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Are ‘lily pads’ the future of US forces in Iraq?; Afghanistan’s own Pentagon; American defense firms flood Europe; Salvation at sea; And a bit more.

June 12, 2015 The next U.S. move in Iraq could be “lily pad-like” outposts that put American advisors closer to—but not on—the front lines, the New York Times’ Helene Cooper, Michael Gordon and Peter Baker reported yesterday. Officials cautioned that the idea is still being drafted and President Barack Obama isn’t expected to...

What 450 new US troops will—and won’t—do for Iraq; Jeb searches for natsec cred in Europe; Insurgency spreading in Egypt?; And a bit more.

June 11, 2015 450 extra U.S. troops are headed to Iraq, despite “no change” to the mission. President Barack Obama yesterday bumped up the total authorized force in Iraq to 3,550, but that’s not expected to increase Iraqi capacity as soon as critics want, as the New York Times’ Michael Gordon writes. U.S....

More US boots could be on the way to Iraq; OPM data on the dark web?; State OKs almost $2B in arms sales; A smashingly good time with tanks; And a bit more.

June 10, 2015 A flood of Islamic State group reporting has emerged in the past 24 hours. We begin stateside where at least 400 more U.S. troops could soon join the 3,080 already in Iraq if the White House approves a new Pentagon plan, the Wall Street Journal’s Dion Nissenbaum and Gordon Lubold...

Obama awaiting ‘finalized’ Iraq plan from Pentagon; Will Jeb rally in Europe?; Army website notches web views—in Syria; Return of the AUMF; And a bit more.

June 9, 2015 Training woes plague Iraq as U.S. searches for a “complete strategy.” One of the five coalition sites for training Iraqi troops hasn’t seen a new recruit in almost a month and a half, The Hill’s Kristina Wong reported yesterday. While the other four sites are working through a total of...

Iraq’s army is ‘finished’; Kurds ascending in Turkey; War in space; Crackdown in Bahrain; And a bit more.

June 8, 2015 Iraq’s troops are having a crisis of confidence even as they made incremental gains against Islamic State fighters in the northern refinery town of Baiji over the weekend. The defense ministry, which estimated the total value of its arms and gear seized by ISIS at $27 billion, said it lacks...

Rebels take US hostages in Yemen; ISIS comes to Saudi Arabia; NSA powers in limbo; SecDef joins social media; And just a bit more.

June 1, 2015 We “can still catch terrorists using the Constitution,” Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul said last night in a bout of temporary triumph after again delaying a renewal of the NSA’s bulk phone data collection, The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis and Ellen Nakashima reported. This time the delay lasts until at least...

New violence threatens Baghdad; China puts big guns on fake islands; Odierno’s shopping list; ‘Bug drones’ for SOF; And a bit more.

May 29, 2015 Iraq’s Anbar offensive brings death to Baghdad. The number of Iraqis killed in a dual car bombing late last night at upscale hotels in Baghdad rose this morning to 15 (with more than three dozen wounded), though the toll would have been higher had a third car bomb detonated as...

The Once—and Future?—USS Samuel B. Roberts

May 23, 2015 With yesterday's decommissioning of the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58), the end of the Perry-class frigate draws one step nearer. The fleet won't be long without a class of ships it calls frigates; in January, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus declared that future littoral combat ships will henceforth be known...

Dempsey’s acid Iraq quip; Rand Paul stands against NSA; SOF take DNA testing to the hot zone; And a bit more.

May 21, 2015 Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul just stood (*irony alert*) for a measly 10-plus hours last night in his attempt to filibuster an extension of the NSA’s stateside bulk metadata collection. Almost immediately afterward, the Senate adjourned—making a procedural vote on the decision unlikely until at least Saturday, The Hill’s Jordain...

Shiite militias surge to Ramadi; Air Force UAV operators get a break; Lifting the veil on drones for 2016; Americans rescued from Ukraine; And a bit more.

May 19, 2015 Bring on the Shi’a militias. At least 3,000 Iranian-aligned Shiite militia fighters descended on Iraq’s Anbar provincial capital of Ramadi yesterday, reportedly launching assaults on the Islamic State militants who seized the Sunni-majority city over the weekend and threatened to take Baghdad next. The decision to send the militias illustrates...