Navy Identifies Sailor Killed in Manbij, Syria

A Sailor assigned to Cryptologic Warfare Activity 66 (CWA 66), based at Ft. George G. Meade, Md., was killed while deployed in Manbij, Syria.

Source: Navy Identifies Sailor Killed in Manbij, Syria

Chief Cryptologic Technician (Interpretive) Shannon M. Kent, 35, was killed while supporting Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and teammates of Chief Petty Officer Kent during this extremely difficult time.  She was a rockstar, an outstanding Chief Petty Officer, and leader to many in the Navy Information Warfare Community,” said Cmdr. Joseph Harrison, Commanding Officer, CWA-66.

Kent, who hailed from upstate New York, enlisted in the Navy December 11, 2003, and graduated from boot camp at Recruit Training Command, Great Lakes, Ill., in February 2004. Her other military assignments included Navy Information Operations Command, Fort Gordon, Ga.; Navy Special Warfare Support Activity 2, Norfolk, Va.; Personnel Resource Development Office, Washington, D.C.; Navy Information Operations Command, Fort Meade, Md.; and Cryptologic Warfare Group 6, Fort Meade, Md. Kent reported to CWA 66 after the command was established on Aug. 10, 2018.

“Chief Kent’s drive, determination and tenacity were infectious. Although she has left us way too soon, she will not be forgotten, and her legacy will live on with us,” said CWA 66 Command Senior Enlisted Leader, Senior Chief Cryptologic Technician (Collections) Denise Vola.

Kent’s awards and decorations include the Joint Service Commendation Medal (2), Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon, and Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon.

For news and information from Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command / U.S. 10th Fleet, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/FCCC10F/ or follow us on Twitter @USFLEETCYBERCOM.

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The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics | Plausibly Live

Everybody ready for 2019?

We start in the midst of yet another “partial” Government shutdown. Depending on your politics, this is either stupid or it’s brilliant. Add in a major nationally – actually internationally – covered illegal immigration versus legal immigration story, and you have a boiling pot of discussion, debate and flat out argument. Which parts are shut down? The ones that have to do with border security and justice. How odd.

SecDef Mattis resigned his post over the holiday. The given reason is that he “disagreed” with the Presidents announcement to withdraw American troops from Syria. Frankly, I am not buying that as the reason because there is no reasonable purpose for us being in Syria to begin with. But it is a convenient excuse…

New Horizons has discovered yet another… new horizon…

Source: The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics | Plausibly Live

US forces begin pulling out of Syria as White House claims victory over ISIS – Middle East – Stripes

U.S. forces have begun withdrawing from Syria, the White House announced Wednesday, as it declared victory over Islamic State group fighters in the country despite concerns from others in Washington that the terror group may still yet mount a comeback.

Source: US forces begin pulling out of Syria as White House claims victory over ISIS – Middle East – Stripes

“Five years ago, ISIS was a very powerful and dangerous force in the Middle East, and now the United States has defeated the territorial caliphate,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement. “We have started returning troops home as we transition to the next phase of this campaign,”

Sanders did not indicate whether all 2,000 U.S. troops would be removed from Syria or what the next phase of the mission would look like, but numerous reports citing unnamed defense officials said the plan was for a complete pullout. The decision also appeared to be confirmed by President Donald Trump in a tweet.

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” Trump said.

The decision was likely to be welcomed by NATO ally Turkey, but also casts uncertainty over the fate of American-backed Kurdish troops in the region.

Syria and its allies Russia and Iran have repeatedly denounced the U.S. military presence as illegal because it was undertaken without permission from the government in Damascus.

Trump has previously said he wants to pull American troops out of Syria at some point and that the country was not a place where U.S. forces would be permanently camped.

The move comes despite the Pentagon’s earlier plans to maintain a force in northern Syria to root out remaining remnants of the Islamic State group. Pentagon officials were still trying to talk Trump out of a Syria exit, The New York Times reported, quoting unnamed administration officials.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency.

21.3K people are talking about this

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called Trump’s plan “a huge Obama-like mistake.”

“A decision to withdraw will also be viewed as a boost to ISIS desire to come back,’ Graham said on Twitter, adding it also puts “our allies, the Kurds at risk.”

However, Sanders indicated the work was largely done for troops on the ground.

The full pullout, reported by Reuters, The Washington Post and the Times on Wednesday, citing unnamed U.S. and defense sources, comes as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he intends to launch an offensive against the Kurdish forces in Syria’s north. Such an offensive would risk bringing U.S. troops into conflict with the Turkish military.

In response to reports of the pullout, the Pentagon Wednesday said at the moment troops continue to work with their partners in Syria.

The U.S. presence in northern Syria has been a source of great tension with Turkey.

Ankara has long regarded Washington’s Kurdish partners as terrorists and the main threat to Turkey. While the U.S. has drawn a distinction between its Kurdish partners and the Kurdistan Workers Party, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, Turkey has remained unpersuaded.

U.S. Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey, speaking at an Atlantic Council event in Washington on Monday, said the aim of the U.S. partnership with Kurdish Syrian Defense Forces was connected to the battle against ISIS.

The U.S. isn’t interested in helping the Kurds carve out autonomous territory, he said.

“That is not the policy of this administration and has not been the policy of other administrations,” Jeffrey said.

Trump’s call for leaving Syria isn’t the only policy reversal with implications for the U.S. relationship with Turkey. On Tuesday, Washington announced it was willing to sell Patriot missiles to Turkey, which has long sought them.

Sanders on Tuesday also said Trump was willing to consider the possible extradition of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in exile in America, but is blamed by Erdogan for the failed 2016 coup attempt in Turkey. Gulen has denied any involvement.

In a phone call this week with Erdogan, “the only thing (Trump) said is that we would take a look at it,” Sanders said Tuesday.

In Syria, the prospect of a U.S. withdrawal raises questions about whether ISIS will be given a chance to regroup in the country. Military leaders have warned that ISIS, while pushed out of virtually all of its former strongholds, still poses a threat.

In September, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the “fighting is ongoing. As we forecasted, it’s been a tough fight, and we are winning.”

Graham added in another tweet on Wednesday that “with all due respect, ISIS is not defeated in Syria, Iraq, and after just returning from visiting there — certainly not Afghanistan.”

vandiver.john@stripes.com
Twitter: @john_vandiver

Report to Congress on Armed Conflict in Syria – USNI News

“To date, the United States has directed more than $8.6 billion toward Syria-related humanitarian assistance, and Congress has appropriated billions more for security and stabilization initiatives in Syria and in neighboring countries. The Defense Department has not disaggregated the costs of military operations in Syria from the overall cost of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), which, as of March 2018, had reached $23.5 billion. President Trump requested $15.3 billion in additional FY2019 defense funding for OIR. Congress continues to consider proposals to authorize or restrict the use of force against the Islamic State and in response to Syrian government chemical weapons attacks, but has not enacted any Syria-specific use of force authorizations.”

The following is the Sept. 21, 2018 Congressional Research Service report, Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response. From the report The Syria conflict, now in its eighth year, remains a significant policy challenge for the United States. U.S. policy toward Syria in the past several years has given highest priority to counterterrorism operations […]

Source: Report to Congress on Armed Conflict in Syria – USNI News