Keyword: leadingfrombehind

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  • Obama is defying the Constitution on war

    09/18/2014 10:31:40 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 13 replies
    Washington Post ^ | September 18, 2014 | By George F. Will
    The United States last declared war many wars ago, on June 5, 1942, when, to clarify legal ambiguities during a world conflagration, it declared war on Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. Today’s issue is not whether to declare war but only whether the president should even seek congressional authorization for the protracted use of force against the Islamic State. Promising to “destroy” this group with the help of “a broad coalition” of “partners,” President Obama said last week, “I welcome congressional support for this effort.” He obviously thinks such support is optional, partly because this “effort,” conducted by U.S. combat aircraft,...
  • Top Obama Officials Disagree Over Whether U.S. At War With ISIS

    09/12/2014 2:32:48 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 20 replies
    TIME ^ | September 12, 2014 | by Zeke J Miller
    The use of the W-word could have both legal and political implications. Top Obama Administration officials have publicly given conflicting accounts in recent days over a fundamental question of the new U.S. military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria: Is the nation at war? With 158 airstrikes carried out on ISIS targets and more than 1,600 troops deployed to Iraq in various capacities, Secretary of State John Kerry told ABC News Thursday that the nation was not in fact at war with the militant group. But by Friday afternoon, the White House and the Pentagon were...
  • Kerry plays down hopes of imminent anti-Islamic State coalition

    09/12/2014 1:59:49 PM PDT · by Brad from Tennessee · 21 replies
    Reuters ^ | September 12, 2014 | By Jason Szep
    ANKARA--U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday played down chances of an imminent broad coalition against Islamic State militants, illustrating the difficulty Washington faces winning commitment for a military campaign in the heart of the Middle East. Kerry met Turkish leaders to try to secure support for U.S.-led action against Islamic State, but Ankara's reluctance to play a frontline role highlighted the challenges of building a willing coalition to wage what will likely be a tough offensive. Kerry has been touring the Middle East to build support for President Barack Obama's plan, announced on Wednesday, to strike both sides...
  • When Boots on the Ground Aren't 'Boots on the Ground' in Iraq

    09/12/2014 9:54:16 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 11 replies
    ABC News ^ | September 12, 2014 | By Lee Ferran
    President Obama’s strategy to “degrade and destroy” ISIS comes with an additional 475 American troops gearing up to go to Iraq, bringing the total number of U.S. service members there to over 1,600 – but don’t call those “boots on the ground.” Like the hundreds of American soldiers already in Iraq, the new crop has not been assigned to any combat duties, the military says, and Thursday that’s how the White House told ABC News it defines “boots on the ground” in this context: “U.S. military service members serving in combat roles.”
  • Obama's ISIS Offensive Is Not 'War,' Kerry Insists

    09/11/2014 4:55:55 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 27 replies
    ABC News ^ | September 11, 2014 | By ALEXANDER MARQUARDT
    The U.S. is not at war with ISIS, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted today. Kerry was asked today whether the U.S. was at war with ISIS. "No. Look, we’re engaged in a counterterrorism operation of a significant order," the secretary responded. "And counterterrorism operations can take a long time, they go on. I think 'war' is the wrong reference term with respect to that, but obviously it involves kinetic military action."
  • Prospect of U.S. Attacks Electrifies Syrians

    09/11/2014 7:15:00 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 13 replies
    New York Times ^ | September 11, 2014 | By ANNE BARNARD
    The prospect of the first American attacks on Syrian soil during three years of brutal civil war electrified Syrians on Thursday, prompting intense debate over whether airstrikes on the extremist Islamic State in Iraq and Syria would help or harm President Bashar al-Assad, his armed Syrian opponents and war-weary civilians. But even among fervent opponents of ISIS there was ambivalence over President Obama’s declaration that he would “not hesitate” to strike ISIS in Syria. Now, framing the attack on ISIS as driven by American national security concerns, Mr. Obama faces mistrust from both sides. Many insurgents consider his action too...
  • Kerry, in Saudi Arabia, Talks Strategy With Arab Leaders

