Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 2, 2014

Posts in "Special Forces"

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:

July 14, 2014

Can (or Should) the U.S. Train More Countries to Handle Their Own Threats?

450656810 445x263 Can (or Should) the U.S. Train More Countries to Handle Their Own Threats?

Army soldiers stand guard at a square in Bogota during the runoff presidential election on June 15. Colombians went to the polls in an election that had become a referendum on peace talks with leftist guerrillas, and reelected president Juan Manuel Santos. (Diana Sanchez/AFP/Getty Images)

War is expensive, and the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, has a default disinclination against both foreign military intervention and government spending. So, on Monday, Cato hosted a panel that asked whether a better option in a time of declining defense budgets would be training more countries to deal with their own insurgencies.

The answer? It depends. Full story

July 7, 2014

Defense Globalization, Acquisition, Nominations in the Week Ahead

Congress is back in town after the July Fourth holiday, and not entirely coincidentally there’s a great deal of Afghanistan on the schedule this week, from nominations to hearings to events off the Hill. Full story

June 24, 2014

Gen. David Petraeus on Afghanistan, ‘Going Native’ and the Amazing Story of Maj. Jim Gant


ABC US News | ABC Sports News

Gen. David Petraeus offered a rare on-camera interview to ABC News to accompany the tale of Special Forces Maj. Jim Gant, a top Green Beret officer who had to resign over an affair with former Washington Post reporter Ann Scott Tyson and other rules violations. Full story

June 9, 2014

Are SOCOM’s Overseas ‘Persistent Presences’ Out of Line?

McRaven 024 030612 445x295 Are SOCOMs Overseas Persistent Presences Out of Line?

Navy Adm. William McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, testifies during a 2012 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A newly released House report raises questions about whether U.S. Special Operations Command is exploiting a personnel trick to set up permanent presences overseas — rather than seeking the proper legal approval to do so. Full story

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