PENTAGON — The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) — in their current state — were capable of defending Baghdad on their own from advancing forces of the Iraq and Syria Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) but unlikely to retake lost territory without help. Read More
Defending the decision to cap the littoral combat ship (LCS) buy at 32, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Wednesday “it was a big, big question whether we want a sixth of our Navy” in those vessels. Read More
How far the United States should go in supporting the Syrian opposition, and just what the role of the Chairman (and Vice Chairman) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in formulating that strategy should be, dominated the sometimes testy re-confirmation hearing of Gen. Martin Dempsey and Adm. James Winnefeld on 18 July.
Dempsey’s re-confirmation is not assured. A key member of the panel—Arizona Republican John McCain—was so upset by Dempsey’s answers on Syria that he threatened to put a hold on the nomination. The chairman of the committee offered a possible compromise to get the nomination for a second Dempsey term back on track. Winnefeld did not come under that kind of scrutiny. Read More