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October 25, 2014

Posts in "Authorization"

October 16, 2014

Shake-Ups Due on Congressional Defense Panels

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

Just like autumn leaves, the congressional defense panels are in for change. Megan Scully has an item today for CQ.com’s subscribers on the CQ on Defense blog about how the Senate Armed Services Committee’s Democratic leadership is due for a shake-up of potentially monumental proportions. And they’re not the only faction. Full story

October 2, 2014

U-2: Here to Stay?

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Bono, in Italy in September, from the other U2. (Andreas Solaro/AFP/Getty Images)

I have a story up for CQ Weekly subscribers about the U-2 spy plane, which has endured for decades despite constant debates about its relevance — not unlike the band U2. Full story

September 26, 2014

Weekly Recap: ISIS, Qassem Suleimani & Eric Holder


Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Welcome to the new Weekly Recap, featuring highlights of Five By Five posts you may have missed as well as interesting reads from around the web. Full story

September 24, 2014

‘Bizarro World’ Indeed: Wall Street Journal Backs Obama on Syria, New York Times Doesn’t

 

Mark Dubowitz of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies isn’t wrong: He did wake up in Bizarro World. That said, the split between the editorial pages of the reliably liberal New York Times and reliably conservative Wall Street Journal over President Obama’s bombing campaign in Syria isn’t so much a simple “yes/no.” Full story

September 23, 2014

Sen. Tim Kaine: Congress Shouldn’t Allow Broader ISIS War Without Vote

“The president shouldn’t be doing this without Congress,” Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., said Tuesday of strikes against the Islamic State group, and “Congress shouldn’t be allowing it to happen without Congress.” Otherwise, Capitol Hill is embracing the policy of preemptive war favored by former Vice President Dick Cheney that it rejected back in 2001, right after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, he said at a Center for American Progress Action Fund event. Full story

September 22, 2014

Congress Vs. ISIS, National Security and the Elections in the Week Ahead

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Kaine speaks with a reporter by the Ohio Clock Corridor in the Capitol in July. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A United Nations climate change summit that President Obama is scheduled to visit this week gives the White House a chance to push its fight against the Islamic State group before other countries. And a U.S. visit next week by new Indian prime minister Narenda Modi is giving think tanks and organizations a lot of reasons to hold India-related events in advance.

Then there are the subjects in the headline. Full story

September 17, 2014

Obama Reaffirms No Boots On The Ground But Chatter Continues

A day after the U.S. military’s top officer raised the possibility of boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria, President Barack Obama clarified the administration’s plans during an address to troops at U.S. Central Command.

“As your Commander-in-Chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our Armed Forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq,” Obama said on Wednesday, the day after Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that there could be circumstances under which he’d recommend the president use combat troops to fight the Islamic State.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates seemed inclined to agree with Dempsey, telling CBS This Morning: “The reality is, they’re not gonna be able to be successful against ISIS strictly from the air, or strictly depending on the Iraqi forces, or the Peshmerga, or the Sunni tribes acting on their own.”

“So there will be boots on the ground if there’s to be any hope of success in the strategy,” he added, noting that to say otherwise “traps” the president.

See below for more commentary and analysis on the issue:

September 11, 2014

Rhetoric Aside, Signs of Bipartisanship After Obama ISIS Speech

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Portman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If you were just judging by the tone of the GOP response to Barack Obama’s speech Wednesday night about the terrorist group that calls itself the Islamic State, you might get the impression that Republicans were on very opposite pages with the Democratic president.

Look a little closer and you’ll see some similarities. Full story

September 8, 2014

The Problem With Congressional Authorization of Military Force

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Nelson waits for the start of a May 6 Finance Committee hearing. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is wrestling with its role in authorizing military action in Iraq, Syria and overall. And it’s not that it doesn’t matter. It’s just that it might not make a difference — at least not soon. Full story

Police Militarization, Congressional Comeback in the Week Ahead

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Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Tom Carper, D-Del. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress is back in town for a little while, with a blend of housekeeping and rowdiness on the national security front. That means a continuing resolution to keep the government funded until December, including some national security programs; a House resolution criticizing President Obama over the “Taliban Five”/Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap; and maybe a new war authorization stemming from the uptick of military action in Iraq.

Congress’ return also means Washington, D.C. will be humming again, and Five By Five will be back to its regular publishing schedule… Full story

August 15, 2014

Defense Industry Donations and the Alan Grayson Police Militarization Amendment

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A police officer watches over demonstrators protesting the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown on Aug. 13 in Ferguson. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

With images of heavily armed police confronting protesters in Ferguson, Mo., sparking a national debate about police militarization, a campaign finance research organization has released a study showing how much defense industry money House members got before a June 19 vote that rejected Rep. Alan Grayson’s amendment to block military equipment transfers to local law enforcement. The organization, MapLight, found that those who voted against it got 73 percent more in defense industry donations than those who voted in favor.

But there are probably bigger reasons for the vote going the way it did. And the issue could come up again in Congress — Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., promised Friday to review the program before his committee’s fiscal 2015 defense policy bill comes to the floor; Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., has put forward new legislation; and others are calling for hearings. So it’s worth reviewing the motivations for those votes.

Full story

July 14, 2014

Constitutionality Debate Over Guantanamo Provision Sets Up House-Senate Fight

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A sign showing support for Bergdahl sits along Main Street in Hailey, Idaho, on June 2. He was released from captivity on May 31 in exchange for the freedom of five Taliban prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The American Civil Liberties Union and a national security law professor say that when the GOP-controlled House added an amendment to the annual defense spending bill to prevent overseas prisoner transfers from the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base — a response to the prisoner exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl — it endorsed language that was unconstitutional. The amendment was offered by a tea party-aligned lawmaker who has vowed to fight unconstitutional laws.

It’s not true that the Guantanamo provision is unconstitutional, though, answer a pair of GOP aides, as a Senate panel prepares to vote on its own take on the fiscal 2015 defense spending bill Tuesday morning. Full story

June 27, 2014

Should Ex-Spies, Diplomats Be Able to Go Straight to Work for Shady Foreign Governments?

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Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., left, and Wolf leave the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on Jan. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two members of Congress — Republican Reps. Frank Wolf and Mike Rogers — have tried to make moves this year toward creating a “cooling off” period for former diplomats and intelligence officials before they can take jobs with shady foreign governments. But there’s some mystery in both efforts. Full story

June 23, 2014

Cybersecurity, Drones and the Marines in the Week Ahead

The schedule is too jam-packed to just highlight one or two events each day. Full story

June 20, 2014

House Votes to Ban Some, but Not All, Weapons for Syrian Rebels

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Rescuers carry a body after Syrian regime helicopters allegedly dropped barrel bombs on the Sukkari neighbourhood, an opposition-held district in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on June 16. (Baraa al-Halabi/AFP/Getty Images)

Syrian rebels couldn’t get any shoulder-fired missiles from the United States under an amendment adopted Thursday night on the House floor. The House voted down another amendment that would block them from getting any U.S. weapons at all, however. Full story

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