So much news, so little time to work on this. I confess to having been distracted most of the day by telephone and internet time trying, finally successfully I think, to resolve a minor issue with the VA over allotment payments for my VGLI premiums. I got older and the premiums went up and I needed to make a small change. The only efficient US government people on the phone are the Social Security folks. I cannot say enough good about them.
US Military Strategy - Maybe Dempsey is trying to soft-pedal this but the references to Russia as an adversary are disturbing. How far forward are we going to lean against Russia in the context of new hand-picked senior people in the JCS who have probably been asked by the WH and Carter if they will accept the R2P view of the world? That is obviously Obama's view as well. If it were not, Obama would have gotten rid of the Harpies (male and female) by now. For god's sake, people look at how the first World War started.
Cordesman - He seems to want us to move from military alliances to civil-military alliances in which the US would "coordinate" everyone's actions. If this is the case, then Cordesman and his crew have become imperialists in the true sense of the word.
Boko Haram - The Borg has been pushing the line that the Nigerian army under new management has been eliminating the scourge. This most recent attack would indicate that BK has re-positioned itself and is still a big problem as are newly minted IS franchises in Afghanistan, and the Caucasus. This problem is growing, not shrinking. IMO it will be necessary to defeat the Caliphate on its home ground in Syria and Iraq, defeat it militarily and discredit it in the minds of Muslims or possible future Muslims who dream of a much greater 'Umma.
Syria SW Front - ISW reports with some detail on the "progress" the rebels are making with Israeli, Jordanian and US support. ISW seems to want to see this coalition of the unicorn/Nusra forces take Damascus or so weaken the Syrian government that it will fall as part of the general onslaught of Islamist forces from other quarters. ISW seems to think that would be a good thing. Why that would be escapes me. (irony)
Shark Alert - North Carolina is studying the shark menace. There have been several attacks on their coast that are reminiscent of the "Jaws" films. My suggestion for dealing with this threat to our civil right to wade in the water would be to stay out of the water.