• enhanced_deficit

    by Published on 09-11-2013 05:58 PM

    September 11, 2013 - 4:38 AM
    By Dennis M. Crowley

    In total, 2,144 U.S. military personnel have given their lives fighting in and around Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. (AP File Photo)

    In the war that Congress authorized against al Qaeda only three days after that attack, the vast majority of the U.S. casualties have occurred in the last four and a half years during the presidency of Barack Obama.

    In fact, according to the CNSNews.com database of U.S. casualties in Afghanistan, 73 percent of all U.S. Afghan War casualties have occurred since Jan. 20, 2009 when Obama was inaugurated.


    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/denn...n-obamas-watch[/FONT]
    by Published on 09-02-2013 08:10 PM

    Excerpts... Here is a guide to the key players to watch, their strategies and the challenges they face:

    Nancy Pelosi: Get out the vote
    Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, the top Democrat in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.(Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP)


    John Boehner: Corralling the caucus
    House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio responds to reporters' questions during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.(Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP)


    John McCain and Lindsey Graham: Key votes
    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, accompanied by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks with reporters outside the White House in Washington, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013, following a closed-door meeting with President Barack Obama to discuss the situation with Syria.(Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP)


    Rand Paul: The hard 'No'
    Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.(Photo: Jacquelyn Martin, AP)

    The Kentucky Republican senator and his non-interventionist views are powerful forces within today's Republican Party. Paul's opposition to military engagement in Syria holds sway in both chambers because he has intellectual allies in the House and he is considered a potential 2016 presidential contender.
    "I think the line in the sand should be that America gets involved when American interests are threatened. I don't see American interests involved on either side of this Syrian war," Paul said on NBC's Meet the Press, summing up one of the prevailing critical views in Congress on engagement.
    Paul is capable of stirring up loud opposition among Tea Party-allied groups. His unsuccessful filibuster earlier this year against U.S. military use of drones made him a star among conservative groups skeptical of the U.S. national security apparatus and suspicious of executive power.
    One Paul ally in the House, freshman Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., has already introduced the War Powers Protection Act, which would prohibit any military support to Syria without a congressional declaration of war. It has support from 13 mostly Southern Republicans.
    The president's proposed resolution, which authorizes him to use the armed forces "as he determines to be necessary and appropriate," contains no limits on the president's power, Massie said, "It's basically a full-on-declaration of war, but it doesn't say that," he argued. "Lobbying missiles into a sovereign country is an act of war, whether you call it that or not."
    But he bristles at the suggestion that he would turn his back on the rest of the world. "I'm not an isolationist," he said Monday. "I'm a non-interventionist."
    Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., one of the supporters of Massie's bill, is also rallying opposition, taking to Twitter over the weekend to argue that "Americans don't support war in Syria & neither does Congress. No clear U.S. interest or strategy. We don't want entanglement in this war." He also retweeted dozens of messages from military veterans opposing intervention in Syria.

    President Obama: Flood the zone
    The White House strategy, as one senior administration official put it, is to "flood the zone."
    The president and his advisers are trying to hammer home in their conversations with skeptics on Capitol HIll that taking action is about more than just retribution for the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons, according to the administration official, who was not authorized to comment on the deliberations.


    Full Piece: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/p...ccain/2754963/
    by Published on 09-01-2013 11:40 AM

    By Dalit Halevi and Ari Soffer First Publish: 8/31/2013, 11:51 PM

    As US President Obama continues to mull his options over a potential military intervention in Syria, Syrian state media is upping the ante, publicizing a list of "targets" that the Syrian military could target with "long-range missiles" in the event of a US-led attack.

    Aerial photos of the purported targets were released by state media, including strategic military positions in Israel, Turkey and Cyprus, such as airports and chemical weapons factories.

    Specific targets labeled as "legitimate" for Syrian missile strikes included Israel's Dimona nuclear plant, petrochemical production plants in Haifa, Hazor military airbase, the Palmachim, Zala'im and Tzrifin military bases, Kalandia airport, and military and intelligence facilities in Turkey and Cyprus.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/171466
    by Published on 07-26-2013 05:13 PM

    By Max Fisher, Published: July 26 at 10:09 am


    Washington Post/ABC News poll

    The proportion of Americans who say the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting has dropped to 28 percent, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll. This is the lowest support for the Afghan war ever recorded in the poll – and even lower than the Iraq war ever scored on the same question. A full two-thirds, 67 percent, say that the Afghan war has not been worth fighting.

    Support began falling in late 2011 and early 2012, when a string of high-profile incidents gave the appearance of a war spinning badly out of control. In January 2012, a video surfaced showing Marines urinating on dead Afghan insurgents. The next month, NATO troops mistakenly burned several Korans, setting off nationwide riots and more “green on blue” killings. The month after that, a U.S. soldier named Robert Bales wandered off base and into a nearby village, where he killed 16 civilians, nine of them children.

    Full Story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...-war-ever-was/
    by Published on 07-15-2013 12:28 AM

    Edward Snowden has highly sensitive documents on how the National Security Agency is structured and operates that could harm the U.S. government, but has insisted that they not be made public, a journalist close to the NSA leaker said.

    Glenn Greenwald, a columnist with The Guardian newspaper who first reported on the intelligence leaks, told The Associated Press that disclosure of the information in the documents "would allow somebody who read them to know exactly how the NSA does what it does, which would in turn allow them to evade that surveillance or replicate it."

    He said the "literally thousands of documents" taken by Snowden constitute "basically the instruction manual for how the NSA is built."

    http://abcnews.go.com/International/...print-19665239
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