    09/11/2014 6:29:50 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 18 replies
    New York Times ^ | September 11, 2014 | By MICHAEL R. GORDON
    Secretary of State John Kerry plunged into an intensive series of meetings here with Arab officials on Thursday to coordinate strategy against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The meetings are being hosted by Saudi Arabia, which has agreed to provide bases for the training of moderate Syrian rebels who are battling the Sunni militants and the Assad government in Damascus. The talks will also include the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq. The Obama administration is eager for the campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, to...
  • Russia says US airstrikes without UN mandate would be act of aggression

    09/11/2014 5:56:27 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 31 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | September 11, 2014
    Russia's foreign ministry said on Thursday airstrikes against Islamist militants in Syria without a UN Security Council mandate would be an act of aggression, Interfax news agency reported. "The US president has spoken directly about the possibility of strikes by the US armed forces against ISIL positions in Syria without the consent of the legitimate government," ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said. "This step, in the absence of a UN Security Council decision, would be an act of aggression, a gross violation of international law."
  • Obama orders U.S. airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State

    09/11/2014 5:53:59 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 10 replies
    Reuters ^ | September 11, 2014 | BY STEVE HOLLAND AND ROBERTA RAMPTON
    President Barack Obama told Americans on Wednesday he had authorized U.S. airstrikes for the first time in Syria and more attacks in Iraq in a broad escalation of a campaign against the Islamic State militant group. Obama's decision to launch attacks inside Syria, which is embroiled in a three-year civil war, marked a turnabout for the president, who shied away a year ago from airstrikes to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons against his own people.
  • Obama seeks support for attacking Syria while pursuing diplomacy **2013 FLASHBACK**

    09/10/2014 4:17:04 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 3 replies
    CNN ^ | September 11, 2013 | By Tom Cohen
    President Barack Obama tried Tuesday to sell a military intervention he never wanted to an American public that opposes it, telling the nation that he needed authorization to attack Syria as leverage in a newly emerged diplomatic opening from Russia. Calling the United States "the anchor of global security," Obama offered moral, political and strategic arguments for being ready to launch limited military strikes while trying to negotiate a diplomatic solution to what he called Syria's violation of a global ban on chemical weapons. "Our ideals and principles, as well as our national security, are at stake in Syria, along...
  • Been There, Tried That: What Obama Won't Say in Foreign Policy Address

    09/10/2014 6:09:09 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 13 replies
    NBC News ^ | September 10, 2014 | by Carrie Dann
    President Barack Obama is set to hit rewind on his approach to foreign policy when he addresses the nation Wednesday. A president who rode opposition to the Iraq War to the White House will try to convince the American people that, this time, the U.S. must wade back into the much-despised quagmire to eliminate the threat from jihadist group ISIS. It’s not the first time Obama has retreated from some of his most frequently-played sound bites regarding the terror threat in the Middle East. But with the ISIS threat feeling ever closer to home since the terror group beheaded two...
  • U.S. expands attacks on Islamic State as Iraqi forces move to reclaim villages near Haditha

    09/07/2014 3:59:25 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 6 replies
    Miami Herald ^ | September 7, 2014 | By Roy Gutman
    The United States on Sunday expanded its air war against Islamic extremists in Iraq, sending fighter jets to attack targets near the Haditha Dam in coordination with ground forces from the Shiite Muslim-dominated Iraqi military and local Sunni Muslim tribes. The U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida, said in a statement that U.S. combat aircraft destroyed four Islamic State Humvees, four armed vehicles, two of which were carrying anti-aircraft artillery, one fighting position, and one command post. It’s not clear whether the collaboration, coordinated by the U.S. military with the Shiite-dominated central government, will set a precedent. Still, the timing...
  • Britain Raises Terrorism Threat Level to ‘Severe’

