ISIL Terrorists Must be Defeated, JCS Chairman Says – Hagel Agrees
Aug21

ISIL Terrorists Must be Defeated, JCS Chairman Says – Hagel Agrees

At a Pentagon news conference today, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey , said the ISIL terror group has an “apocalyptic, end-of-days” vision that eventually must be defeated, not only in Iraq but in Syria as well. Referring to ISIL as ISIS because such highlights the terrorists’ long-term goal of establishing the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, Dempsey explains “Al-Sham includes Lebanon,...

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Two of My Most Favorite Things…
Aug21

Two of My Most Favorite Things…

ISIS/ISIL, Ferguson, Sarah Palin… OK, enough “gloomy and doomy” stuff. Time for two of my most favorite subjects. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Robert Culbertson greets his son after a six-month deployment on the attack submarine USS New Hampshire, which returned to its homeport on Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Conn., Aug. 13, 2014. A U.S. sailor hugs his son after arriving in Fleet Activities Yokosuka on the USS...

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Observing World Humanitarian Day
Aug19

Observing World Humanitarian Day

When one looks around places like, Syria, Northern Iraq, Ukraine, etc., there is not much to be seen that qualifies as humane or “humanitarian.” There are also way too many natural disasters which all too often become catastrophic humanitarian disasters. Nevertheless, there are organizations and individuals — “those unsung heroes” Secretary of State John Kerry calls them — who “despite the risks, work to save lives on the...

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Iraqi and Kurdish Forces Backed By U.S. Air Power Recapture Mosul Dam
Aug18

Iraqi and Kurdish Forces Backed By U.S. Air Power Recapture Mosul Dam

Water flows down the Mosul Dam chute spillway May 14, 2003. The spillway was built with a “ski-jump” section to dissipate the energy of outflowing water. U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Brendan Stephens The Mosul Dam in northern Iraq, the fourth largest in the Middle East, is an immensely strategic asset, resource and target, as it captures the flow of the Tigris River, providing flood control, water and electricity to Mosul’s 1.7...

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Two ISIL Terrorists Officially Designated ‘Terrorists’
Aug18

Two ISIL Terrorists Officially Designated ‘Terrorists’

The Department of State has officially designated two terrorists affiliated with ISIL as “Specially Designated Global Terrorists.” They are Said Arif and Abu Mohammed al-Adnani. The designation was done under Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism. The State Department says, “The consequences of this designation include a prohibition against U.S. persons...

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Re-thinking Military Involvement
Aug16

Re-thinking Military Involvement

Re-thinking Military Involvement By Dale Schlundt, M.A. With the growing concern over the ISIS in Iraq, it brings relatively recent and prolonged combat in the Middle East into the hearts and minds of the U.S. citizen. Not to mention the bill we footed for it, and continue to do so. More importantly the human loss of life over the span of these numerous conflicts. One could sum up the current situation in a word: uncertainty....

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France and the West Must Help Middle East ‘Choose Life Over Death’ (Le Monde, France)
Aug15

France and the West Must Help Middle East ‘Choose Life Over Death’ (Le Monde, France)

In 2002, he and his country opposed U.N. Security Council authorization for the war in Iraq. Today, he is insisting on it. In Le Monde, Former French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin writes that this time, the mistakes of the past must not be repeated, and a legal framework for war in Iraq must be created with the support and material assistance of countries around the region. In regard to current operations in Iraq, Villepin...

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Foreign Policy Is Not The Only Area Where Clinton Is Vulnerable
Aug15

Foreign Policy Is Not The Only Area Where Clinton Is Vulnerable

While I believe there should be a challenge to Hillary Clinton based upon her hawkish foreign policy views, it is questionable whether this will happen. Once again, I’ll take the unusual step of quoting from The American Conservative: As yet, amazingly, Hillary has no real opponent to the nomination. Centrist inside politics watchers have concluded her Goldberg interview means that she carefully calculated that she can run to...

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Hillary gets criticism from right and left on break with Obama
Aug12

Hillary gets criticism from right and left on break with Obama

Hillary gets criticism from right and left on break with...

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Tragic Incident in Battle for Mount Sinjar
Aug12

Tragic Incident in Battle for Mount Sinjar

For almost a week now, U.S., Iraqi and Kurdish military have been in a battle to save tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children — members of the Yazidi sect — trapped by ISIL terrorists in the Sinjar Mountains of Northern Iraq. In what can be rightly called the battle for Mount Sinjar, the military have employed both air strikes to kill the terrorists who have been slaughtering and, now, besieging the Yazidis,...

