Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 20, 2014

December 19, 2014

Weekly Recap: Pakistan, Cuba, Russia

If you look carefully, you can see Gen. Ray Odierno and other national security/foreign policy figures joining in on a farewell “We’ll Meet Again” song for the Colbert Report. We’ll bid you our own farewell for the week with a recap of what we wrote about at Five By Five, and some highlights from elsewhere, too. Full story

Senate Terror Report Targets, Part VI: Jay Bybee

Each day this week we’ll be bringing you capsules on figures mentioned in the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the detention and interrogation practices of the George W. Bush administration, how it might affect them, where they are now and what they’ve said about the report, if anything. Up next: Jay Bybee. Previously: Parts IIIIII, IV, V

Full story

Five By Five Friday Q&A: Arnold Punaro, NDIA

bio punaro hires 220x330 Five By Five Friday Q&A: Arnold Punaro, NDIARet. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Arnold L. Punaro is the chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association, as well as CEO of the Punaro Group. He’s also a former long-time Hill staffer.

With Congress wrapping up its work this week, Five By Five spoke with him for the industry perspective on what Congress did this year, what it didn’t do and what it might do next. (The interview is edited slightly for clarity and length.) Full story

December 18, 2014

A-10 Goes to War Against ISIS in Iraq, After Winning War in Congress

151274549 A 10 Goes to War Against ISIS in Iraq, After Winning War in Congress

A U.S. flight technician checks the body of a A-10 Thunderbolt parked on the tarmac at the Namest air force base near Brno where it is taking part in joint NATO military exercises in 2012.
(Radek Mica/AFP/GettyImages)

The A-10 was one of the biggest and most controversial weapons systems on the chopping block in Obama’s budget, and Congress refused to do the chopping last week. Now, the close air support plane commonly known as the Warthog is firing at ISIS in Iraq. Full story

McCain Wants ‘Comprehensive Cybersecurity Legislation,’ Once Fought It

mccain 133 091014 445x296 McCain Wants Comprehensive Cybersecurity Legislation, Once Fought It

McCain in September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Riffing on the news over Sony pulling “The Interview” following a big cyber hack and threatened attack, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Thursday that Congress must “finally pass long-overdue comprehensive cybersecurity legislation.”

Flashback to 2012: McCain was perhaps the most vocal opponent of a comprehensive cybersecurity bill that advanced in the Senate. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 10:56 a.m.
Cyber

Senate Torture Report Targets, Part V: Scott Muller

Each day this week we’ll be bringing you capsules on figures mentioned in the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the detention and interrogation practices of the George W. Bush administration, how it might affect them, where they are now and what they’ve said about the report, if anything. Up next: Scott Muller. Previously: Parts IIIIII, IV Full story

December 17, 2014

Spy Blimp Opens New Front in Security Vs. Privacy Debate

The argument gets tiresome because it’s not necessarily either/or, of course, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t sometimes a conflict: “Security vs. privacy” is back at it with the media getting a peak Wednesday in Maryland at the new spy blimp (technically, aerostat) meant to detect incoming cruise missiles on the East Coast. Full story

Holy Crap, This Vladimir Putin Ad (Video)

This is just an ad for an upcoming Vladimir Putin press conference. A PRESS CONFERENCE.

Bloomberg has a story on the Hollywood action blockbuster-style ad, with translation of what needs translating (h/t). There’s another version, too, one that’s more talk-y, but features the narrator saying, “The bear never asks permission.” And it also has the Russian president making fun of America.

Vox offers this critical comment: “Of course, while the videos are unintentionally hilarious, there is something deadly, seriously wrong when you have a country’s dominant and state-run news station portraying the president as an unbeatable hero, and the news as an exciting adventure ride, at a time of real national peril.”

A state-owned news outlet predicts 1,200 international journalists will attend the news conference, which comes amid serious economic woes for the country. Putin just got selected Russia’s man of the year for the 15th time in a row.

Senate Torture Report Targets, Part IV: John Rizzo

79018770 445x333 Senate Torture Report Targets, Part IV: John Rizzo

Then- CIA Acting General Counsel Rizzo heads into a closed-door hearing with The House Select Intelligence Committee in 2008. Rizzo appeared before the committee to answer questions about the 2005 destruction of CIA interrogation videotapes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Each day this week we’ll be bringing you capsules on figures mentioned in the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the detention and interrogation practices of the George W. Bush administration, how it might affect them, where they are now and what they’ve said about the report, if anything. Up next: John Rizzo. Previously: Parts III, III Full story

December 16, 2014

The Army’s Future is in Leadership, Technology, McMaster Says

The Army of 10 years from now is, most of all, going to need leaders, according to any Army official charged with examining the future of the service. It’s going to need to be prepared for threats from countries, like Russia and North Korea, and non-state actors, like ISIS. It’s going to need to keep improving its technology and integrating it, and adjusting to the fact the enemy is getting better technologically, too.

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster kept returning to the “leadership” part Tuesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. McMaster’s title is “Director, Army Capabilities and Integration Center and Deputy Commanding General, Futures, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.” He also happens to be one of Time‘s 100 most influential people this year.

“What we’re working on, really, is ways we can develop in leaders naturalistic decision-making,” he said.

And: “Once you give up land force capability, it’s not super-easy to regenerate it,” he said. And: “To grow an Army, you can grow privates fast,” he said, but above that, would-be leaders get formative experiences in combat “that give them the knowledge and the confidence to lead soldiers into battle. You can’t have that overnight.”

On technology, McMaster said adversaries are learning to counter U.S. technological advantages with such tools as cyber attacks or GPS jamming. They’re also “emulating our capabilities,” such as by obtaining access to technology with cyber theft. That means the Army needs to keep innovating, and one area of potential, McMaster said, is the ongoing growth of “autonomous and semi-autonomous systems,” beyond just weapons and into things like logistics. (That said, he’s warned of over-reliance on tech before.)

Senate Torture Report Targets, Part III: James Mitchell

Each day this week we’ll be bringing you capsules on figures mentioned in the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the detention and interrogation practices of the George W. Bush administration, how it might affect them, where they are now and what they’ve said about the report, if anything. Up next: James Mitchell. Previously: Parts I, II Full story

Jon Stewart Vs. Dick Cheney on Torture on ‘The Daily Show’

On “The Daily Show” Monday night, Jon Stewart took us on a trip through former Vice President Dick Cheney‘s “My Little Pony”-filled brain (watch the video).  Full story

December 15, 2014

National Security Work Done, and Still Undone, in Congressional Stretch Run

It’s been an exceptionally hectic stretch run for Congress. For such an unproductive 113th session, a great deal has sped up as the finish line nears, likely this week. Here’s a rundown of what’s happened on the national security and foreign policy fronts, and some of what still hasn’t happened, with links to CQ.com ($) stories. Full story

Navy Tests Underwater Spy Fish Drone

It’s called Ghostswimmer (or Project Silent Nemo) and it wiggles in the water like a fish.  It is pretty realistic, that Navy spy fish drone. Full story

Senate Torture Report Targets, Part II: Leon Panetta

Benghazi hearing002 020713 445x291 Senate Torture Report Targets, Part II: Leon Panetta

Then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, right, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, arrive to Dirksen Building to testify before a 2012 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the Defense Department’s response to the attack on U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Each day this week we’ll be bringing you capsules on figures mentioned in the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the detention and interrogation practices of the George W. Bush administration, how it might affect them, where they are now and what they’ve said about the report, if anything. Up next: Leon E. Panetta. Previously: Part I Full story

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