    08/29/2014 12:32:49 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 17 replies
    New York Times ^ | August 29, 2014 | By Alan Cowell
    LONDON — Alarmed by the suspected presence of hundreds of British jihadis among Sunni militants in Syria and Iraq, Britain increased its assessment of the terrorism threat on its own soil on Friday and said new laws would be introduced to counter what Prime Minister David Cameron called “a greater threat to our security than we have seen before.” The tone of the warnings recalled the days after July 7, 2005, when four suicide bombers killed 52 travelers on the London transit system. The show of concern, moreover, seemed intended to bolster the government’s case for contentious new legislation to...
  • Joint Chiefs chairman says ISIS not a direct threat to US, won't recommend Syria strikes yet

    08/25/2014 5:43:48 AM PDT · by SoFloFreeper · 41 replies
    Fox News ^ | 8/25/14
    The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said that he would not recommend U.S. military airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria until he determines that they have become a direct threat to the U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, speaking to reporters on board a military plane traveling to Afghanistan, said Sunday that he believes the Sunni insurgent group formerly known as ISIS is more of a regional threat and is not currently plotting or planning attacks against the U.S. or Europe.
  • Syria ready to cooperate with UN to fight terror

    08/25/2014 6:13:19 AM PDT · by TangledUpInBlue · 7 replies
    CNN ^ | 8/25/14 | Jethro Mullen and Yousuf Basil
    The Syrian regime says it's ready to accept support from the United States and others working under the U.N. umbrella to fight "terrorists." The comments, by Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, were made Monday as ISIS fighters seized control of a strategically important air base in the country. The war-racked nation has been losing control of the northeastern region to ISIS militants. Moallem, however, warned against any unilateral action or strikes in Syrian territory without its permission. "Any effort to fight terrorism should be done in coordination with Syrian government," Moallem said.
  • Syria Welcomes U.S. Strikes Against ISIS There, With Conditions

    08/25/2014 8:14:10 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 16 replies
    Syria's foreign minister said on Monday his country welcomed any potential military strikes by by the U.S. in Syria targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria's terrorist bases, but warned that the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad should be warned first. The Assad regime is mired in a three-year-old civil war, and has been losing ground to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants. "Syria is ready to cooperate and coordinate with regional and international efforts to combat terror in accordance with U.N. resolutions and respect of Syrian sovereignty," Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem told a press conference...
  • US Gives Intelligence To Assad For Targetting Isis Commanders

    08/23/2014 9:10:15 AM PDT · by GonzoII · 114 replies
    IBTimes Co., Ltd. ^ | August 23, 2014 15:58 BST | Tom Porter
    Western intelligence agencies have been assisting the Syrian government of Bashar al Assad fight militants of Isis (now called the 'Islamic State'), by providing details on the location of militant leaders for targeted air strikes. The information was passed to Assad's government by German intelligence service Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), which acted as an intermediary, a source told the Independent... In recent weeks, Syrian forces have launched a series of airstrikes against Islamic State commanders and headquarters, as they battle to halt the advance of jihadist forces from their stronghold in the east of the country. The Assad regime has been accused...
  • UN calls for immediate action to avert massacre in besieged Iraqi town

    08/23/2014 1:36:12 PM PDT · by Brad from Tennessee · 5 replies
    The Guardian ^ | August 23, 2014 | By Kevin Rawlinson
    The United Nations special representative for Iraq has called on the international community to take immediate action to avoid a massacre of civilians in town besieged by Islamic State (Isis) forces. Nickolay Mladenov said he was "seriously alarmed" by reports that the people living in the northern Iraqi town of Amerli had no food or water as the two-month siege continues. He said: "The situation of the people in Amerli is desperate and demands immediate action to prevent the possible massacre of its citizens. The town is besieged by [Isis] and reports confirm that people are surviving in desperate conditions."...
  • U.N.: 'Unspeakable' suffering in Iraqi town besieged by ISIS fighters

