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May 26, 2015

Posts in "War"

February 27, 2015

Weekly Recap: Jihadi John, Homeland Security Department, Afghanistan

Acrobatic pilots perform on the first public day of the Australian International Airshow at the Avalon Airfield near Lara southwest of Melbourne on Feb. 27. (Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)

Aerobatic pilots perform on the first public day of the Australian International Airshow at the Avalon Airfield near Lara southwest of Melbourne on Feb. 27. (Paul Crock/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Department of Homeland Security. The big newsmaking security fight this week has been about whether, and how, DHS would run out of money because Congress hasn’t passed a short-term funding measure before Friday’s deadline yet. For as much as the two parties are at each others’ throats, some Republicans were willing to not assume the worst about Democrats on one part of the debate.
  • ISIS. There are a lot of cyberspace components to the fight between the Islamic State group and its nemeses. Here are some of them.
  • Security at the Oscars. National security made more than just a cameo at the Academy Awards.
  • Afghanistan. Views are shifting among Democrats, at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, about the wisdom of the Afghanistan troop drawdown timeline.
  • Elsewhere. Who knows what to make of the story about Chicago’s mini-Gitmo; here’s the original story and some pushback. The Central Intelligence Agency wants to expand its cyber operations. And “Jihadi John” was unveiled.

 

February 26, 2015

Growing Support for Slowing Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal

New Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter has already made news a couple times for suggesting a possible slowdown of the Afghanistan troop withdrawal timeline. That notion is getting some backing from Capitol Hill Democrats.

Reports John M. Donelly for CQ.com subscribers:

Republicans have long criticized the administration for setting dates for the withdrawal, and now Democrats who oversee the Pentagon have gradually begun to agree — and they have done so more and more openly. They appear concerned that without U.S. troops, the situation in Afghanistan could quickly deteriorate, as it did in Iraq after U.S. forces left more three years ago.

Among the Senate Democrats voicing levels of concern or opposition in the piece: Jack Reed of Rhode Island (the top Democrat on Armed Services), Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Tim Kaine of Virginia.

A version of the story appears on the Roll Call website as well.

By Tim Starks Posted at 9:57 a.m.
War

February 24, 2015

The Other Kind of ISIS War: in Cyberspace

President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Forget about the actual bombing campaign(s) against the Islamic State group for now. There’s a surprising amount of war being waged against, and by, the group online. Full story

February 20, 2015

Weekly Recap: Presidential Politics, Weaponry, Viagra (Again)

Syrian scholar and Muslim cleric Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi listens as U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Syrian scholar and Muslim cleric Sheikh Muhammad Al-Yaqoubi listens as U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism Feb. 19. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

  • Weaponry. Armed drone exports are an area for congressional intervention, but maybe not like you think. And the technical capabilities of other countries bombing the Islamic State group might be one of several problems with others getting involved.
  • Politics. We’ve spent some time on the other GOP presidential candidates’ foreign policy views, and turned our attention this week to Jeb Bush‘s.
  • Viagra. People seriously can’t seem to get enough of us writing about the Pentagon Viagra budget so it keeps making the weekly recap.
  • Elsewhere. There’s a permanent Secret Service boss on tap. Here‘s what the Atlantic says ISIS is about, and a counterpoint. And here‘s what a Russian cybersecurity firm says about the United States spying on foreign computers.

The Downsides of Other Countries Bombing ISIS

Jordanians hold banners shouting slogans during a demonstration on Feb. 6 in the capital Amman to express their solidarity with the pilot murdered by the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS. (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images)

Jordanians hold banners shouting slogans during a demonstration on Feb. 6 in the capital Amman to express their solidarity with the pilot murdered by the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS. (Khalil Mazraawi/AFP/Getty Images)

On one level, there’s an upside for the United States being joined in its fight against the Islamic State group by, say, Egypt and Jordan. There are, however, downsides starting to emerge. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 7:30 a.m.
Terrorism, War

February 13, 2015

Weekly Recap: New Pentagon Chief, AUMF, Viagra

A Pakistani policewoman fires a heavy machine gun during a special elite police training course at a police training centre in Nowshera, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province on Feb. 11. (A Majeed/AFP/Getty Images)

A Pakistani policewoman fires a heavy machine gun during a special elite police training course at a police training centre in Nowshera, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province on Feb. 11. (A Majeed/AFP/Getty Images)

February 12, 2015

ISIS Could Further Unite Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gen. Campbell Says

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel talks with Campbell (right) on his arrival in Kabul on Dec. 6. (Mark Wilson/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel talks with Campbell (right) on his arrival in Kabul on Dec. 6. (Mark Wilson/AFP/Getty Images)

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., said Thursday that the wisdom of the Afghanistan troop drawdown being decided based on the calendar rather than events is challenged by the Islamic State group making a showing there. His panel’s top Democrat, Jack Reed of Rhode Island, also said the group’s appearance is worrisome.

