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April 19, 2015

Posts in "Authorization"

March 2, 2015

AIPAC, DNI and ISIS in the Week Ahead

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah leave Tel Aviv on their way to Washington D.C. on March 1. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sarah leave Tel Aviv on their way to Washington D.C. on March 1. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO/Getty Images)

It’s another week of manic budget hearings. The highlights are Ashton B. Carter voyaging to both Senate Armed Services and House Appropriations to talk fiscal 2016 authorization and spending bills, respectively. Other topics of budget hearings this week include all four services, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the F-35.

Here’s the non-budget hearing stuff — Thursday and Friday are light compared to the rest of the week with the exception of the aforementioned budget hearings, so we’ll leave them out: Full story

February 13, 2015

Weekly Recap: New Pentagon Chief, AUMF, Viagra

A Pakistani policewoman fires a heavy machine gun during a special elite police training course at a police training centre in Nowshera, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province on Feb. 11. (A Majeed/AFP/Getty Images)

A Pakistani policewoman fires a heavy machine gun during a special elite police training course at a police training centre in Nowshera, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province on Feb. 11. (A Majeed/AFP/Getty Images)

February 10, 2015

Pentagon Security Assistance to Other Nations Could be Getting Out of Hand

Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, military aid to other nations has expanded. Under President Barack Obama, who has talked about minimizing the direct U.S. role in conflicts, it’s a big deal. And in the fiscal 2015 defense policy bill, there were seven new security assistance programs created and eight more reauthorized. One expert thinks it’s gone too far. Full story

January 21, 2015

Tim Kaine Wanted More From State of the Union on War Authorization

We touched on it a bit earlier, how President Obama in his State of the Union address called for a war authorization to fight the Islamic State group, but didn’t specify what the war authorization should say. Here’s Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., a leading thinker and advocate in Congress on the topic, with a fairly resounding condemnation of that portion of the speech:

“I’m pleased that President Obama addressed the need for Congress to pass an Authorization for Use of Military Force against ISIL but I am disappointed he did not signal an intention to send a draft to Congress for consideration. I was pleased the Senate Foreign Relations Committee acted last month. But Congress as a whole will be better prepared to act with specific guidance from the Administration on the language of an AUMF. I hope that guidance is forthcoming soon.  Five months of war has been far too long to make our servicemembers and their families wait for a political consensus on the scope of the U.S. mission. The President is right that as a nation, we are stronger when Congress and the President are united behind our mission. But additional delay — which I fear may be the case absent an administration draft — dishonors our servicemembers and further cements a dangerous precedent for the future.”

In Ernst GOP SOTU Response, No Security Disagreement

Ernst on Jan. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ernst on Jan. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said at the beginning of her official GOP response speech Tuesday night to the president’s State of the Union address, “Even if we may not always agree, it’s important to hear different points of view in this great country.” Then, on security, she proceeded to offer no different point of view from Barack Obama. Full story

January 7, 2015

Navy Official on Needs: Fewer Acquisition Regulations, More Cyber Capabilities

A U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter flies above an Indonesian navy helicopter Bell-420 (on the ground) as Indonesian military chief General Moeldoko (unseen) visits during search and transfer operations for bodies of passengers of ill-fated AirAsia flight QZ8501 in Pangkalan Bun on Jan. 6. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images)

A U.S. Navy Seahawk helicopter flies above an Indonesian navy helicopter Bell-420 (on the ground) as Indonesian military chief General Moeldoko (unseen) visits during search and transfer operations for bodies of passengers of ill-fated AirAsia flight QZ8501 in Pangkalan Bun on Jan. 6. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images)

The Navy’s top acquisition and R&D official on Wednesday outlined his needs, which included: no new acquisition regulations from Congress, and, in fact, fewer; more spending on cyber and electronic warfare and offensive surface warfare; and the end of the across-the-board cuts of sequestration (what Defense official doesn’t say that one in every speech?). Full story

January 6, 2015

Feinstein Proposes Videotaping Intel Interrogations, Rejected By DOD Under Obama

Feinstein, last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Feinstein, last month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

In a letter to the White House released Monday building on the Intelligence Committee’s report on post-9/11 interrogation methods, Sen. Dianne Feinstein proposed videotaping all intelligence-related interrogations. It’s an idea that at least the Defense Department rejected in 2009, when President Obama was relatively new to office.