    08/23/2014 3:14:38 PM PDT · by MinorityRepublican · 14 replies
    CNN ^ | Sat August 23, 2014 | Jomana Karadsheh, Laura Smith-Spark and Chelsea J. Carter
    Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- As violence CONTINUES to wrack Iraq, the United Nations warned Saturday of another ethnic slaughter in the making by Sunni extremists from ISIS. ISIS fighters have besieged the ethnic Turkmen Shiite town of Amerli in the north for two months, and its fewer than 20,000 residents are without power and running out of food, water and medical supplies. "The situation of the PEOPLE in Amerli is desperate and demands immediate action to prevent the possible massacre of its citizens," said Nickolay Mladenov, the U.N. secretary-general's special representative for Iraq. He said the suffering was "unspeakable" and...
  • Islamic State: Biggest threat to United States?

    08/23/2014 4:42:51 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 41 replies
    BBC News ^ | August 22, 2014 | By Shashank Joshi
    US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has used a remarkable set of words to describe the militants of Islamic State (IS). He warned of their "apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision", argued that they pose "an imminent threat to every interest we have, whether it's in Iraq or anywhere else", and depicted them as "beyond anything that we've seen". Is this reckless threat inflation, or is Mr Hagel correct?
  • Governor of Iraq Sunni heartland says U.S. to help against militants

    08/14/2014 8:25:53 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 3 replies
    Reuters ^ | August 14, 2014 | BY RAHEEM SALMAN
    The governor of Iraq's Sunni heartland province of Anbar said he has secured a promise of U.S. support in a battle against the Islamic State, reviving an alliance that helped thwart an earlier Sunni militant threat, from al Qaeda. Ahmed Khalaf al-Dulaimi told Reuters his request, made in meetings with U.S. diplomats and a senior military officer, included air support against the militants who have a tight grip on large parts of his desert province and northwestern Iraq. Dulaimi said the Americans had promised to help.
  • Iraq Crisis: US Sends 130 More Military Advisers

    08/12/2014 4:37:24 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 23 replies
    Sky News ^ | August 12, 2014
    The US has sent 130 more military advisers to northern Iraq to assess the scope of the humanitarian mission. The soldiers have been sent to northern Iraq to "develop additional humanitarian assistance options beyond the current airdrop effort in support of displaced Iraqi civilians trapped on Sinjar Mountain". The announcement comes as a suicide bomber attacked a checkpoint near the Baghdad home of new Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi.
  • John Kerry insists any US moves in Iraq will not involve combat troops

    08/12/2014 5:20:51 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 21 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | August 12, 2014 | by Katharine Murphy
    US combat forces will not re-enter Iraq, John Kerry insists, but the US says it will explore more “political, economic and security options” as the country transitions out of political deadlock with a new prime minister. With a new “inclusive, participatory” government in Baghdad, the US would “absolutely look to provide additional options” to help stabilise the country. Kerry made it clear this did not mean a return of US combat troops. “There will be no reintroduction of American combat forces into Iraq,” he said. “Nobody, I think, is looking forwards to a return to the road that we’ve travelled....
  • US Military: Airstrikes 'Won't Stop ISIS'

    08/11/2014 2:59:24 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 28 replies
    Sky News ^ | August 11, 2014
    Islamic militants fighting in northern Iraq are unlikely to be stopped by targeted airstrikes, a US general has warned. Joint staff operations director Lieutenant General William Mayville told a news conference that 15 airstrikes on Islamic State (IS) positions were focused initially on protecting US facilities and citizens, as well as aiding the humanitarian mission. He said: "These airstrikes have helped check the advance of missile forces around Mount Sinjar and in the area west of Irbil. "We assess that US airstrikes in northern Iraq have slowed IS operational tempo and temporarily disrupted their advances toward the province of Irbil....
  • US slaps down Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki after he accuses president

