The request came after the United States alleged that Assad had used chemical weapons against civilians. That effort sputtered following British opposition to air strikes and a deep lack of support among U.S. politicians. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon news conference on Thursday that the Pentagon would examine whether additional funds were needed for operations in Iraq in the new fiscal year that begins on Oct. 1.
Obama to Consider Airstrikes in Syria visit website Against Terror Group – Yahoo Finance
But others say such fears are overstated and insist that the US could take steps that deal heavy blows to IS without getting bogged down in Syria. I think what Dempsey was saying is that you want to get their leadership, and if you want to decapitate these guys, their main headquarters are in Syria, so eventually youd have to hit them there, says Lawrence Korb, a former Pentagon official now at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington. If you had good intel on [the leadership], youd go after them tomorrow, he adds, but thats no more mission creep than going in and trying to rescue James Foley was. Pentagon officials revealed after release of the video showing Mr. Foleys murder that a rescue attempt of him and other kidnapped Americans was made earlier this summer. No captives were found at the site where Special Forces landed. The back-to-back official comments on the strategy for taking on IS suggests that debate is ongoing among administration policymakers, analysts say, and that the president is likely to lay out his thinking and how he plans to use what Dempsey calls a variety of instruments at some point soon.
Obama orders review of giving local police military gear – CBS News
A report by the American Civil Liberties Union in June said police agencies had become “excessively militarized,” with officers using training and equipment designed for the battlefield on city streets. The report found the amount of goods transferred through the military surplus program rose in value from $1 million in 1990 to nearly $450 million in 2013. “Every police force of any size in this country has access to those kinds of weapons now,” said David Harris, a police expert at the University of Pittsburgh law school. “It makes it more likely to be used (and) is an escalation all by itself.” In Louisiana, masked police in full body armor carrying AR-15 assault rifles raided a nightclub without a warrant, looking not for terrorists but underage drinkers and fire-code violations. Officers in California train using the same counterinsurgency tactics as those used in Afghanistan.
Obama again faces tug of military action in Syria following militants’ murder of American | Star Tribune
Unlike in Iraq, the battle lines are more clearly drawn. Syria has a host of military players in close proximity to each other, including the Islamic State, the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, mainstream Western-backed rebels and pro-government forces. The Islamic State is among the groups fighting Assad, meaning a U.S. campaign to weaken the extremists could actually strengthen a leader the White House has sought to push from office. Obama could try to counteract that uncomfortable dynamic by also taking strikes against Assad, though that could put the U.S. on the hook for the kind of long-term commitment to rebuilding Syria that he has tried to avoid.
Obama officials talk of ‘defeating’ Islamic State, but what steps will US take? (+video) – CSMonitor.com
as Travelers Get Busted The Islamic State, also known by acronyms such as ISIL, released a video on Aug. 19 of journalist James Foley’s beheading, and declared in an Internet posting that he was executed because of U.S. airstrikes against the group in Iraq that began earlier this month. It wasn’t clear when Foley was killed. U.S.