Tag Archives: Iraq

SECDEF Carter: U.S. Shifting Emphasis Away from Training Anti-ISIS Syrian Fighters to Finding Leaders on the Ground

SECDEF Carter: U.S. Shifting Emphasis Away from Training Anti-ISIS Syrian Fighters to Finding Leaders on the Ground

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter testifes before the Senate Armed Services Committee on U.S. military strategy in the Middle East Oct. 27, 2015. DoD Photo

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter testifes before the Senate Armed Services Committee on U.S. military strategy in the Middle East Oct. 27, 2015. DoD Photo

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee the United States has shifted its emphasis from training forces outside of Syria to return to fight Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) to one of identifying “capable and motivated” leaders inside the country who put defeating the extremists ahead of removing Bashar al-Assad from power in Damascus. Read More

Opinion: Russia’s Desert Storm Moment in Syria

Opinion: Russia’s Desert Storm Moment in Syria

Russian fighters over Syria. Sputnik Photo

Russian fighters over Syria. Sputnik Photo

Russia is having its Desert Storm moment in Syria. The near-daily release of Russian fighter cockpit videos and missiles being launched from Russian ships in the Caspian Sea is making millions of Russians feel proud and strong. For instance, on Oct. 21, Russian media reported that 53 strike sorties struck 72 “terrorist targets.” Oddly those same reports are even convincing some in the United States that Russia is somehow more effective in Syria than the United States and its allies. Read More

Essay:  Strategies That Matter – Why Targets That Matter,  Don’t

Essay: Strategies That Matter – Why Targets That Matter, Don’t

A B-2 Stealth Bomber from Whiteman AFB in Missouri leads an aerial flight formation with F-18 Hornets from the during exercise Valiant Shield 2006. US Navy Photo

A B-2 Stealth Bomber from Whiteman AFB in Missouri leads an aerial flight formation with F-18 Hornets from the during exercise Valiant Shield 2006. US Navy Photo

In 1954, U.S. Representative W. Sterling Cole, chairman of the Joint Atomic Energy Committee, announced what had been suspected: that the U.S. Air Force could deliver an H-bomb anywhere in the world. Hardly a revelation, this boast since has been echoed for more than half a century. Indeed, Air Force talking points regularly repeat a version of this theme: We can hold any target at risk anywhere in the world in any time, any place. This idea is deeply embedded in the Air Force’s transformation efforts, as an aspirational statement became a “requirement” and thereby a justification for airpower capabilities. “Any target, any time, any place” is a centerpiece of service dogma, offered in place of coherent airpower strategy. Unfortunately, that means very little for the nation’s air, space and cyber power entrusted to the Air Force. A capability is not a strategy, and can’t be substituted for one. It’s strategy that matters. Read More

Kurdish Video Lends Credibility to Russian Navy Caspian Sea Strike Mission Claims

Kurdish Video Lends Credibility to Russian Navy Caspian Sea Strike Mission Claims

Undated photo of Russian Navy guided missile frigate Dagestan firing UKSK Shot.

Undated photo of Russian Navy guided missile frigate Dagestan firing UKSK Shot.

Russian officials claim that a flotilla of four ships in the Caspian Sea sent a barrage of 26 guided cruise missiles across Iran and Iraq to strike Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets in Syria — more than 900 miles away.

Those claims were bolstered on Wednesday when Kurdish Peshmerga forces fighting ISIS released a video on Twitter showing a guided cruise missile streak by their encampment. Read More

ISIS Brutality Rooted in an Apocalyptic Vision

ISIS Brutality Rooted in an Apocalyptic Vision

Undated photo of ISIS fighters.

Undated photo of ISIS fighters.

The extreme radical beliefs and brutal actions that caused al Qaeda in Iraq to fail earlier remain the heart of the success of today’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL), all because the political context of a decade ago and today have changed, a leading scholar on Islamic terrorism said Monday. Read More

Document: Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics

Document: Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics

The following is the Congressional Research Service Aug. 7, 2015 report, A Guide to U.S. Military Casualty Statistics. The report covers: Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, Operation Inherent Resolve, Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Read More

Rep. Gabbard: More Clarity Needed On Iran Deal; Committees Hung Up On Anti-ISIS Support

Rep. Gabbard: More Clarity Needed On Iran Deal; Committees Hung Up On Anti-ISIS Support

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia (left) are greeted by Falah Mustafa Bakir (center), Minister of Foreign Relations for the Kurdistan Regional Government. Photo courtesy Rep. Gabbard's office.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia (left) are greeted by Falah Mustafa Bakir (center), Minister of Foreign Relations for the Kurdistan Regional Government in a recent trip to the Middle East. Photo courtesy Rep. Gabbard’s office.

“The devil is in the details” in deciding whether the current deal with Iran to bar it from building or acquiring nuclear weapons is acceptable, a member of the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees said Wednesday. Read More

Panel: ISIS ‘Stronger, Tougher and Smarter’ Than Expected

Panel: ISIS ‘Stronger, Tougher and Smarter’ Than Expected

Undated photo of ISIS fighters.

Undated photo of ISIS fighters.

Since the fall of Mosul—Iraq’s second largest city—a year ago, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) has proven to be a “stronger, tougher and smarter” adversary than the United States expected, displaying the ability to recover quickly even after suffering the deaths of key leaders and sustaining heavy casualties. Read More