    08/10/2014 7:20:28 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 19 replies
    Guardian UK ^ | August 10, 2014 | Agencies
    The United States has thrown its weight behind Iraqi president Fuad Masum after he was accused by prime minister Nouri al-Maliki of violating the constitution. US state department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement: “The United States fully supports president Fuad Masum in his role as guarantor of the Iraqi constitution. “We reaffirm our support for a process to select a prime minister who can represent the aspirations of the Iraqi people by building a national consensus and governing in an inclusive manner,” she said, echoing an earlier comment made on Twitter by deputy assistant secretary of state for...
  • Iraqi PM to file complaint against new president

    08/10/2014 6:54:29 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 5 replies
    Washington Post ^ | August 10, 2014 | Associated Press
    BAGHDAD — Iraq’s embattled Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in a surprise speech late Sunday, resisted calls for his resignation and accused the country’s new president of violating the constitution, plunging the government into a political crisis at a time it is battling advances by Islamic State militants. On Sunday night, in a nationally televised speech, al-Maliki declared he will file a legal complaint against the new president, Fouad Massoum, for committing “a clear constitutional violation". “This attitude represents a coup on the constitution and the political process in a country that is governed by a democratic and federal system,” al-Maliki...
  • Iraqi Militants Execute 500: Some Buried Alive

    08/10/2014 6:04:45 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 21 replies
    SKY News ^ | August 10, 2014
    Iraq militants have executed at least 500 Yazidi people, dumping their victims in mass graves across the north of the country, an official has said. There is "striking evidence" that Islamic State fighters, formerly known as ISIS, have buried some of their victims, including women and children, alive as they continue their bloody advance across Iraq, according to the human rights minister. The militants have driven as many as 150,000 Yazidis from their homes into the Sinjar mountains, where they are cut off from food and water and struggling to survive. Hundreds are already reported to have died. Yazidis flee...
  • Obama sets ambitious goals for Iraq intervention

    08/09/2014 9:46:33 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 26 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | August 9, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
    President Obama said Saturday that U.S. forces will seek to deny a safe haven to "barbaric terrorists" in Iraq and will help create a humanitarian corridor to rescue thousands of religious refugees trapped on a mountaintop, broadening his goals for the latest U.S. intervention in Iraq. Speaking on the White House South Lawn, the president also suggested that the airstrikes by U.S. Navy fighter jets and Predator drones against Islamist militants that began Friday near the major city of Irbil won't be a short-term operation. Obama also said he is confident that U.S. airstrikes and assistance to Iraqi forces can...
  • U.S. expands airstrikes against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq

    08/09/2014 4:56:49 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 14 replies
    Washington Post ^ | August 9, 2014 | By Liz Sly, Karen DeYoung and Loveday Morris
    The reaction in the Iraqi capital was muted on Saturday after American warplanes and drones struck Islamist militants in the country’s north a day earlier, putting the U.S. military back in action in the skies over Iraq less than three years after the troops withdrew and President Obama declared the war over. “America has abandoned us in our most difficult time,” said Firdous al-Awadi, a parliamentarian with Maliki’s political bloc. “This is too little, too late. We kept asking for airstrikes, but we got nothing. Now they are arming and protecting the Kurds, but the rest of Iraq gets no...
  • Analysis: Limited U.S. strikes in Iraq may not wor

    08/08/2014 8:05:05 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 25 replies
    USA Today | August 8, 2014 | By Jim Michaels
    LINK ONLY PER FR POSTING RULES: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/08/08/obama-iraq-isil-air-strikes-baghdad-irbil-terrorists/13783143/
  • US official: Iraq supplies Kurdish fighters with ammunition

    08/08/2014 7:56:45 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 13 replies
    WASHINGTON - The Iraqi government delivered a planeload of ammunition to Arbil, the capital of Iraq's semiautonomous Kurdish region, on Friday in an unprecedented act of military cooperation between Kurdish and Iraqi forces, a US official said. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Iraqi security forces, under the command of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite Arab, delivered the mostly small-arms ammunition in a C-130 cargo plane to resupply the Kurdish Peshmerga forces as they fight militants from the Islamic State. The Obama administration is working with the Iraqi government to ensure that additional requests from the Kurdistan...
  • For Obama, Iraq Move Is a Policy Reversal

