The Islamic State group’s self-styled “caliphate” across parts of Iraq and Syria seemed largely defeated last year, with the loss of its territory, the killing of its founder in a U.S. raid and an unprecedented crackdown on its social media propaganda machine.
Success of the Afghan Air Force will be a key metric for Pentagon planners seeking to draw down U.S. troops in the country. The U.S. is still bearing most of the burden of air support for Afghan troops.
“Flores sacrificed his own life to save others, demonstrating extraordinary courage, bias for action, and devotion to duty, especially noteworthy given his limited shipboard experience. There is no doubt that he belongs in the Circle of Heroes.”