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December 19, 2014

Posts in "Terrorism"

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

Army’s Future, Syria, Defense Tech in the Week Ahead

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Crocker at his confirmation hearing to serve as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan in 2011. (Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly)

All the big ticket congressional items on the defense agenda are finished, and now it’s down to the Senate fighting over a number of nominees, most prominent among them in the national security sphere Antony Blinken, for deputy secretary of State. Elsewhere… Full story

December 12, 2014

Weekly Recap: Torture Report Times Infinity, Laser Cannon, ISIS

It was a bonkers week in the national security world. We had the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Bush administration-era detention and interrogation practices dominating the news to such a degree that the mammoth “cromnibus” spending bill for the Defense Department and other agencies was overshadowed. Even a video of a real life laser cannon – a laser cannon!!!! – couldn’t steal much of the spotlight. Full story

Exclusive: Dollar Amounts and Conditions on Syrian Rebel Funding

460184122 445x250 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)

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 11, 2014

Whatever Happened to the Torture Report Inciting Violence?

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Afghanistan’s new President Ashraf Ghani on Dec. 10 condemned CIA torture detailed in a Senate report, at a specially-convened press conference in Kabul. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

Earlier this week we asked whether the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the detention and interrogation practices of the George W. Bush administration might incite violence. So far, it hasn’t. Full story

December 9, 2014

No Change in Policy? The State Department and Daesh Vs. ISIL

457876818 414x600 No Change in Policy? The State Department and Daesh Vs. ISIL

Malinowski at a press conference in Hanoi, Oct. 26. (Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images)

In Senate testimony Tuesday morning, a high-ranking State Department official referred to the terrorist group the Obama administration has been calling “ISIL” as “Daesh.” That’s just a few days after a State Department spokesperson told the Washington Post that Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent references to the group as “Daesh” did not reflect a change in policy. Full story

December 8, 2014

Arms Control, Human Rights, Afghanistan in the Week Ahead

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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 2, 2014

Ted Cruz Fires Up Conservatives in Foreign Policy Speech

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Cruz on Nov. 13. (Tom Williams, CQ Roll Call)

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz served up a big plate of red meat to a conservative audience at a lunch Tuesday, decrying the “Obama-Clinton foreign policy” in forceful and colorful language. No doubt looking to polish his conservative credentials for a potential GOP presidential run (against, maybe, Hillary Clinton), he didn’t hold back in his criticism of the current administration. Full story

Iranian Jets Over Iraq?

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FILE PHOTO: An F-4 Phantom II aircraft takes part in Amalgam ’87, a joint U.S./Canadian air defense exercise. (Photo by USAF)

Whatever the original Al Jazeera footage showed, it doesn’t seem to be online anymore. It was nonetheless enough to fuel talk of Iranian involvement in the fight against ISIS, aka the Islamic State. Full story

November 25, 2014

How the Departure of Chuck Hagel Affects the Defense Agenda

On one level, the exit of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel represents a break from what was before. On another level, nothing on the agenda will change, at least not because of his departure. Full story

November 24, 2014

Afghanistan, China, Turkey in the Week Ahead

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(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s a short week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Congress is gone. There are still a few worthwhile national security and foreign policy events around D.C., though, at least during the early part of the week. Full story

November 21, 2014

Weekly Recap: F-35, Iraq Weapons, Congress, Uber

Let’s review the week that was. Would you say we would be venturing into a zone of danger? The zone will be one of danger. Full story

November 19, 2014

House Intelligence Chairman Fears ISIS Could Buy a Nuke

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Rogers makes his way to the Capitol across the east front plaza, Sept. 8. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Outgoing House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said Wednesday that he worried that ISIS could be amassing enough cash to buy a nuclear device. Full story

November 14, 2014

Weekly Recap: Syrian Rebel Vetting, Defense Bills, Veterans

The video will make sense shortly. Here are some highlights from the week that was at Five By Five, and in reporting elsewhere. Full story

November 13, 2014

Two Ways the War in Syria, Iraq Could Grow, According to Hagel, Dempsey

hagel 183 091614 445x304 Two Ways the War in Syria, Iraq Could Grow, According to Hagel, Dempsey

Hagel testifies during a Sept. 16 Senate hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin E. Dempsey on Thursday spelled out conditions under which the United States could expand its military presence in Syria and Iraq. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 11:39 a.m.
Terrorism, War

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