    08/08/2014 7:32:57 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 15 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | August 8, 2014 | By Carol E. Lee
    President Barack Obama stepped in front of the cameras on Thursday to utter words he hoped he would never say as commander in chief. "I've therefore authorized targeted airstrikes if necessary to help forces in Iraq," Mr. Obama said in a statement from the White House. "Today America is coming to help." The return to military engagement in Iraq is a reversal for Mr. Obama, whose early opposition to the war that toppled Saddam Hussein, and his promise to end it, fueled his long-shot campaign for the White House.
  • Obama authorizes Iraq strikes to protect Christians, prevent 'genocide'

    08/08/2014 6:56:56 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 35 replies
    Reuters ^ | August 8, 2014 | BY RAHEEM SALMAN
    U.S. President Barack Obama authorized air strikes on Iraq to protect Christians and prevent "genocide" of tens of thousands of members of an ancient sect sheltering on a desert mountaintop from Islamic State fighters threatening to exterminate them. The United States began to drop relief supplies to refugees from the ancient Yazidi sect, but there was no sign yet of air strikes, which Obama authorized for the first time since pulling troops out in 2011. ... U.S. oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron evacuated expatriate staff from Iraqi Kurdistan on Thursday, industry sources said. Smaller oil companies that operate in...
  • Obama Authorizes Limited Airstrikes in Iraq

    08/07/2014 7:13:13 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 73 replies
    New York Times ^ | 07 August 2014 | Helen Cooper, Mark Landler, Alissa J. Rubinaug
    President Obama said Thursday that United States military aircraft had dropped food and water to thousands of Iraqis besieged by Islamic militants on a mountaintop in northern Iraq. Speaking from the State Dining Room at the White House, the president said he had directed the United States military forces to conduct targeted airstrikes on the militants if they moved to take Erbil, threatening the American citizens and military personnel there.
  • Obama weighs Iraq crisis response; airdrops, airstrikes among options

    08/07/2014 4:33:54 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 17 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | August 7, 2014 | By Christie Parsons
    United States officials are “closely monitoring” a potential “humanitarian catastrophe” in northern Iraq but will not be sending combat troops back into the country, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday. Earnest said the United States would cooperate with Iraqi military and Kurdish authorities in the volatile region, but he declined to respond to several questions about whether the U.S. would consider any military action to protect refugees fleeing advancing Sunni militants. “I’m not in position to shed light on the president’s thinking” on the subject, Earnest said.
  • Someone Is Bombing ISIS in Iraq

    08/07/2014 4:04:57 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 73 replies
    New Yorker Magazine ^ | August 7, 2014
    The New York Times seemed to have caught the Pentagon by surprise this evening when it issued a breaking news alert about American forces bombing two targets in Iraq. The Pentagon firmly denied that American forces had begun a bombing campaign. But Pentagon officials said it was possible that allies of the United States, either the Iraqi or Turkish militaries, had conducted the bombing.
  • Israel ready to help Jordan fend off Iraq insurgents if asked

    07/04/2014 7:26:47 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 3 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | July 4, 2014
    Israel is ready to meet any Jordanian request to help fight off Islamist insurgents who have overrun part of neighboring Iraq, an Israeli official said on Friday, although he believed Jordan was capable of defending itself. Asked to elaborate on the statement, Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said potential Israeli assistance could include sending troops or arms, though he saw that as unlikely. "We have an interest in ensuring that Jordan does not fall to, or be penetrated by, groups like al Qaeda or Hamas or ISIS," he told Reuters. "If, God forbid, there is a need, if such a...
  • Suspect in Benghazi Attacks Arrives at Federal Court in DC, Says Source

