• Senators call for 20k troops in Syria and Iraq

    Two senior U.S. senators called on Sunday for Washington to nearly triple military force levels in Iraq to 10,000 and send an equal number of troops to Syria as part of a multinational ground force to counter Islamic State in both countries. Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham criticized President Barack Obama’s incremental Islamic State strategy, which relies on air strikes and modest support to local ground forces in Iraq and Syria, and said the need for greater U.S. involvement was underlined by this month’s Paris attacks. – Reuters

  • Update on the ATF’s Fast and Furious Program

    Documents obtained by CBS News show that the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discussed using their covert operation “Fast and Furious” to argue for controversial new rules about gun sales. In Fast and Furious, ATF secretly encouraged gun dealers to sell to suspected traffickers for Mexican drug cartels to go after the “big fish.” But ATF whistleblowers told CBS News and Congress it was a dangerous practice called “gunwalking,” and it put thousands of weapons on the street. Many were used in violent crimes in Mexico. Two were found at the murder scene of a U.S. Border Patrol agent. – CBS News

  • Russia reacts to the downing of one of their aircraft on the Turkish/Syrian border

    Syrian Turkmens reappeared in the Syrian Civil War during the shootdown of a Russian warplane Nov. 24. Russia had been bombing cities, towns, and villages along the Syrian-Turkish border, many inhabited by Turkmen. When the Turkish air force downed a Russian Su-24 warplane after it passed through Turkish territory, the pilot — Col. Oleg Peshkov — and the weapon systems officer ejected over Turkmen fighters, who shot Peshkov dead before he landed. – War is Boring

  • Did the war in Iraq lead to the creation of ISIS?

    Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, former U.S. special forces commander in Iraq and Afghanistan who was the country’s highest ranking military intelligence official, says that the George W. Bush administration’s Iraq war was a tremendous blunder that helped to create the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS. “It was a huge error,” Flynn said about the Iraq war in a detailed interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel published Sunday. “As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him,” Flynn went on to say. “The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision.” – Huffington Post

  • UAE getting into the ISIS racket…this time on the other side

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The United Arab Emirates has said it is ready to commit ground troops against jihadists in Syria and described Russian airstrikes in the country as attacks on a “common enemy.” Quoted by the official WAM news agency on Monday, Emirati State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said the UAE would “participate in any international effort demanding a ground intervention to fight terrorism.” “Regional countries must bear part of the burden” of such an intervention, he said during a Sunday discussion on Syria. The UAE is a member of the US-led coalition carrying out air strikes against the jihadist Islamic State group in territory under its control in Syria and Iraq. – Defense News

[Featured image: U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) (C) speaks with a reporter after the weekly Republican caucus luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, September 29, 2015. REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST]