iraq

President Obama and ISIL speech

WASHINGTON: While the talkerati focused intently on the fairly narrow issue of the presidential strategy to degrade and destroy ISIL, they may have missed the larger message President Obama sent: America is preeminent economically and militarily and has not backed away from the world stage. For almost two years — from the time he declared a… Keep reading →

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As the Air Force Association girds for its annual conference, which starts Monday here in Washington, I was struck by several comments from several experts that the traditional dichotomy between air power and ground forces — often the focus of internecine budget battles between the Army and Air Force — isn’t that relevant any more. Aircraft… Keep reading →

ISIS targets struck by type - 2014-09-10

  UPDATED: INCLUDES TEXT OF OBAMA SPEECH AS PREPARED Just hours before President Barack Obama goes on the air to explain his strategy to destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the US military released revealing figures on the airstrikes against them so far. The new data further demolishes the idea that this… Keep reading →

86 percent of US airstrikes have supported purely military operations around the Mosul Dam and the Kurdish regional capital of Erbil. Only 14 percent have supported humanitarian efforts.

[CORRECTED number of Mt. Sinjar airdrops] The Obama administration and the mainstream media can make the airstrikes in Iraq sound like a humanitarian war, a New Age operation driven not by realpolitik but by the high-minded and/or fuzzy-headed responsibility to protect. In fact, Obama is using deadly force for strategic goals, just like George Bush. The difference —… Keep reading →

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WASHINGTON: We got a much better feel today for the overall costs of the operations against ISIL in Iraq: a daily average of $7.5 million since we got reengaged in Iraq on June 16. Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby unveiled the figure during a pre-Labor Day news conference. Kirby stressed that the figure varied… Keep reading →

aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). George H.W. Bush is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

WASHINGTON:  US operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (or whatever we’re calling it these days) have probably cost the country about $100 million so far, according to one of the top defense budget experts. “t’s difficult to come up with a precise estimate for what current operations in Iraq are costing… Keep reading →

A destroyed North Vietnamese Army tank. The NVA responded to US firepower by switching nimbly from conventional offensives to guerrilla tactics -- as the so-called Islamic State seems to be doing now.

US aircraft are flying “50 to 60″ sorties a day over Iraq, from food drops to airstrikes, but their impact is local and “very temporary,” the Pentagon’s director of operations told reporters this afternoon. While Lt. Gen. William Mayville didn’t say so outright, it’s clear the majority of missions are still “intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance”… Keep reading →

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[UPDATED with details on latest strikes] Yesterday, President Obama ordered humanitarian airdrops to Iraqi refugees and authorized — but did not actually launch — airstrikes on Islamic State forces threatening either the refugees or Erbil, the capital of quasi-independent Kurdistan. This morning, at 6:45 am Washington time, the other shoe dropped, in the form of 500-pound smart bombs… Keep reading →

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CAPITOL HILL: Afghanistan won’t go downhill like Iraq, the next Marine Corps Commandant told the Senate Armed Services Committee, because the US isn’t withdrawing in the same precipitous way. In fact, we’re not withdrawing, just transitioning. “I was one of the thousands of Marines who served in the Anbar province,” now fallen to the Islamic… Keep reading →

Suspect In Attempted Airplane Terror Bombing Arraigned In Detroit

There’s an old trope in intelligence circles that defenders have to be right all the time, while the terrorists only need to get lucky once to execute a successful attack. The knowledge that no one is right all the time makes most counterterrorism experts cautiously pessimistic about the likelihood of another successful terrorist attack on… Keep reading →

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