FROM Gordon Lubold
White House sets rules for military transgender ban Last month, President Trump unexpectedly tweeted that "the United States government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military." That blindsided Pentagon officials, who declined to implement the ban until they received more specific guidance from the White House itself. Now it appears that guidance is forthcoming, as we hear from Gordon Lubold, who covers the Pentagon for the Wall Street Journal .
CIA back in charge of targeted killing business President Trump has granted the CIA authority to conduct lethal drone strikes once again, rolling back limits President Obama imposed on the agency's paramilitary operations. Gordon Lubold, who’s reporting the story for the Wall Street Journal , says the changes re-open the turf war between the CIA and Pentagon.
The defeat of ISIS: Not if… but when This week, the Pentagon gave President Trump its best-laid plans to accomplish his campaign promise to accelerate the crushing of ISIS. The Obama Administration already had ISIS on the run, and destruction of the "caliphate" is thought to be inevitable. What would it cost the US to speed up the process? Arming the Kurds could mean trouble with Turkey. Syria’s civil war might continue. US casualties might be unacceptable to the American public. We find out what options the President is likely to be considering and the consequences of going too far, too fast for political reasons.
Muslim Marine recruit commits suicide during training The Marine Corps is conducting no less than three investigations of hazing, physical abuse, assault and failure of supervision at Parris Island — all in the aftermath of a suicide. The recruit involved was Raheel Siddiqui, a Muslim and a high-school valedictorian, who was recruited on his college campus. We hear more about the investigation from Gordon Lubold, who is one of those reporting the story for the Wall Street Journal .
US Launches air offensive against ISIS in Libya The US has launched airstrikes at a stronghold of the Islamic State in Libya. It's a significant expansion of America's campaign against ISIS. The Pentagon says Libya's "unity government" requested the action. Gordon Lubold, who reports on the Pentagon for the Wall Street Journal , has details.
US Airstrikes Target ISIS in Libya Today American warplanes struck an Islamic State training camp in Libya, reportedly in an attempt to target a senior operative from Tunisia based there. Libyan officials claim at least 40 people were killed in the airstrikes, but as of yet it's not confirmed if the operative is among the dead. Until now the US has mostly concentrated the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, but Libya has emerged as the third stronghold for the extremist group. Gordon Lubold, Pentagon reporter for the Wall Street Journal , has the story.
NATO Returns to Its Original Mission: Countering Moscow After the fall of the Soviet Union, the NATO alliance became a world police force. Now, Vladimir Putin’s Russia has re-focused attention back to protection of Eastern Europe. On Tuesday, the US announced it will send tanks, armored personnel carriers and other heavy equipment into Eastern Europe. Yesterday, in Brussels, the NATO alliance accelerated its mobile rapid response by beefing up forces with 40,000 soldiers. It’s the first such buildup since the fall of the Soviet Union. OSCE SMM monitoring the movement of heavy weaponry in eastern Ukraine
'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Isn't Dead Yet The Pentagon's top brass and civilian leaders asked the Senate today for an end to "Don't Ask Don't Tell," saying it requires soldiers to lie about their identity. A ten-month study showed more than two-thirds of 115,000 active-duty troops and their families don't care if gays and lesbians openly serve, though 58% of combat soldiers do. Republican John McCain said that called for more study, but Defense Secretary Gates warned of sudden disruption if the courts act before Congress. We hear from soldiers with different points of view and look at the prospects in the lame-duck session.
Obama Says Combat Mission in Iraq is Ending President Obama told an audience of disabled veterans today that he's increased veterans' benefits and made them easier to obtain. He also emphasized a political message about his campaign promise to end the war in Iraq, that of a "transition to full Iraqi responsibility" by August 31, 2010, "as promised and on schedule." Gordon Lubold is a reporter for Politico .
Iraq: That 'Other' War As the US prepares to send 30,000 or more troops to Afghanistan, Iraq has seen a dramatic decrease in violence. But politics is another matter. Today, Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi was given a few more days to approve or veto a new election law that is crucial to the benchmarks established for US withdrawal.
Iraq: That 'Other' War As the US prepares to send 30,000 or more troops to Afghanistan, Iraq has seen a dramatic decrease in violence, less today than at any time since the US-led invasion of 2003. All 120,000 American troops are out of the cities, replaced by Iraqi forces. Complete US withdrawal is supposed to be paved by elections early next year, but powerful ethnic differences — all too familiar -- have caused it to be delayed. Today, Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi was given a few more days to approve or veto a new election law that is crucial to the benchmarks established for withdrawal. Could the inability to form a stable government mean a return of violence? Would American troops be pressed back into action? What would that mean for President Obama's plan to increase forces in Afghanistan?
Hamid Karzai Declared Afghan President Again With Abdullah Abdullah out of the run-off election, Hamid Karzai has been declared re-elected as President of Afghanistan. In Kabul, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has offered congratulations , at the same time saying it's now up to Karzai to demonstrate his government's credibility to the international community and to his own people.
Hamid Karzai Declared Afghan President Again With Abdullah Abdullah out of the run-off election, Hamid Karzai has been declared re-elected as President of Afghanistan. In Kabul, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has offered congratulations , at the same time saying it's now up to Karzai to demonstrate his government's credibility to the international community and to his own people. How will the results influence the Obama Administration, which has been waiting to establish a "credible partner" in Afghanistan, before deciding whether to send more troops?
Banner Year for Military Recruitment In recent years, a lack of recruits has forced the Army to lower its standards, accepting more high school dropouts and even people with felony records. The Army and the Marines are stretched thin by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and new recruits are almost certain to go to war. But this year, for the first time since the draft was replaced by the volunteer military in 1973, recruiting targets are being met in number and quality – and them some. Gordon Lubold reports on the Pentagon for the Christian Science Monitor.
Decision on Iraq Troop Withdrawal Expected This Week An announcement on troop withdrawal from Iraq in 19 months may come on Friday. That's from Vice President Joe Biden talking to Matt Lauer on NBC's Today show. Gordon Lubold is Pentagon Correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor .
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?