9:33 AM, May 18, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
A DoD News story, published on Defense.gov, claims that the "Strategy to Defeat ISIL is Working, Military Official Says."
The report reads, "The coalition and Iraqi security forces strategy to defeat and dismantle the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremist group is clear and on track, the chief of staff of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve said today."
Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Thomas D. Weidley briefed reporters via teleconference from Southwest Asia on Iraq’s battle against ISIL forces.
Beiji and its oil refinery remain contested in a dynamic and fluid battle between Iraqi security forces and ISIL, Weidley said. Since ISIL extremists recently breached the refinery's perimeter, they have maintained “episodic control of some refinery facilities to continue attacking Iraqi security forces,” he said.
Though ISIL has placed continuous and sometimes significant amounts of pressure at the refinery, he added, Iraqi forces are working continually to improve their position at the refinery and on the route leading to it.
As Bill Roggio points out, the article, from just a few days ago, couldn't be worse timed. "This Department of Defense news article (reproduced in full below) on the status of the fight against the Islamic State couldn’t have been more poorly timed. Published on May 15, the same day that the Islamic State overran the government center in Ramadi, the report provides a pollyannaish view from Brigadier General Thomas D. Weidley of the US military’s air campaign and the Iraqi military’s fight against the Islamic State. Weidley is the chief of staff for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led coalition that was put together to 'defeat and dismantle' the Islamic State," Roggio writes at the Long War Journal.
Weidley described Ramadi as “contested” and claimed that Iraqi forces repelled most attacks in the city when in reality the Islamic State took control of the government center and most neighborhoods in Ramadi by May 15. By May 17, the Islamic State was in full control of Ramadi and overran the Anbar Operations Command and 8th Brigade Headquarters at Camp Ar Ramadi. Iraqi forces are said to be in complete disarray in the Fallujah-Ramadi corridor.
Weidley’s description of the situation in Baiji was just as overly optimistic. He claimed that while the Islamic State breached the perimeter and has had “episodic control of some refinery facilities to continue attacking Iraqi security forces,” Iraqi forces are regaining the initiative inside and outside of the refinery. In reality, the Islamic State controls upwards of 80 percent of the refinery and has besieged an Iraqi force holed up there. The Islamic State is in full control of the city of Baiji and the surrounding areas, the the Iraqi military is unable or unwilling to send reinforcements.
Astonishingly, Weidley cites statistics of Coalition airstrikes in Ramadi and Baiji to bolster his case.
Read the rest here.
The presidential candidates could learn from Indiana’s governor.4:39 PM, Feb 28, 2015 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Lost in much of the reporting about CPAC is that almost all of the likely presidential candidates—really, all of them, with the exception of Rand Paul—seemed to place themselves at the Reaganite hawkish-internationalist end of the foreign policy spectrum. The much-heralded return of Republican isolationism or anti-interventionism wasn’t much in evidence, except during Rand Paul's half hour on the stage.
1:23 PM, Feb 24, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
A bipartisan group of mmore than eighty influential national security experts, from former Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Michèle Flournoy to Bill Kristol, have written a letter to congressional leadership to urge increased defense spending.
6:10 AM, Feb 3, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama's proposed defense budget is well below what former Secretary of Defense Bob Gates proposed.
"Testing the waters" for 2016.11:44 AM, Jan 29, 2015 • By MICHAEL WARREN
South Carolina senator Lindsey Graham has launched a new political action committee for "testing the waters" for a presidential run in 2016. The Republican, in his third term, has started Security Through Strength, a PAC that bluntly describes itself as a group to "fund the infrastructure and operations allowing Graham to travel the country, listen to Americans, and gauge support for a potential presidential candidacy."
Will spend $336M over 10 years8:05 AM, Dec 10, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
In the last five years, the Department of Defense (DOD) has spent over $130 million to store unused satellites from eight different satellite programs, and plans to spend another $206 million on storage over the next five years. Storage costs for individual pieces of equipment range from $40,000 up to an estimated $120 million for one particular satellite. Costs vary depending on the amount of care needed for each satellite.
9:34 AM, Dec 2, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
CNN reports that Ashton Carter will be President Obama's pick to be the next defense secretary:
Ashton Carter, the former second-in-command at the Pentagon appears to be the top choice to replace outgoing Secretary Chuck Hagel.
Barring any last minute complications, Ash Carter will be President Barack Obama's choice as the new Secretary of Defense, several U.S. administration officials told CNN.
1:35 PM, Nov 24, 2014 • By THOMAS DONNELLY
The resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel creates a golden opportunity for the new Republican majority in the Congress: not only will the hearings on Hagel’s replacement be a natural venue for reviewing the defense reductions and many retreats of the Obama years, but they provide a forum for Republicans to begin to chart a positive alternative.
9:33 AM, Nov 24, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
So Chuck Hagel has been fired as defense secretary. We were critical of his appointment, and opposed his confirmation by the Senate. But let's be clear: Hagel has done what he was asked and what was expected of him at the Pentagon. To the degree he has deviated from the Obama White House line, he's been more right than wrong (e.g., on the threat the Islamic State poses).
3:35 PM, Oct 22, 2014 • By LEE SMITH
During his visit to Washington this week, Israeli defense minister Moshe Ya'alon has spent part of his time criticizing Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, warning about the dangers of a bad nuclear deal with Iran—and highlighting the problems with Turkey.