The White House was working overtime this week. As the country approaches the November 3rd election, the president and his administration have continued to work internationally to bring stability and peace to the Middle East. This week, the president added Sudan to the growing list of countries that have agreed to normalize their relationship with Israel. The important step came just days after the White House removed Sudan from the State Sponsors of Terror list in exchange for paying millions of dollars of damages to the families of victims of terrorist attacks traced back to Sudan. A report also emerged about a White House special envoy that had been sent to Syria to negotiate the release of American hostages being held there.
Meanwhile, Army scientists at Walter Reed announced this week that a new COVID-19 vaccine is nearing human trials, a significant development in President Trump’s counter-pandemic plan, Operation Warp Speed.
The Department of Justice indicted six members of the Russian intelligence service, the GRU, for cybercrimes against the United States. The cybercrimes are reported to have led to billions of dollars in damages and to have affected the Olympics, U.S. businesses and healthcare facilities, and part of Ukraine’s power grid. Further, the crimes were made to look like they had come from China or North Korea.
We continued to follow international developments: fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia continues to intensify as the death toll surpassed 700; the discovery of a tunnel in Gaza prompted Israel to deploy the IDF and carry out new strikes in Syria; and despite the Doha Peace Talks, violence in Afghanistan continues, but a recent report shows that a raid by Afghan Special Forces in the eastern part of the country has resulted in the death of the number two al-Qaeda leader, Abu Mohsen al-Masri. The continued violence across Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban underscores the need for an expedient withdrawal of U.S. forces, according to an OpEd from SOFREP veteran, Steve Balestrieri.
News from the Military came from all sides this week. The new Army fitness test — the ACFT — continues to come under fierce scrutiny while a scandal surrounding explicit tweets sent from the official Fort Bragg Twitter account heated up as new information came to light. In the Marine Corps, two senior officers were relieved of duty — Maj. Gen. Stephen Neary was fired for the alleged use of a racial slur and Lt. Col. Michael Regner was removed over the death of nine servicemembers in a July AAV accident — highlighting a growing worrisome trend. Navy EOD released it’s 2030 vision this week, a plan that leans into advances in technology and cyberspace.
We also took time out away the news cycle with a multi-part series by SOFREP founder and CEO Brandon Webb which grapples with military friendships, loss, and the journey of moving on while honoring the memory of the fallen.
This week on SOFREP Radio we welcomed legendary NFL linebacker and philanthropist Donnie Edwards. Edwards played 13 seasons in the NFL before founding his organization, the Best Defense Foundation, which is dedicated to honoring WWII veterans by returning them to their former battlefields and bringing them closure and honor.
SOFREP gear guru Travis Pike looked at the best ways to carry and store shotshells with reviews on the AmmoPal — essentially a Pez dispenser for 12-gauge shells — and the VTAC Ammo pouch.
What’s in store for next week? None of us knows. But, as always, we’ll be here to bring you the stories you won’t find anywhere else with insights and analysis from people who have actually been there.
In the meantime,
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