Since August 24th, Turkey has conducted a military operation—known as Euphrates Shield—in northern Syria. The objective of Euphrates Shield is to clear the border area between the towns of Jarablus and al-Rai of jihadists while simultaneously stopping Kurdish militia expansion. Using a powerful combination of air power, mechanized units, and Special Forces, the Turkish government, by their own admission, has accomplished their objective.
David Wallace is a Colonel in the United States Army. He is a Professor and the Head of the Department of Law at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York ([email protected]). The views expressed here are his personal views and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense, the United States Army, the United States Military Academy, or any other department or agency of the United States Government. The analysis presented here stems from his academic research of publicly available sources, not from protected operational information.
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Earlier this year, former National Security Agency (NSA) Director and former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director General (Retired) Michael Hayden was asked what American armed forces would do if ordered to commit torture, such as waterboarding a terrorist, by a new Presidential administration. General Hayden posited that United States military members would simply refuse to act, as there is no obligation to follow an unlawful order.