The US does not need to deploy additional troops to Libya to assist in the defeat of ISIS “at the moment,” though there is currently no “grand strategy” for the future of that country, the administration’s nominee to lead Africa Command said. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser said at his confirmation hearing on Tuesday the US does have a small number of troops on the ground in Libya supporting the two-part goal of helping stand up the Government of National Accord and disrupting the growth of ISIS in Libya, which at the moment has about 5,000 fighters inside the country. “The situation in Libya is very complex,” Waldhauser said, noting one of the toughest things the US needs to do is determine which militias and tribal groups to work with. Forces against ISIS are working to retake the city of Sirte, after which the US needs a plan to build off that momentum to defeat the group, Waldhauser said. (See also: Facing ISIS in Africa.)
NASA, SpaceX, and United Launch Alliance are all preparing to launch their next-gen rockets from Florida’s Space Coast, two of them before the year is out. One is expected to liberate the U.S. launch enterprise from its reliance on Russian-made RD-180 engines, while all three rockets could eventually carry astronaut crews.