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Three Ways House Work on CR, Syrian Rebels Plan Could Play Out

Whether or not the federal national security apparatus shuts down in October suddenly is all about Saudi Arabia, the Islamic State, Syrian rebel forces and lawmakers’ feelings about President Barack Obama. The clock is ticking on whether the House will approve a massive government-wide funding bill to avert a federal shutdown at 12 a.m. EDT on Oct. 1. The lower ... Read More »

Fate of Obama’s ISIS Plan Hangs on the House

Now that President Obama has made his case for military action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, it falls to those in Congress who have worked to stymie his agenda at every turn to round up support for a key piece of his strategy. House Speaker John Boehner and his lieutenants will ask their restive conference to vote ... Read More »

GOP Member Offers Window Into Lawmakers’ Concerns Over Syrian Rebel Authorities, Funds

A conservative US House member on Friday provided a window into concerns about a White House counterterrorism request that has delayed a bill to avert a government shutdown. After years of “fiscal cliffs,” shutdowns and other dramatics, Capitol Hill on Thursday again descended into chaos and confusion. This time, members were questioning President Barack Obama’s request that a continuing resolution ... Read More »

For Defense in Georgia, Novice or Progeny

WHY IT MATTERS After a defense industry favorite went down in the primary, a political neophyte battles the daughter of a former Senate Armed Services Committee chairman for a Senate seat in one of the most defense-heavy states. THE RACE The retirement of Sen. Saxby Chambliss leaves big shoes to fill for the defense community in Georgia. Vice Chairman of ... Read More »

Rights group calls for probe into Iraqi airstrike

An international rights group called Sunday for an investigation into an Iraqi airstrike on a school housing displaced families that killed 31 civilians, including 24 children, a day after the country’s new prime minister ordered the army to stop shelling militant-held populated areas to minimize civilian casualties. New York-based Human Rights Watch said in a statement that the Sept. 1 ... Read More »

Potential U.S. allies? Syrian rebel groups at a glance

President Obama has said a key part of his strategy to degrade and defeat Islamic State militants will be working with moderate Syrian opposition groups. He has called on Congress to authorize $500 million to train and arm Syrian rebels to become America’s partners. But who are these groups, and to what degree can the U.S. rely on them? Islamic ... Read More »

Iraq PM orders halt to shelling of civilian areas

Iraq’s prime minister said Saturday he has ordered the army to stop shelling populated areas held by militants in order to spare the lives of “innocent victims” as the armed forces struggle to retake cities and towns seized by the Islamic State extremist group this summer. “I issued this order two days ago because we do not want to see ... Read More »

France opens Iraq conference urging global fight on jihadists

French President Francois Hollande called on Monday for united international action to tackle the threat from Islamic State militants as he opened a conference on Iraq bringing together members of a U.S.-led coalition. The United States this week unveiled an outline plan to fight the Islamist militants simultaneously in Iraq and Syria. It believes it can forge a solid alliance ... Read More »

In a land of death, Iraq’s morgue workers seek answers

The middle-aged man was killed at night, walking to his car in the Iraqi capital. No one seemed to know who did it or why. The man’s bloated corpse lay on the metal examining table. His family waited outside. The only solid information about his death was in a vial that Dr. Aysa, a forensic pathologist, was holding in the ... Read More »

NATO countries have begun arms deliveries to Ukraine: defense minister

Ukraine’s defense minister said on Sunday that NATO countries were delivering weapons to his country to equip it to fight pro-Russian separatists and “stop” Russian President Vladimir Putin. Valery Heletey told a news conference he had discussed weapons deliveries in bilateral meetings with NATO defense ministers during a NATO summit in Wales on Sept. 4-5. NATO officials have said it ... Read More »

Ukraine prime minister slams Putin; cease-fire again under strain

Fighting flared near an airport in eastern Ukraine on Saturday in breach of a fragile eight-day cease-fire as the Ukrainian prime minister accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of planning to destroy his country. Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the prime minister, said only membership in NATO would enable Ukraine to defend itself from external aggression. On Saturday afternoon, a Reuters reporter heard heavy ... Read More »

Two NATO Ships Leave Black Sea

A U.S. guided missile destroyer and a French signals intelligence ship have left Black Sea, according to U.S. Navy officials and local press reports. USS Ross (DDG -71) departed the Black Sea on Friday at the conclusion of the multinational Sea Breeze. The exercise concluded on Sept. 10. The U.S. does not have a ship scheduled to cross the Bosporus ... Read More »

Leaders talk peace, some Ukrainians contemplate guerrilla war

Their leaders back in Kiev may be offering peace. But here on the front lines, the battle-scarred patriots staring down pro-Russian rebels talk of giving Russian President Vladimir Putin just the opposite — a Ukrainian version of Chechnya’s guerrilla war. “Every man in this battalion is ready to change tactics to liberate our homes,” said Apis, the nom de guerre ... Read More »

Germany’s defence budget to drop further in 2015

Germany’s headline defence budget is set to shrink again in 2015, despite NATO leaders recently agreeing to aim towards spending 2% of gross domestic product on defence. The country is planning to spend EUR32.26 billion (USD41.72 billion) on defence in 2015, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen told the Bundestag on 10 September during the first reading of the ... Read More »

North Korea sentences American Matthew Miller to six years with labor

Californian Matthew Miller, who was detained in April in North Korea, was sentenced Sunday to six years with labor on charges of entering the country illegally and trying to commit an act of espionage, according to KCNA, the official North Korean news agency. KCNA said Miller, 24, committed acts hostile to North Korea while entering the country “under the guise ... Read More »