syria

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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 →

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn in happier days, taking command of the Defense Intelligence Agency just two years ago.

In this exclusive exit interview with Breaking Defense contributor James Kitfield, the outgoing chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, talks about metastasizing Islamic terrorism, his struggles to reform intelligence-gathering, and the risk of lurching from crisis to crisis in an Internet-accelerated world.  – the editors. “Disruptive.” That’s how Michael Flynn’s enemies… Keep reading →

A member of the Free Syrian Army takes p

CAPITOL HILL: After bitter debate, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted 21 to 9 to approve the administration’s request for $500 million in training and weapons for “vetted” Syrian rebel fighters. Now the annual defense spending bill and supplemental Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding pass to the Senate floor, largely unchanged from what SAC’s defense subcommittee… 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 →

Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work (center) settles in for a brutal hearing, flanked by Adm. James Winnefeld (left) and comptroller Mike McCord (right).

CAPITOL HILL: It was a bad day to be Bob Work. At his first public hearing before Congress as Deputy Secretary of Defense, Work received a bipartisan battering from a House Armed Services Committee deeply dissatisfied with the administration’s $58.6 billion request for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. At issue was not the $53.7 billion… Keep reading →

Presdient Obama calls Vladimir Putin

When James Kitfield contacted us last year about writing for us, we were pleased because few writers have such a gift for spotting major strategic issues and writing about them first and writing about them with grace and clarity. The following piece in which he asks the seminal question — is America in global retreat… Keep reading →

Obama speaks at WH on Syrian chemical weapons

This is James Kitfield’s first piece for Breaking Defense since his departure from his award-winning tenure at National Journal. As one of the best defense reporters around, Kitfield’s specialty has always been spotting the big strategic trend first and writing clearly, simply and persuasively about it. Following is a classic example of his work, which… Keep reading →

UN peacekeepers in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Islamists are regrouping in Mali, but France wants to draw its forces down to 1,000 troops, so who will fill the gap? The UN, which already has 5,500 soldiers on the ground? A fragile truce holds in the Central Africa Republic, where more than one million people have been displaced by gruesome fighting between Muslims… Keep reading →

Obama Holds News Conference On Debt Ceiling Talks At White House

Occasionally journalists find a gem, buried in the Potomac muck. They’re hard to find and often even harder to convince they should be seen by the public. Harald Malmgren spends most of his time buried deep in the darkest muck of Washington — that almost impenetrable stuff surrounding economics. But he sometimes rises forth and… Keep reading →

Diplomatic Security Service Director Jeffrey Culver studies Forward Operating Base Prosperity during a helicopter tour of Baghdad, Iraq, on May 18, 2011. When the U.S. military departs Iraq in the fall of this year, Diplomatic Security will still be responsible for the safety of thousands of U.S. Government personnel at Embassy Baghdad and throughout the country. To meet that mission, Diplomatic Security is ramping up abilities currently unique to the military, such as explosive ordnance disposal and downed-vehicle recovery. The 152-acre Prosperity site is integral to the security transition from the Department of Defense to the Department of State. (U.S. Department of State photo) http://www.state.gov/m/ds/rls/c53579.htm

[UPDATED with Gen. Hayden's comments] Frantic diplomacy seems to have forestalled US military action in Syria – for now. But we stumbled into negotiations at the last minute, only after President Obama had threatened strikes and asked for a vote authorizing the use of force, when Secretary of State John Kerry made an off-the-cuff, off-message… Keep reading →

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