Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 18, 2014

Posts in "Veterans"

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 ($) stories. Full story

November 20, 2014

Which House National Security Committee Leadership Posts Are Settled, Which Aren’t

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Granger speaks with reporters as she leaves the House Republican Conference meeting in the basement of the Capitol on July 29. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

[Updated Thursday, 11:38 a.m., 1:55 p.m.]

Most of the blood to be spilled in national security and foreign policy-related House committee leadership races has now been spilled. Here’s the landscape as a result, with notes in some cases. Full story

November 18, 2014

Military Benefits Feud Holds Up Defense Policy Bill

A dispute over military benefits is complicating efforts to complete a fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill, one of the big ticket items of the lame-duck congressional session currently underway.

Per Megan Scully (@CQMeganScully), writing for subscribers Tuesday on talks between the House and Senate Armed Services panel:

Committee leaders had hoped to finalize the negotiated bill early this week, but they have reached an impasse over differences in the two measures on cost-saving Pentagon proposals to increase some TRICARE pharmacy co-pays and reduce the basic housing allowance for military personnel.

The House basically said “no” to those proposals and the Senate basically said “yes.” You’ll have to read the full story for the details on how this all might be resolved. There’s still hope, though, according to the negotiators.

November 17, 2014

House National Security Chairmanship Races Underway

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Devin Nunes, R-Calif., photographed in April, is running for House Intelligence chairman. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The search for future leadership of up to three House committees with sway over national security has begun in earnest. 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

Poor Suicide Reporting Risks Lives, Defense Department Watchdog Report Finds

Too often, according to a Defense Department inspector general report released online Friday, suicide data on servicemembers is inadequate – and without that data, it’s harder to prevent suicides.

Full story

November 11, 2014

On Veterans Day, View Data About the Veterans Population

The Center for a New American Security’s veterans data project released another series of products Tuesday to coincide with Veterans Day. It will tell you things like which areas have the highest density of veterans (Washington, D.C.; Alaska; Virginia), and others are making use of the information in different ways. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 12:02 p.m.

November 10, 2014

The Week Ahead: Congress Returns, Veterans Day

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A female member of the U.S. Army takes part in the 94th annual New York City Veterans Day Parade on 5th Avenue on Nov. 11, 2013 in New York City. (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Congress is back in town, with plans to needle administration officials over Ebola and ISIS. Bruce Springsteen will be in town, too, for a Veterans Day concert. Full story

November 6, 2014

Security Committee Shake-Ups Ahead

Screen Shot 2014 11 06 at 11.25.58 AM Security Committee Shake Ups Ahead

The indispensable CQ Weekly Guide to the New Congress is out for CQ subscribers, and it offers a smorgasbord of information about how national security and foreign policy committees are expected to change, plus what it means for the legislative agendas of those panels. Full story

November 5, 2014

Four* New Senators Have Military Backgrounds

IA POL14 093 080814 445x312 Four* New Senators Have Military Backgrounds

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

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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 22, 2014

Coburn Wastebook: Iron Man Suit, FEMA Golf Courses, Navy Magazines

coburn 067 011414 445x279 Coburn Wastebook: Iron Man Suit, FEMA Golf Courses, Navy Magazines

Sen. Tom Coburn on Jan. 14. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Retiring Sen. Tom Coburn (@tomcoburn) is out with his final edition of his annual Wastebook of government spending, and besides the massages for rabbits and money to watch grass grow, a variety of Defense Department projects and other national security-related programs get the Oklahoma Republican’s sardonic smack. Full story

September 29, 2014

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


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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 25, 2014

‘Boobs on the Ground’: Fox News on Female UAE Pilot

You stay classy, Fox News. The sexist “boobs on the ground” crack on “The Five” about the first female UAE fighter pilot was preceded by a “bad at parking” joke, too. At least Greta Van Susteren (@gretawire) called them out over it. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 9:52 a.m.
Pop Culture, Veterans, War

September 17, 2014

Film Review: What War Feels Like For Soldiers

 Film Review: What War Feels Like For Soldiers

Movie poster for “Korengal: This Is What War Feels Like”

After finishing a deployment at a notoriously dangerous outpost in northeastern Afghanistan, Capt. Dan Kearney recalled what it was like to be stationed there.

“Bad guys come to you so you can kill them,” Kearney says in the film, “Korengal: This is What War Feels Like,” a documentary released in May from the Academy Award-nominated director of “Restrepo.”

Five by Five attended a screening of the film along with a panel discussion, sponsored by New America and featuring the film’s director, Sebastian Junger, Navy veteran Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., Command Sgt. Maj. La Monta Caldwell  and Blayne Smith of the veterans group, Team Red, White & Blue.

In the film, soldiers described themselves as “bait” for members of Al-Qaida and the Taliban when they were on patrol. “I pretty much never thought I’d make it out of the valley alive,” says Spec. Misha Pemble-Belkin.

Over the course of five years, 42 American soldiers lost their lives while deployed to the outpost, which the U.S. shuttered in 2010 after unsuccessful attempts to gain the trust of the locals and to drive off the Taliban and Al Qaida.

“What I want is for viewers to understand the experience of combat by soldiers,” Junger told Five by Five. “Soldiers really don’t debate the merits of the war, the morality of the way, the strategy of the war, they really are focused on the mission that they are given.”

Indeed, your blogger found “Korengal” to be a more personal look into the lives of soldiers than 2010′s “Restrepo.” The film included intricate details like soldiers describing the sound of bullets flying as well as how tedious the terrain was to traverse.

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