The U.S. Army general serving as commander of International Security Assistance Force and United States Forces-Afghanistan talked of a potential silver lining. Full story

By Tim Starks Posted at 10:37 a.m.
Terrorism, War

ISIS AUMF Debate So Lame

Obama announces he has sent Congress an authorization for the use of military force against the Islamic State group with (L-R) Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the White House Feb. 11. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Obama announces he has sent Congress an authorization for the use of military force against the Islamic State group with Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the White House Feb. 11. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Some people aren’t much buying that the legislative debate over the authorization for use of military force against the Islamic State group means much. Full story

February 11, 2015

Whoa-nesday: Ashton Carter, Authorization for Use of Military Force

Busy, busy day in the defense world this Wednesday. To wit:

  • President Obama sent his proposal for an authorization for use of military force against the Islamic State group to Capitol Hill. That would normally be news enough by itself, but he also opened the door slightly to potential ground troops in combat operations, something he had previously resisted. Some of that gets into “matter of interpretation,” as his emphasis was on ground troops limits within the AUMF, but it could be a big deal.
  • The Senate will probably vote to confirm Ashton B. Carter as secretary of the Defense Department today; if not, Thursday. He flew through the Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously last week. Whether this GOP Congress and this Democratic president can work well together on much of anything else is another question, but the likelihood of Carter’s overwhelming vote shows they can agree on at least one thing.
  • Both sides of the Capitol are abuzz with Armed Services hearings, among other events.

 

By Tim Starks Posted at 11:38 a.m.
Personnel, War

February 9, 2015

ISIS and the Law, Military Benefits & Afghanistan in the Week Ahead

Putin places a blanket around German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Peterhof garden during the G20 summit near Saint Petersburg on Sept. 5, 2013. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin places a blanket around German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Peterhof garden during the G20 summit near Saint Petersburg in 2013. (Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s a slow stretch at the beginning of the week, unless you’re keen on German-U.S. relations, which is a perfectly fine thing to be. (In case you’re wondering about that photo, here you go.) Full story

February 6, 2015

Weekly Recap: National Security Strategy, Jordan & Guantanamo

It was almost all about the fiscal 2016 budget proposal and the nomination hearings for a new Defense secretary this week. Almost. Full story

February 5, 2015

How Independent Will Ashton Carter Be From Barack Obama?

From left, Sen. Angus King, I-Me., Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., former Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., talks during a break in a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for Carter. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

From left, Sen. Angus King, I-Me., Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., former Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., talk during a break in a Senate Armed Services Committee confirmation hearing for Ashton Carter on Feb. 4. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Ukraine, Guantanamo, Afghanistan, the defense budget — anyone listening to Ashton Carter at Wednesday’s Senate Armed Services confirmation hearing could hear some verbiage suggesting differences with the president.

More likely, the space between the two isn’t what it looks like. And even if it is, it might not matter. Full story

February 4, 2015

Ashton Carter on Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, China, Russia

Ashton Carter gets a full day of congressional interrogation Wednesday, starting this morning, with the Senate Armed Services Committee set to vet his nomination for Defense secretary. He’s already shared some of his views via written answers to the panel’s questions.

Here are his answers to those pre-hearing questions on a number of countries. Full story

February 3, 2015

‘Daily Show’ Takes on Afghanistan Classification Scandal That Wasn’t

Jon Stewart thought he was on the verge of a “classic ‘Daily Show’ gotcha.” An “Orwellian government cover-up” about Afghanistan security forces. “Very suspicious, we thought here at the show.” Even had a graphic made up, “Adventures in Previously Routine Military Bookkeeping.”

And then something bad happened, relative to the show’s needs. Ended up just making fun of Mike Huckabee, mainly. It probably would’ve been a good segment, that Afghanistan bit.

February 2, 2015

Obama Budget Day Highlights: DOD, VA, Intel, State, DHS

(Donald Rumsfeld, CQ Roll Call file photo)

(Donald Rumsfeld, CQ Roll Call file photo)

Here are your highlights for President Barack Obama‘s fiscal 2016 budget proposal for defense, security and foreign policy. This is the opening bid. Expect a lot of debate and reaction from the GOP-controlled Congress in the weeks and months to come. Full story

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