3:36 PM, Oct 30, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
Paul McLeary of Defense News writes that the administration has a way of accounting for what went wrong in Iraq. According to Deputy National Security Adviser Anthony Blinken (a rare "top administration official" willing to go on record):
… the Obama administration had in fact “sought to leave behind a residual force and a counterterrorism presence to help Iraqis develop intelligence” on al-Qaida while also stationing an F-16 squadron to protect Iraq’s airspace. But “the Iraqi body politic did not want us to stay in Iraq. That’s what happened.”
… violence had decreased to such levels that Iraqi officials felt their own security forces could handle it.
“We were also, to some extent, the victim of success,” [Blinken] said, since violence had come down so significantly from its height during the “surge” years of 2007-2008.
“... we had to leave in order to find a way back on the security side, and gradually build up our engagement.”
7:23 AM, Oct 29, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
James Jeffrey, the former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, tells Frontline that "everyone" warned the Obama administration about ISIS--and that they did nothing.
Watch the clip here:
"The administration not only was warned by everybody back in January, it actually announced that it was going to intensify its support against ISIS with Iraqi armed forces, and it did almost nothing."
4:35 PM, Oct 28, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The ISIS campaign in Iraq proceeds where it cannot be seen and meets little resistance. The U.S. says it has a plan by which government forces will go on the offense and retake lost territory … beginning in a few months.
2:11 PM, Oct 28, 2014 • By DAVID ADESNIK
Did Rand Paul just become a supporter of George W. Bush’s freedom agenda? “The world does not have an Islam problem,” Paul explained a few days ago. “The world has a dignity problem, with millions of men and women across the Middle East being treated as chattel by their own governments.” Such words clearly echo President Bush’s declaration that, “Sixty years of Western nations excusing and accommodating the lack of freedom in the Middle East did nothing to make us safe – because in the long run, stability cannot be purchased at the expense of liberty.” Few statements have provoked more ire from committed realists, which is what Rand Paul says he is.
7:24 AM, Oct 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Rear Admiral John Kirby appeared at a joint press briefing with spokesperson Jen Psaki at the State Department Thursday and addressed the ongoing airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria.
4:32 PM, Oct 9, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
There is a shortage of drones in the theater where the U.S. is engaged against ISIS. They are needed in another theater of operations, one where we do have troops engaged and are committed to getting them out.
11:55 AM, Oct 9, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The U.S. is running up against a shortage of surveillance drones to conduct reconnaissance of the various battlefields where it is engaged. Right now, the theater where its combat troops are directly engaged is getting priority … as it most certainly should be.
1:02 PM, Oct 8, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The boss talked today on MSNBC's Morning Joe about the strategy to take out ISIS:
8:03 PM, Oct 5, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, James Comey, said tonight that Americans fighting for the Islamic State in Syria are "entitled to come back" because they hold American citizenship:
Comey estimated that a dozen Americans are fighting for the Islamic State in Syria. And he believes he knows
"How many Americans are fighting in Syria on the side of the terrorists?" asked 60 Minutes host Scott Pelley.
1:35 PM, Oct 1, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Iowa Democrat Bruce Braley opposed funding any American military operations in Iraq this year—before he supported them. The three-term House member, who is running for Iowa's open Senate seat in one of the year's hottest races, touted his support for military action against ISIS in Iraq and Syria in a recent debate.
“I recently had the opportunity to vote to give the president limited authority to begin strikes against terrorists in Iraq and Syria," Braley said during the debate with his Republican opponent, Joni Ernst.