Although the White House and Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment on the specifics of the latest proposal, some things have changed since ’09, and some haven’t. Full story

December 22, 2014

The Best of Five By Five in 2014

A Palestinian man, wearing a Santa Claus costume and waving the national flag, is confronted by Israeli soldiers during a weekly demonstration on Dec. 19 against Israel's controversial separation barrier, in the village of Maasarah, near the biblical West Bank city of Bethlehem. (Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images)

A Palestinian man, wearing a Santa Claus costume and waving the national flag, is confronted by Israeli soldiers during a weekly demonstration on Dec. 19 against Israel’s controversial separation barrier, in the village of Maasarah, near the biblical West Bank city of Bethlehem. (Musa Al-Shaer/AFP/Getty Images)

This holiday season, consider using Five By Five to warm your family instead of a fireplace. Here are the hot hot hot highlights of the CQ Roll Call defense and national security blog since we began back in June. Full story

December 19, 2014

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

bio_punaro_hiresRet. 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 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

December 12, 2014

Exclusive: Dollar Amounts and Conditions on Syrian Rebel Funding

Syrian youths take part in their last training on Dec. 8 before being sent to the frontline along with rebel fighters from the Jaysh al-Islam brigades (Army of Islam) in Eastern al-Ghouta, a rebel-held region outside the capital Damascus. (Abd Doumany/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian youths take part in their last training on Dec. 8 before being sent to the frontline along with rebel fighters from the Jaysh al-Islam brigades (Army of Islam) in Eastern al-Ghouta, a rebel-held region outside the capital Damascus. (Abd Doumany/AFP/Getty Images)

John M. Donnelly has a scoop up for CQ.com subscribers about Congress approving $721 million for Syrian rebels in two swoops.

Under a reprogramming request, Donnelly writes, the administration would get $220.5 million for the cause. And the big spending bill referred to as the cromnibus provides $500 million.

A couple passages from his story:

The $220.5 million will be used for training the first two classes of 300 recruits, with an annual goal of 5,400 fighters, according to the Pentagon comptroller’s request…

The $500 million can only be spent if certain conditions are met, the bill says. It cannot be used to supply shoulder-fired missiles, which many lawmakers worry could end up in the hands of insurgents who might use them to shoot down military planes or even civilian passenger jets.

What’s more, the bill says, the Syrian recruits cannot be associated with any of several named militant groups. And, the appropriators wrote, the provision is not “a specific statutory authorization for the introduction of the United States Armed Forces into hostilities or into situations wherein hostilities are clearly indicated by the circumstances. . . .”

The full story goes into much greater depth about where the money comes from and where it’s going. What’s more, Donnelly has details on what the impact of the funding is likely (or unlikely) to be.

December 8, 2014

Arms Control, Human Rights, Afghanistan in the Week Ahead

Kilmer attends a House Armed Services Committee markup of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill in 2013. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Kilmer attends a House Armed Services Committee markup of the fiscal 2014 defense authorization bill in 2013. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congressional votes on Defense spending and policy bills are expected this week. Wait! That’s not all! Full story

December 5, 2014

Weekly Recap: SecDef, Defauth, Diamond Dave

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gPIq8C1bMw&feature=youtu.be

There were two obviously major storylines this week: A new Defense secretary is on the way, and the fiscal 2015 defense policy bill hit the streets. There were plenty of other stories elsewhere, too. Full story

December 4, 2014

Defense Commissaries Get a Few Tweaks in Policy Bill

Coming to a Defense Department commissary near you soon, maybe: generic products. On their way out: discounted tobacco and $100 million. Full story

December 3, 2014

Adam Smith Warns That Congress Is Punting, Dangerously, on Defense Cuts

Smith on Sept. 16. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Smith on Sept. 16. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Amid the buzzsaw of news stories at CQ.com, here and elsewhere about specific parts of the newly completed fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, this big picture take might have been overlooked: The top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee is sounding the alarm that Congress is playing a risky game with weapons systems, other cost savings and the budget under current law. Full story

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