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IraqIslamic StateFriday, November 13, 2015

NSN 2016 Update: Week of 11/8/2015

NSN 2016 Update: Week of 11/8/2015 November 13, 2015 Today, NSN debuts a new offering—a roundup of conservative candidate statements on foreign policy and quick rebuttals to them. This week’s theme: conservative candidates don’t understand the Middle East, past or present, but still think they can chart its future.  “It wasn’t that long ago that Russia had no influence in the region at all.” – Jeb Bush on the Middle East Jeb Bush’s comments show that he doesn’t understand Russia’s history in Syria, so how can he get the policy right? Actually, Russia’s influence in Syria dates back to Bashar al-Assad’s father, Hafez al-Assad, who invited Brezhnev’s USSR to lease the Tartus naval facility back in the 1970s. In fact, Jeb Bush gets it precisely backwards: Russia is not fighting… Read More ›

IraqThursday, June 25, 2015

NSN Board Chairman Brian Katulis Quoted in Politico on Iraq

Who Lost Iraq? POLICTO Magazine June 2015 | POLITICO For a brief, happy—and misguided—moment, most Americans stopped thinking about Iraq. After withdrawing the last U.S. troops in 2011, President Barack Obama declared the country “sovereign, stable and self-reliant.” No such luck…. “Brian, you were on the Obama campaign. Did you guys come to Iraq with the assumption that it couldn’t be saved, so we had to get out and let it fend for itself? Or was the thinking that Iraq was ready to stand on its own?” Brian Katulis: “That was a central focus: How does Iraq actually achieve or build on the security gains of the surge? It’s true that the addition of U.S. forces in 2007 had an impact in changing security dynamics, but there… Read More ›

IraqIslamic StateSyriaMonday, April 13, 2015

Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.) Quoted Following Cincinnati Event

Retired General Visits Cincinnati, Talks ISIS Huy Nguyen April 8, 2014 | The News Record As the global ISIS threat continues, Retired Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton arrived in Cincinnati April 1 to address how exactly ISIS began and what America can do to stop it. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, continues to rampage through the Middle East, dismantling families and government institutions. Within four months after its rise in June of 2014, ISIS had murdered over 5,500 people, according to Newsweek. Just this Tuesday, it was discovered that a mass grave in Tikrit exceeded 3,000 victims, Newsweek reported. Eaton attended a dinner in Xavier University’s Conaton Board Room led by the Foreign Policy Leadership Council in… Read More ›

AUMFIraqIslamic StateSyriaFriday, March 13, 2015

A Dangerously Confused AUMF Discussion in Congress as Escalation Looms

A Dangerously Confused AUMF Discussion in Congress as Escalation Looms March 13, 2015 Earlier this week, top officials appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss the Obama Administration’s proposed authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against the Islamic State. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey took part in a conversation that highlighted several areas of concern for which additional focus is warranted going forward. In particular, the hearing added confusion to the proposed definition of “associated forces” and how it is currently interpreted or could be interpreted in the future. The hearing also confirmed the proposed language that would prohibit “enduring offensive ground combat operations” lacks significant meaning.… Read More ›

AUMFIraqIslamic StateSyriaWednesday, March 18, 2015

Policy Analyst Bill French’s Testimony on ISIL and the President’s AUMF

Statement by Bill French, NSN Policy Analyst Congressional Progressive Caucus Forum on ISIL and the President’s AUMF Proposal March 16, 2015 Distinguished members of Congress, I am honored to join you to discuss the president’s proposed authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against ISIL. Over the next few minutes, I would like to outline how a number of key national security issues relate to considering the president’s proposed resolution and what kind of provisions it should – and should not – ultimately include as a result. In particular, I will focus on select aspects of how the U.S. military strategy against ISIL should inform congressional action on a potential AUMF. As I think all of us know, ISIL poses a very real national security… Read More ›

IraqIslamic StateSyriaWednesday, February 18, 2015

6 Key Takeaways on Confronting the Islamic State

6 Key Takeaways on Confronting the Islamic State February 18, 2015 Today, the Obama Administration is convening a summit on countering violent extremism. Representatives from more than 60 countries are meeting to discuss ways to prevent radicalization and terrorism. The summit illustrates that fighting terrorist groups like the Islamic State is about more than military strategy in Iraq and Syria. As Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.) notes in NSN’s new report, Confronting the Islamic State: An Assessment of U.S. Strategic Options, “the choices facing policymakers are characterized by problems far more complex than fine-tuning a military strategy and the question of boots or no boots on the ground. Counter-ideology, diplomacy, economics, and politics at home and abroad all play a role.”  Nonetheless, most current strategic… Read More ›

IraqIslamic StateSyriaTuesday, February 17, 2015

REPORT: Confronting the Islamic State

Confronting the Islamic State: An Assessment of U.S. Strategic Options Policy Report by J. Dana Stuster and Bill French Foreword by Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton, USA (Ret.) February 2015 The National Security Network (NSN) is pleased to release a new policy report,Confronting the Islamic State: An Assessment of U.S. Strategic Options. The report, which features a foreword by NSN Senior Advisor Maj. Gen. Paul Eaton (Ret.), reframes the debate on U.S. strategy in Iraq and Syria. NSN Policy Analysts Dana Stuster and Bill French analyze the full field of strategies to counter the Islamic State proposed by experts and outline a new approach to combat it. To read the full report, click here. Confronting the Islamic State categorizes the various strategic proposals into four camps: those… Read More ›

2001 AUMFAUMFIraqIslamic StateSyriaWednesday, February 11, 2015

Obama’s ISIL AUMF: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Obama’s ISIL AUMF: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly This morning, the White House sent Congress the text of its proposed Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State. The proposed legislation includes strengths and weaknesses that deserve careful analysis and debate. Overall, the proposal would set important, if imperfect, limits on the war against the Islamic State, including: a three-year sunset clause, a careful definition of associated forces, and the repeal of the 2002 AUMF. But the proposal also includes a number of significant problems, including: a faux prohibition on large-scale ground combat operations that is effectively meaningless because of extremely poor wording, a lack of geographic limits, the potential application to ill-defined future “successors” of the Islamic State, and… Read More ›

IraqIslamic StateMonday, January 12, 2015

7 News Quotes Paul Eaton on Military Response to the Islamic State

Islamic State: US facing long war to retake Iraqi territory and defeat Islamist insurgents By Michael Vincent January 12, 2015 | 7 News The messaging from the Obama administration has been mixed. The president has said he is not Iraq’s air force. But, for now, he clearly is. So far the US Congress is backing him, budgeting $US5 billion for the air strikes and army training over the next nine months. US secretary of state John Kerry clearly expects a concerted ground campaign against Islamic State soon. He told a Washington DC forum on Mid East relations on December 7 that “Iraq’s national army is preparing to launch a counter-offensive. And we are confident that they will do so when the time is right, not… Read More ›

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