive military action.”

Trident Juncture 2018 is an exercise that brings together over 50,000 troops for all 29 nations in NATO. The area of the exercise includes Norway, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Baltic Sea and simulates an attack on Norway by a “fictitious aggressor.” It is scheduled to end on November 7th.

U.S. Army’s Iraq War Study Still Unpublished Years After Completion

In 2013, then-U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno ordered a detailed history of the United States Army’s operations in the Iraq War. Titled “The United States Army in the Iraq War,” the study was completed in 2016 but has still not been published.

The Wall Street Journal reported this week on the study and released an account of the efforts to have it published. The study reportedly praises the 2007 troops’ surge, while also highlighting key mistakes made by civilian and military leaders early in the war.

Russia Claims the U.S. Took Over Drones and Attacked a Russian Base in Syria

Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Fomin claimed Thursday that a U.S. military aircraft took control of 13 drones flying over Syria and attempted to have them attack the Russian military base at Hemeimeem. Fomin also said that the drones were downed before they could reach their target.

The United States has not commented on the Russian claim and there was no word on who the drones belonged to or when the incident occurred.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Chris Castellano

Christopher Castellano is a U.S. Army Veteran. He currently serves as a firefighter in New York City.

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