    06/28/2014 6:44:51 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 10 replies
    ABC News ^ | June 28, 2014 | By MIKE LEVINE and BEN CANDEA
    A man suspected in the attacks two years ago on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, which killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans arrived at federal court in Washington, D.C. today, a source told ABC News. Ahmed Abu Khattala was captured in Libya earlier this month. He's expected to be arraigned later today.
  • Armed U.S. Drones Flying Over Baghdad

    06/27/2014 8:48:10 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 9 replies
    TIME ^ | June 27, 2014 | by Mark Thompson
    Armed U.S. drones are flying over the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, an American official said Friday, primed to defend U.S. troops and diplomats on the ground—or to attack insurgents challenging the Iraqi government if President Barack Obama orders such strikes. “We have the necessary forces not only to protect our own forces, but to be prepared should the President make a decision to do something more,” a senior Pentagon official said Friday. “We’ve got both manned and unmanned over Iraq, and it shouldn’t surprise anybody that some of our drones have armaments.”
  • Obama’s Weakness, or Ours?

    06/25/2014 9:39:36 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 32 replies
    New York Times ^ | June 25, 2014 | By Nicolas Kristof
    The odds are that you think President Obama’s foreign policy is a failure. That’s the scathing consensus forming, with just 36 percent of Americans approving of Obama’s foreign policy in a New York Times/CBS News poll released this week. Foreign policy used to be a source of strength for the president, and now it’s dragging him down — and probably other Democrats with him. Blowing things up is often satisfying, and Obama’s penchant for muddling along instead, with restraint, is hurting him politically. But that’s our weakness more than his. Obama’s foreign policy is far more deft — and less...
  • Dissecting Obama's Iraq policies

    06/25/2014 8:53:13 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 1 replies
    BBC News ^ | June 25, 2014
    For more than eight years, US troops attempted to bring peace and democracy to a post-Saddam Hussein Iraq. With the emergence of the Islamist extremist group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis), which continues to successfully seize Iraqi weapons, oil refineries and cities, critics are not only pointing fingers at the architects of the Iraq War, but at President Barack Obama, as well. "Sooner or later, honest liberals will have to admit that Obama's Iraq policy has been a disaster," writes Peter Beinart for the Atlantic. "The White House has been so eager to put Iraq in...
  • Report: Diplomatic Facilities (Like in Benghazi) Suffer From Poor, Dated Standards

    06/25/2014 2:35:53 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 5 replies
    Roll Call ^ | June 25, 2014 | By Tim Starks
    A subset of diplomatic facilities similar to the one that came under attack in Benghazi, Libya, suffers from absent, outdated or inconsistent security standards, a Government Accountability Office report released Wednesday determines. The public version of the “sensitive but unclassified” report doesn’t name which 10 high-risk, geographically diverse posts were part of its survey. Among the report’s findings were “some facility types for which standards were lacking or unclear, instances in which the standards were not updated in a timely manner, and inconsistencies within the standards.” For example, “State’s process for updating physical security standards is not timely. In some...
  • The United States Doesn't Know With Certainty Who Just Launched Airstrikes in Iraq

    06/25/2014 2:21:52 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 22 replies
    Slate ^ | 25 June 2014 | Ben Mathis-Lilley
    United States officials are not entirely confident they know who is behind the airstrikes being reported against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria forces in western Iraq. From ABC News: According to the U.S. official, the United States has “pretty good information that the Syrians are behind the fighter aircraft bombing in western Al Anbar,” a province in Iraq that includes the Syrian border. The official said the United States is still trying to gather more information that Syria was behind the strikes...A U.S. official also said it was not clear whether the Iraqi government requested or authorized Syrian air...
  • ISIS Fighters Advance Toward Large Iraqi Dam

    06/25/2014 10:14:31 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 22 replies
    New York Times ^ | June 25, 2014 | By ALISSA J. RUBIN and ROD NORDLAND
    Iraqi security officials said Wednesday that fighters for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria were advancing on the Haditha Dam, the second-largest in Iraq. Worried that the insurgents would reach the dam on the Euphrates River, about 120 miles northwest of Baghdad, army officers told employees to stay inside and to be prepared to open the dam’s floodgates if ordered to do so, an employee said. “This will lead to the flooding of the town and villages and will harm you also,” the dam employee said he told the army officer. This would not be the first time that...
  • Iran Secretly Sending Drones and Supplies into Iraq, U.S. Officials Say

