After a week of saber rattling by US officials it seems the writing is on the wall. With the referendum coming in six days it looks as though Crimea will separate from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation. Russian forces are already within the country though they apparently are not wearing insignia.
|By: DSWright Wednesday January 8, 2014 6:46 am|
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates claims in his book that President Obama did not really believe in the war in Afghanistan even while agreeing to the troop surge. So although Obama acknowledged the reality everyone knows – that the war in Afghanistan is a complete waste of blood and treasure – he continues the war for cynical political reasons.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday September 20, 2011 7:17 am|
At 12:01am, the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy was formally repealed. Gays and lesbians can now serve freely in the US Armed Forces. The official notice from the US Army was released last night, in a completely understated document. “The law is repealed,” says the letter from Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno, Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Sergeant Major of the Army Raymond Chandler. “It is the duty of all personnel to treat each other with dignity and respect, while maintaining good order and discipline throughout our ranks. Doing so, we will help the US Army remain the strength of the Nation.”
|By: emptywheel Sunday July 3, 2011 6:00 pm|
When Anwar al-Awlaki’s family sued for due process, the government invoked state secrets, even as Crazy Pete Hoekstra and a stream of anonymous sources have leaked details of the drone targeting of him for over a year. One of the things Robert Gates specifically invoked state secrets over is whether or not we’re engaged in military operations in Yemen. Another is details of our counterterrorism work with Yemen.
|By: Scarecrow Saturday June 11, 2011 1:00 pm|
I’ll leave it to foreign policy wonks to explain the strategic rationale for having your outgoing Secretary of Defense deliver a very public rebuke to our NATO allies on the duties they owe to maintaining US hegemony. I’m sure it’s more complicated than a mere scarecrow could possibly imagine.
I’ll just limit myself to note how preposterous it is, never mind arrogant and cluelessly not-self-aware, for an American official to pretend that it’s Europe, and not US taxpayers and their elected Congress, who have steadfastly refused to pay the cost of US foreign adventures.
|By: David Dayen Monday June 6, 2011 7:55 am|
The Obama Administration is floating a steeper drawdown in Afghanistan than they contemplated in previous weeks, due to new “strategic considerations.” While they call the considerations the war’s cost and the killing of Osama bin Laden, the fact that 204 House members just voted for a quicker pullout, and the fact that there’s an election coming up in 2012, are probably the more likely ones.
|By: Gregg Levine Friday May 27, 2011 9:35 am|
Sec. Gates–who does have his future to think about, after all–wants to make sure his successors (or at least his future employers) understand. No more defense contractors need get tossed into the terrible winepress of budget austerity–there are plenty of fighting folks, ready for trampling.
|By: David Dayen Thursday April 21, 2011 1:55 pm|
Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced at a Pentagon briefing that President Obama has authorized the use of armed Predator drones over Libya. The unmanned planes have been used extensively in the Afghanistan and Pakistan missions, among other places. In fact, an amendment to the latest FAA Authorization bill, if passed by Congress, would allow for the use of drones in US airspace. So, why not Libya?
|By: David Dayen Thursday April 7, 2011 3:34 pm|
I don’t think there’s a bigger campaign promise that Barack Obama made than getting troops out of Iraq. His opposition to the war is the reason he won the nomination; I don’t even think that’s a controversial statement. And of the many advances he’s touted in his first week as a candidate for re-election, there hasn’t been a bigger one that getting our troops out of Iraq. The final phase of that process is scheduled for the end of 2011, a year before the election.
Or is it?
|By: David Dayen Thursday March 31, 2011 4:23 pm|
The debate over whether to arm rebels in Libya still rages, although given that we have CIA operatives on the ground coordinating air strikes and a secret finding authorizing the President to provide covert support, including arms shipments, it seems like something of a red herring. But for what it’s worth, it’s incredibly unpopular. We knew that House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (who would statutorily have to be consulted and give his assent even in a covert shipment, though that never stopped Ronald Reagan) was against it, and he mentions to Foreign Policy that the Obama cabinet was split on the notion. More important, Turkey, the only majority-Muslim member of NATO, is against it.