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High Praises for Robin Williams
Aug12

High Praises for Robin Williams

So much has already been said here and elsewhere mourning the death of Robin Williams and celebrating his incredible talents and humanity, that I will not even try to add, except to say he was my favorite actor and comedian — a beautiful person. But, perhaps, one of the greatest tributes to Robin Williams is the quickness and number of touching messages and statements made and released by our nation’s leaders expressing sincere...

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Paying for the 2003 invasion
Aug12

Paying for the 2003 invasion

WASHINGTON — As President Obama struggles to deal with the crisis in Iraq, it’s useful to remember who gave the world this cauldron of woe in the first place: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Their decision to launch a foolish and unwarranted invasion in 2003, toppling Saddam Hussein and destroying any vestige of the Iraqi state, is directly responsible for the chaos we see today, including the rapid advance of the...

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Iraq: While Our Troops Battle, Baghdad Bickers
Aug11

Iraq: While Our Troops Battle, Baghdad Bickers

At a time when U.S. forces are risking life and limb to protect Iraqi citizens from being slaughtered by ISIL forces and to provide humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Kurds fleeing the ISIL terrorists, over in Baghdad Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is more concerned about his political survival than about the survival of his people — perhaps even his nation. As Iraq’s President Fuad Masum asked the deputy...

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Can Americans actually learn to accept reality?
Aug11

Can Americans actually learn to accept reality?

Can Americans actually learn to accept reality? I think we know the answer to that. Many Americans want life to resemble a movie. Tell us a story! We want bombs bursting in air (preferably on Fox), winners, losers, heroes, villains, great endings, satisfactory solutions. So what’s with this Obumble business of political and military coitus interruptus? Just airstrikes? Saving some civilians’ lives but not standing on the...

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(Updates – Videos) Air Operations Over Iraq Continue
Aug09

(Updates – Videos) Air Operations Over Iraq Continue

Update, August 9, 20:00 CDT The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a unique, non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization dedicated to “advance an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education.” It is “committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to emerging threats in order to achieve U.S....

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Obama’s New Rules
Aug09

Obama’s New Rules

Obama offers a formula for grownup behavior in and by the US. Whether this will deal effectively with Muslim and Republican extremists remains an open question. Obama made clear that he is only going to involve America more deeply in places like the Middle East to the extent that the different communities there agree to an inclusive politics of no victor/no vanquished. The United States is not going to be the air force of Iraqi...

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Letter from the President to a Do-Nothing Congress
Aug08

Letter from the President to a Do-Nothing Congress

President Barack Obama meets with his national security team in the Oval Office, Aug. 8, 2014. Pete Souza/White House Had the President’s letter been solely addressed to the Speaker of the House, the lead-in paragraph could have been: Dear Mr. Speaker: While you and your colleagues are on a five-week vacation after suing me for doing my job, I would like to inform you that I continue to do my job and have authorized the U.S. Armed...

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The Kurds, ISIL, and Iraq’s Icosahedron Triangle of Interests (L’Orient Le Jour, Lebanon)
Aug08

The Kurds, ISIL, and Iraq’s Icosahedron Triangle of Interests (L’Orient Le Jour, Lebanon)

Whose fighting who – and whose helping who, in the geopolitical maze called Iraq? L’Orient Le Jour columnist Christian Merville outlines the latest baffling wrinkle in the quagmire, suggesting that, despite the fact that they appear to be under attack by ISIL, the Kurdish Peshmerga, thought to be extremely close to the Americans, may in fact be cooperating with none other than that very same ISIL, aka/the Islamic State in...

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(Continued Updates) Air Operations in Iraq
Aug08

(Continued Updates) Air Operations in Iraq

For some background, scroll down to the end – Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby on Airstrikes in Iraq At approximately 6:45 a.m. EDT, the U.S. military conducted a targeted airstrike against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists. . Two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Erbil. ISIL was using this artillery to shell Kurdish forces...

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‘Successful’ Russia Sanctions Would be West’s Worst Nightmare (Gazeta, Russia)
Aug07

‘Successful’ Russia Sanctions Would be West’s Worst Nightmare (Gazeta, Russia)

This column by Gazeta columnist Georgy Bovt, while providing an unassailable argument for why Western sanctions on Russia are doomed to fail, also serves as a powerful indictment of the Putin years. Beyond his explanation of why there is no likelihood of sanctions working, or of an opposition emerging that is capable of challenging the Putin regime, Bovt lays out why, if sanctions were to bite to the point where Putin were toppled,...

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