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IraqThursday, September 18, 2014

NSN Islamic State AUMF Brief Quoted by Lawfare

September 18, 2014 | Lawfare At the National Security Network, Bill French and J. Dana Stuster released a policy brief entitled, “Navigating an AUMF for the Islamic State: Toward a High-Standard Authorization.” They offer the following advice for constructing a new AUMF: “First, Congress should ensure that the Administration meets its burden of justifying an escalation of conflict and demonstrates the soundness of its developing, but incomplete, strategy…Second, if the Administration can meet its burden, any AUMF against the Islamic State should be constructed to take into account American interests relevant to the appropriate scope of the conflict.” To read more, click here. To read the Policy Brief, click here.   Read More ›

IraqThursday, September 18, 2014

Paul Eaton Quoted by the New York Times on Obama’s ISIS Strategy

A White House Position That Stands on a Narrow Definition of War By Mark Landler September 18, 2014 | New York Times The American advisers are armed, and if they are shot at by the enemy, they are authorized to return fire. In a close combat advisory role in a city, experts said, the American troops would tell Iraqi commanders which house to hit, how much ammunition to use in an assault, and how to organize medical evacuation for their troops. It is not the first time the United States has gotten tangled in semantics on this issue. In late 2008, before Mr. Obama was inaugurated, the Pentagon adopted a similarly narrow definition of combat to claim it was meeting a deadline for withdrawing combat… Read More ›

IraqWednesday, September 17, 2014

National Security Network Quoted by Project on Defense Alternatives

Washington Leads with Militarized Responses September 17, 2014 | Project on Defense Alternatives Budget Effects Proponents of increasing the DoD budget have been busy ‘making hay’ from the ISIS and Putin threats.  The National Security Network has a good summary of why new military activities in the Middle East do not require additional defense spending: “The President’s campaign against the Islamic State has revived debate over the Budget Control Act (BCA) caps on Department of Defense spending. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said last Friday, ‘If we don’t replace the cuts in sequestration, we’re going to compromise our ability to be successful against [the Islamic State] and other emerging threats,’ and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) shared similar views, saying, ‘I know that if we don’t, we… Read More ›

IraqTuesday, September 16, 2014

Paul Eaton Quoted by the New York Times on the Islamic State

U.S. General Open to Ground Forces in Fight Against ISIS in Iraq By Mark Landler and Jeremy Peters September 16, 2014 | New York Times The challenge will come, General Dempsey said, when Iraqi and Kurdish forces try to drive the militants out of densely populated urban areas like Mosul. In those cases, General Dempsey said, he might recommend deploying Special Operations troops to provide what he called “close combat advising,” essentially working alongside Iraqi commanders in the field and helping them direct their troops to targets. While the Americans would not fire weapons themselves, military experts said there was little practical distinction between the role General Dempsey described at the hearing and actual combat. “We’ve already got ground forces introduced, and they are performing… Read More ›

IraqThursday, September 11, 2014

Paul Eaton Quoted in Stars and Stripes on Retraining the Iraqi Army

Paul Eaton Quoted in Stars and Stripes on Retraining the Iraqi Army Retraining Iraq’s fractured army: Will it work this time? By Heath Druzin  September 11, 2014 | Stars and Stripes  Retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who oversaw training of the Iraqi forces in the early days of the Iraq War, said that after the U.S invasion in 2003, American trainers tried to construct a military that was representative of the religious and ethnic makeup of a country where hostilities between Sunni and Shiite Muslims as well as Kurds and Arabs run deep. Eaton and others involved in that training program say Maliki, a Shiite hardliner, started undoing the process as soon as U.S. troops withdrew from the country at the end of 2011.… Read More ›

IraqThursday, September 11, 2014

Paul Eaton Quoted in AFP on Training Forces in Iraq and Syria

US hopes training local forces will work – this time September 11, 2014 | AFP Dating back to Vietnam, US attempts to construct professional armies often have faltered, usually because the local leaders see the military as a means of holding on to power rather than defending the country, experts say. The most recent failure occurred only a few months ago in Iraq, where a massive training effort ended with army divisions throwing down their weapons in a humiliating rout by IS militants. The outcome, after $24 billion worth of training, came as a crushing disappointment to the US military, but most senior officers blamed the sectarian agenda of former prime minister Nuri al-Maliki, who they say appointed political hacks instead of qualified officers. “The… Read More ›

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Paul Eaton Quoted in New York Times on ISIS Strategy

New Military Campaign Extends a Legacy of War By Peter Baker September 10, 2014 | The New York Times Barry Pavel, a former Obama national security aide now at the Atlantic Council, said the president might be acting too tentatively. “I’m not sure half-steps into Syria are ultimately going to achieve the president’s goals,” he said. “It’s a fine strategy for contain and disrupt. It’s not a strategy for defeat by any means. If you want to defeat ISIS, you have to go all-in to Syria, which the president isn’t prepared to do.” But others warned against that sort of thinking, viewing it as Mr. Bush’s approach all over again. Such advocates expressed concern that Mr. Obama would be too precipitous in hunting down ISIS,… Read More ›

IraqWednesday, September 10, 2014

Paul Eaton Quoted on CNN.com on US Efforts to Contain ISIS

Two things that could hinder US efforts to ‘destroy’ ISIS By Deena Zaru September 10, 2014 | CNN.com The United States welcomed the transition with the hope that al-Abadi will lead Iraq into stability. “It appears to me that the United States is trying to contain ISIS to buy time for a political solution in Baghdad,” said retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, who commanded the training of Iraqi troops during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Eaton said that for the United States to be successful, along with NATO and regional allies, working with the al-Assad government is a necessary evil and one that would require “sophisticated diplomacy.” “There’s no guaranteed success, but there’s no reason to think that Assad will try to shoot down American planes. The last thing the Assad… Read More ›

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

NSN’s 2001 AUMF Report Quoted in The Epoch Times

Authorizing Force for Future Military Operations By Mark Pomerleau September 3, 2014 | The Epoch Times  The argument several scholars have made against the current administration’s reliance on this sixty word authorization for counterterrorism is that several terrorist groups today did not exist in 2001 and therefore would or should not fall under its umbrella.  The administration has broadened their interpretation of the AUMF to include “associate forces” of (core) al-Qaeda and the Taliban – both of whom the 2001 AUMF were written to address – in the sense of the co-belligerency, which, “[a]pplied to al-Qaeda, co-belligerency requires an organization to have ‘entered the fight alongside al-Qaeda’ and to work with ‘al-Qaeda in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners,’” according to a… Read More ›

Friday, August 22, 2014

Bill French Quoted in IHS Jane’s 360 on an Islamic State AUMF

Analysis: Iraq Campaign Continues as Obama Frames War Footing By Zachary Fryer-Biggs August 22, 2014 | IHS Jane’s 360  Meanwhile, Obama could invoke the 2001 AUMF again before the 60 days has elapsed, giving him added flexibility to continue the strikes. Still, thus far the administration is citing possible genocide and protection of US personnel as the reasons for the bombing, not the broader campaign against terrorism. “We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide,” Obama said in a 7 August speech. “There’s no American military solution to the larger crisis in Iraq. The only lasting solution is reconciliation among Iraqi communities and stronger Iraqi security forces. However, we can and should support moderate forces who can bring stability to… Read More ›

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