Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 4, 2015

Posts in "Marines"

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 24, 2015

Security Politics (‘American Sniper,’ ‘Citizenfour’) at the Oscars

(L-R) Filmmakers Dirk Wilutzky, Laura Poitras, journalist Glenn Greenwald, Lindsay Mills, and filmmaker Mathilde Bonnefoy accept Best Documentary Feature for 'Citizenfour' onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb. 22 in Hollywood. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

(L-R) Filmmakers Dirk Wilutzky, Laura Poitras, journalist Glenn Greenwald, Lindsay Mills, and filmmaker Mathilde Bonnefoy accept Best Documentary Feature for ‘Citizenfour’ onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb. 22 in Hollywood. (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

A pair of national security-themed films figured into the Oscars, one winning and one  losing more often than not. Naturally, that got people to talking. Full story

January 22, 2015

Congress on Yemen

Ellison in a file photo. (Tom WIlliams/CQ Roll Call)

Ellison in a file photo. (Tom WIlliams/CQ Roll Call)

Things have settled down, at least for now, after Houthi rebels reached an agreement with Yemen’s president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Here’s what some lawmakers said about the situation in recent days, across a range of political spectrums: Full story

January 12, 2015

North Korea, the Navy & Henry Kissinger in the Week Ahead

Deborah Lee James speaks during the 2014 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center Sept. 15. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Deborah Lee James speaks during the 2014 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center Sept. 15. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The first security legislating of 2015 is on deck in the House this week, with a homeland security funding bill the vehicle for a rollback of President Obama‘s immigration executive order. A congressional GOP retreat after that will slow action on the Hill, leaving the rest of Washington to carry the burden of news events. Full story

January 5, 2015

Another Spate of Bad News for the F-35

A man sits in a model of a Lockhead Martin F-35 on display on day four of the Farnborough International Airshow on July of last year in England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

A man sits in a model of a Lockhead Martin F-35 on display on day four of the Farnborough International Airshow in July of last year in England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Just when the news seems to start going right for the F-35, it starts going wrong again. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 11:55 a.m.
Air Force, Marines

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

November 12, 2014

Retired Admirals to Congress: Don’t Let the Navy Break

A picture taken on June 13, 2013 shows the American Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower crossing the Suez canal off the coast of Ismailia port city, east of Cairo. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

A picture taken on June 13, 2013 shows the American Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower crossing the Suez canal off the coast of Ismailia port city, east of Cairo. (-/AFP/Getty Images)

[Updated 4:21 p.m.] The Navy is strained to its breaking point, a group of nearly 100 retired Navy admirals and Marine Corps generals wrote in a letter to Congress Wednesday. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 3:32 p.m.
Marines, Navy

November 6, 2014

In House, (As Many As) 16 New Members With Military Backgrounds

Gallego speaks during a fundraiser at the Pizza People Pub in Phoenix on Aug. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Ruben Gallego speaks during a fundraiser at the Pizza People Pub in Phoenix on Aug. 8. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Following up on that tally of new senators with military records: Sixteen House incumbents with military backgrounds will depart as of the next Congress, and a nearly identical number of new House members with military backgrounds are set to replace them. Full story

November 5, 2014

Four* New Senators Have Military Backgrounds

Ernst during a campaign stop at the 2014 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines Aug. 8. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Joni Ernst during a campaign stop at the 2014 Iowa State Fair in Des Moines Aug. 8. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

For a while now, Congress has been losing military experience amongst its members. In the Senate, at least, there will be more lawmakers with military backgrounds than before Tuesday. Full story

October 30, 2014

Begich vs. Sullivan Senate Debate Shows Rising Role of National Security in Midterms

Begich arrives for the Senate closed briefing in the Capitol on the White House strategy on ISIS on Sept. 11. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Alaska Sen. Mark Begich arrives for the Senate closed briefing in the Capitol on the White House strategy on ISIS on Sept. 11. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For the latest evidence that national security and foreign policy are figuring into the midterm elections in ways they weren’t even two months ago, consider the Wednesday evening Senate debate in Alaska: Full story

October 15, 2014

Chemical Weapons Might be Another Gift for Militants

The New York Times’ blockbuster story about how U.S. forces discovered chemical weapons in Iraq and suffered injuries due to chemical exposure — unbeknownst to the public — is almost sure to provoke congressional overseers of the armed forces and veterans’ affairs. But the story also contains some worrying information that has implications for future U.S. action against the militant group that calls itself the Islamic State or ISIL.

