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Iraq and Afghanistan Dominate Senate Budget Hearing

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Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel testifies before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense about the Defense Department's FY15 budget request June 18, 2014. DoD Photo

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel testifies before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense about the Defense Department’s FY15 budget request June 18, 2014. DoD Photo

With aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) and its battle group and amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) in position in the Persian Gulf, senators on Defense Appropriations Subcommittee asked very few questions about the budget but plenty on the rise of insurgents in Iraq, if will Afghanistan face the same fate in two years and what can the United States do about both on Wednesday.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, said the Iraqi government has asked for American airpower to hold Baghdad and drive the insurgents, a combination of forces from the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS also identified as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — ISIL), disaffected extremist Sunnis and foreign fighters from the territory they seized especially in the last week.

ISIL turned the leaders of two Army divisions and a police unit around Mosul, and their soldiers and police either went with them