    06/25/2014 8:18:42 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 15 replies
    New York Times ^ | June 25, 2014 | By MICHAEL R. GORDON and ERIC SCHMITT
    BRUSSELS — Iran is directing surveillance drones over Iraq from an airfield in Baghdad and is secretly supplying Iraq with tons of military equipment, supplies and other assistance, American officials said. Tehran has also deployed an intelligence unit there to intercept communications, the officials said. The secret Iranian programs are part of a broader effort by Tehran to gather intelligence and help Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s government in its struggle against Sunni militants with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Gen. Qassim Suleimani, the head of Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force, has visited Iraq at least twice to help...
  • Obama's Disastrous Iraq Policy: An Autopsy

    06/24/2014 12:50:15 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 14 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | June 23, 2014 | by PETER BEINART
    Yes, the Iraq War was a disaster of historic proportions. Yes, seeing its architects return to prime time to smugly slam President Obama while taking no responsibility for their own, far greater, failures is infuriating. But sooner or later, honest liberals will have to admit that Obama’s Iraq policy has been a disaster. Since Obama took office, Iraq watchers - including those within his own administration - have warned that unless the United States pushed hard for inclusive government, the country would slide back into civil war. Yet the White House has been so eager to put Iraq in America’s...
  • Obama Lining Up ISIS Targets and Keeps 'Prerogative' To Strike

    06/23/2014 3:01:45 PM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 19 replies
    ABC News ^ | June 23, 2014 | By ALI WEINBERG
    President Obama is lining up ISIS targets in Iraq and may launch an attack on the militant Islamic militia that is threatening Baghdad even if he does not get an agreement with the Iraqi regime, Secretary of State John Kerry said today. Speaking in Baghdad after meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other political leaders, Kerry said Obama is “each day” gaining more certainty of the targets he would strike if the United States decided on its own to take military action. “He has reserved the right to himself, as he should, to make a decision at any...
  • Iraq militants take Syria-border post in drive for caliphate

    06/21/2014 7:31:26 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 11 replies
    Reuters ^ | June 21, 2014 | BY KAMAL NAMAA
    Sunni fighters seized a border post on the Iraq-Syria frontier, security sources said on Saturday, smashing a line drawn by colonial powers almost a century ago and potentially creating an Islamic Caliphate from the Mediterranean Sea to Iran. The militants, led by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), first moved into the nearby town of al-Qaim on Friday, pushing out security forces, the sources said. Once border guards heard that al-Qaim had fallen, they left their posts and militants moved in, the sources said.
  • Obama: Iran Could Play Constructive Role in Iraq

    06/19/2014 11:10:04 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 28 replies
    ABC News ^ | June 19, 2014
    President Barack Obama says Iran can play a constructive role in Iraq if it sends a message that Iraq's government must be inclusive and respect the interests of Sunnis and Kurds. He says that's the same message the United States is sending. But Obama says if Iran comes into the conflict solely as an armed force backing the Shiite-led government, its involvement would probably worsen the situation.
  • Iraq crisis stirs fears Afghanistan could be next

    06/19/2014 10:35:44 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 6 replies
    Arab News ^ | June 19, 2014 | by DONNA CASSATA - AP
    The deteriorating situation in Iraq is giving Congress pause about President Barack Obama’s plan to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2016. Lawmakers fear that the hard-fought gains in Afghanistan could be wiped out by a resurgent Taleban. Senior Obama administration officials insist Afghanistan is not Iraq. They say the population is far more receptive to a continued US presence, and a top American general says Afghans are better fighters. But the officials could offer no assurances that Afghanistan won’t devolve into chaos after Americans leave, as Iraq has.