American troops found thousands of warheads after the 2003 invasion, and a large number remain in Iraq — in easy reach of ISIL, the Times reports. Many of the chemical incidents and discoveries took place around a chemical weapons plant known as the Muthanna State Establishment, which was operational in the 1980s.

“Since June, the compound has been held by the Islamic State, the world’s most radical and violent jihadist group,” the Times reported. “In a letter sent to the United Nations this summer, the Iraqi government said that about 2,500 corroded chemical rockets remained on the grounds, and that Iraqi officials had witnessed intruders looting equipment before militants shut down the surveillance cameras.”

The military contends those weapons are old and pose no threat, but the story notes that Iraqi chemical munitions have a habit of staying dangerous after their expiration dates.

The reporting could prove to be another black mark for the government of Nouri al-Maliki, prime minister until this year, that gave ISIL an advantage. The al-Maliki government was also in charge of maintaining the Iraqi armed forces that collapsed as ISIL advanced.

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October 10, 2014

Five By Five Friday Q&A: Dan Perez of America’s Impact

dan-perez

How foreign policy/national security is figuring into the midterm elections is something of a preoccupation around these parts. Dan Perez, executive director of America’s Impact, has his own interest in the matter — he’s part of an organization devoted to increasing the topic’s prominence in the 2014 races, and aiding Democrats on the subject.

This week, America’s Impact joined with several other similarly-minded groups as part of a “6 PAC” event to raise funds for a list of Democratic candidates, featuring Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards (@repdonnaedwards), who is heading up the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” program. Perez spoke with Five By Five about his group’s goals and how the 2014 elections have evolved with recent world events (and he just might’ve concluded with a less-than-subtle diss of John Bolton [@ambjohnbolton]). Full story

October 7, 2014

Northrop Grumman Pitches a Modernized Humvee

A military humvee drives by as people cross 16th Street NW in front of the White House after a February winter storm. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

A military Humvee drives by as people cross 16th Street NW in front of the White House after a February winter storm. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Figuring out how to make U.S. military ground vehicles more maneuverable and cheaper while maintaining armor is a big dilemma these days. And the military has been, specifically, looking to upgrade the Humvee for a while. Northrop Grumman wants to tackle some of those issues, a company official said Tuesday, with a new Humvee chassis it plans to show off next week. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 12:13 p.m.
Army, Marines, Technology

September 29, 2014

White House Security Breach, Video Games/Future of Unknown Conflict in the Week Ahead

 

A member of the US Park Police keeps watch infront of the White House on Sept. 25. The Secret Service is reviewing new security measures inside and outside the White House fence after a man made it all the way inside the presidential mansion on Friday before being tackled. (Mandel NganAFP/Getty Images)

A member of the Park Police keeps watch infront of the White House on Sept. 25. The Secret Service is reviewing new security measures inside and outside the White House fence after a man made it all the way inside the presidential mansion before being tackled. (Mandel NganAFP/Getty Images)

A handful of congressional panels are in action this week despite the prolonged recess, and naturally there’s some discussion of Iraq and Syria around Washington, D.C. Also, video games.

Full story

September 15, 2014

Presidential Politics and Defense, ISIS Hearings in the Week Ahead

Rubio, July 9. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rubio, July 9. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The first order of business this week on the Hill is passing a stopgap spending bill, which is of course of interest to the defense and national security world. You could also throw a rock and hit any given Iran nuclear event in D.C., so we’ll mostly focus on other things… Full story

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