6:17 PM, Sep 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a debate on CNN this afternoon between Jay Carney and Bill Kristol, the former White House spokesman conceded that in fact there will be "boots on the ground" fighting the Islamic State.
"You can't imagine the fight against ISIS going in such a way that we would say, you know what, this thing is on the cusp and we need to send in 3,000 or 5,000 U.S. combat ground troops to win this thing?" Kristol asked Carney.
Carney replied, "Well, again, that would be saying specifically only 5,000, not 5,005--"
"No it wouldn't," said Kristol. "It would be leaving the option open, which is what a serious commander in chief does."
"I think the shorthand that a lot of people use about no boots on the ground is semantically problematic because obviously there will be American military personnel with their boots on the ground," Carney claimed.
Later in the conversation, host Jake Tapper reminded Carney: "Jay, you don't work for the White House anymore. You can be frank."
4:17 PM, Sep 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Though he didn't say it in so many words, President Obama came out today personally opposed to Scottish independence, which is set to go to a vote tomorrow.
2:05 PM, Sep 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
At a school on MacDill Air Force Base, President Obama was asked whether he fought in the civil war. "No," Obama reportedly responded. "I was born in 1961."
Via the pool report:
ISIS Strategy Unrealistic.7:29 AM, Sep 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Robert Gates, President Obama's first defense secretary, said this morning on CBS that President Obama's strategy for defeating the Islamic State is unrealistic:
"The reality is, they're not going to be able to be successful against ISIS strictly from the air or strictly depending on the Iraqi forces or the Peshmerga or the Sunni tribes acting on their own," said Gates.
7:05 AM, Sep 17, 2014 • By THOMAS DONNELLY
In testimony yesterday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, admitted that the most that could be done by way of creating an effective Free Syrian Army – that is, the forces of the moderate opposition to Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad – was to train a force of 5,000 over the next year.
4:56 PM, Sep 16, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama talked about the spread of Ebola at the CDC in Atlanta today. He said it's "spiraling out of control," according to the pool report.
"It is getting worse. It's spreading faster and exponentially. Today thousands of people in West africa are infected. That number could rapidly grow to tens of thousands."
"And if the outbreak is not stopped now, we could be looking at hundreds of thousands of people infected with profound political and economic and security implications for all of us."
Here's the pool report:
10:32 AM, Sep 16, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey, said that the army of the Islamic State is fighting because of "grievances." He made the comments this morning at a hearing on Capitol Hill:
9:25 AM, Sep 16, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Over the weekend in Iowa, President Bill Clinton got caught on a hot mic at the Harkin Steak Fry agreeing that Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu can't bring peace between the Israelis and Palestinians:
“If we don’t force him to make peace, we won’t have peace,” a spectator at the Steak Fry told Clinton.
7:15 AM, Sep 16, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that to counter the ideology of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and its claim of a "religious foundation" for its actions, part of the strategy of the international coalition he is attempting to assemble must be to "begin to put real Islam out there." Kerry, in Paris for talks with various world leaders to build that coalition, further said that all of the Arab leaders he had spoken with earlier concurred about their focus on
2:45 PM, Sep 15, 2014 • By THOMAS DONNELLY
The Obama administration is behaving like a prisoner under interrogation: eventually, if unintentionally, it ends up talking most about the subjects it least wishes to discuss.
6:31 PM, Sep 14, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Hillary Clinton was confronted on the rope line after an event today in Iowa by immigration activists. Her response: “You know, I think we have to elect more Democrats.”
Clinton's response about electing more Democrats was in response to a question about whether she "stand[s] by the president's delay on immigration."
Clinton ignored follow-up questions.
What difference does it make?11:42 AM, Sep 14, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
John Kerry argued that it doesn't really make a difference if we call U.S. action against ISIS a "war." He criticized the "tortured debate" this morning on CBS:
"Mr. Secretary, thank you so much," said CBS host Bob Schieffer. "Can I clear up one thing first. This week you went to some lengths to say you wouldn't call this a war, but yet at the Pentagon and at the State Department even they were saying we are at war with ISIS. Are we at war?"
2:32 PM, Sep 12, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House now definitively says that the "U.S. is at with with ISIL," a position the Obama administration has been hesitant to state in the last couple days:
3:11 PM, Sep 11, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
White House spokesman Josh Earnest couldn't define what victory against ISIS will look like. "I didn't bring my Webster's dictionary," he told a reporter.
"What does victory look like here?" asked a reporter. "I mean, you've talked about destroying ISIL. I honestly don't know what that means. What does it mean"
"I didn't bring my Webster's dictionary with me up here," Earnest said.