Turkey, the NATO alliance's second major military power, plans to start independent operations in Syria due to the USG's ongoing entanglements with Kurdish militias preventing an effective collaboration (archived). In recent years Turkey has pivoted from being a US safe haven for aiming threats at Russia to a less concretely alligned power, finding itself ejected from the F-35 boondogle because Russian S-400 batteries present a better value. The USG's hard on for promoting instability in Syria at the apparent request of a small, unreliable ally seems to have inflicted greater loss to NATO than any actual accumulation of casualties in combat.
Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party managed to secure a mere 31 seats in the Knesset during this year's second parliamentary elections while the opposition Blue and White party took 33 seats (archived). The Blue and White party's leader and former IDF head Benny Gantz has declared his opposition to forming a coalition with Bibi though he is open to building a coalition with anyone else. A coalition controlling 61 or more seats in the Knesset needs to be assembled or Israel will probably be doomed to hold elections for the third time this year.
Reports have begun emerging that suggest the USG and Israel are moving towards a "mutual defense" agreement, provided Bibi survives today's elections (archived). This movement comes as hawks inside the USG, Israel, and Saudi Arabia are escalating their anti-Iran talk in the wake of a Yemeni rebel attack using 80's vintage drones which crippled Saudi oil production over the weekend (archived).
One notable "mutual defense" agreement of historical interest had Britain opening the second World War after Germany intervened to stop the Polish government's genocide of ethnic Germans in Danzig (archived). With Israel already conducting airstrikes on its neighbors, it is very hard to see the move as anything other than a committment to further antagonize the Middle East.
The Taliban is asserting that as long as the US continues to impose war on Afghanistan that they are confident in their ability to continue fighting back for at least another century (archived). This declaration follows the US Government's withdrawal from a series of peace talks over ongoing US casualties. At the same time US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bragged of more than 1000 casualties inflicted by the US over a 10 day span. Taliban diplomat Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai responded to Pompeo's gloating with:
Mr. Pompeo admitted that they have killed a thousand Taliban. If they can kill a thousand of us, why can we not kill one or two of them? This is our right. We have to defend ourselves and defend our people.
On this 18th anniversary of the day the "end of history" died, the US is still at war. The war is still a hot one (archived).
John Bolton is out as US National Security Advisor after using the position to systematically reduce US national security as so many of his predecessors have done before him (archived). Different parties are claiming a firing or resignation effected the departure. Bolton's legacy over his tenures in the Trump and Bush II administrations is a reduction of USG ability to effect its policy abroad to levels not seen in a century.
The Iranian tanker captured by British forces and held in the Queendom's Gibraltar has been released (archived). The USG tried to intervene by having the US "Department of Justice" file a petition with local authorities to seize the vessel for themselves. That effort failed.
The United States Air Mobility Command has grounded 123 of the 450 planes in its C-130H and C-130J transport aircraft (archived). The official line on the grounding is that "unusual cracking" was found in the lower center wing joint. This sudden reduction in transport capacity is not a good look for the USG's operational capacity in light of its other recent failings.
News is emerging that Israel is enthusiastically exploiting the fact they were the first to deploy US made F-35A fighters in combat by launching strikes in Iraq (archived). While the F-35 program has been an absolute boondogle for the US, for Israelis the F-35 program has allowed them to be the first to fly this particular stealth attack aircraft in anger. Doing so they enjoy the advantages of its stealth before the ongoing collection of radar data negates its present advantage over air defense systems.
While the US cut Turkey out of the F-35 program over the NATO ally's purchase of Russian made S-400 missiles fearing Turkish operation of the jets near Turkish radar pickets will generate Russian data allowing better identification of the F-35 as an air defense target, Israel's ongoing airstrikes on foreign soil are generating the same sort of data and incentivising the development of F-35 countermeasures. With the problems everyone else is having bringing their F-35's operational, it is possible the Israelis may be the only ones to enjoy use of the F-35 as a steath aircraft. Once again history rhymes.
20 years of development time and 1.5 trillion USD in IOUs burned so some Jews can bomb some warehouses in the desert.