Democrats Prioritize Politics Over Security

‘[E]very Hour Seemingly Brings More Evidence Of Our Troubled World,’ But Democrats In Congress Are Still Stalling Critical Defense Authorization And Appropriations Bills


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[E]very hour seemingly brings more evidence of our troubled world. But, just as with the trade agreements, critical legislation in this area is currently frozen in place. Another casualty of Democrats’ apparent inability to make headway on anything besides fighting with the White House. For the second time in two months, Senate Democrats recently voted once again to filibuster the annual funding for our armed forces, for our men and women in uniform. And while Senate Democrats block appropriations for defense, House Democrats are slow-walking the authorizing legislation, the NDAA…. These are among our most basic governing responsibilities: Passing an NDAA. Funding our armed forces. The United States of America cannot operate at less than full strength on the world stage because Democrats are too busy impeaching the commander-in-chief.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 11/12/2019)


Funding For Our Troops And Updated Defense Policy Languish While Democrats Pursue Their Partisan Political Priorities

“In a floor speech, Sen. Jim Inhofe reiterated that time is running short for negotiators to reach a deal on the fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act…. Inhofe dinged the House impeachment inquiry, arguing Democrats are placing partisan aims over national security.” (“Impeachment Would Imperil Defense Bill, Inhofe Warns,” Politico, 11/06/2019)

  • SEN. JIM INHOFE (R-OK), Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman: “It concerns me to see [House Democrats] prioritizing their misguided attempts to undo the results of the 2016 election through impeachment instead of taking care of our troops with the NDAA…. If we can’t get our defense authorizations free [from] the partisan gridlock, what kind of a message does that send Americans who rely on our troops for protection.” (“Impeachment Would Imperil Defense Bill, Inhofe Warns,” Politico, 11/06/2019)

“Congress still needs to pass each of the 12 fiscal 2020 appropriations bills after using a stopgap continuing resolution to fund the government until Nov. 21.” (“Congress Hunts For Path Out Of Spending Stalemate,” The Hill, 11/11/2019)

  • “The Senate has passed a package of four appropriations bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. But Democrats blocked a second package that included a mammoth defense bill. House Democrats have also indicated they won’t go to conference to negotiate a final deal on the four-bill package until they’ve reached an agreement on fiscal 2020 funding in its totality.” (“Congress Hunts For Path Out Of Spending Stalemate,” The Hill, 11/11/2019)
  • “[T]he Senate couldn’t even get past the first procedural hurdle to begin debate on a package to fund the Pentagon and the departments of Education, Health and Human Services, State, Energy and Labor…. Senate Democrats overwhelmingly objected to starting debate …” (Politico Pro, 10/31/2019)


Troubled World: Rocket Attacks On Israel, Iran Enriching Uranium, China Cracks Down On Hong Kong Protesters, Russia Builds Bases To Pressure NATO


“Israeli security forces killed a senior leader of the militant Palestinian group Islamic Jihad in a targeted airstrike in the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, sparking a rain of retaliatory rocket fire from the enclave and raising fears of escalating reprisals. Warning sirens sounded in multiple Israeli population centers, including Tel Aviv, sending thousands to shelters as rockets struck highways, buildings and vehicles. Schools, work places and public transport were closed in large areas of south and central Israel. More than 150 rockets were launched, according to Israeli media. At least 60 of the projectiles were intercepted, but at least one residence and an office were hit.” (“Israel Kills A Senior Leader Of Palestinian Islamic Jihad In Gaza Airstrike,” The Washington Post, 11/12/2019)


“Uranium particles of man-made origin have been discovered at a site in Iran not declared to the United Nations, the U.N. atomic watchdog agency said Monday as it confirmed a litany of violations by Tehran of the 2015 nuclear deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran has begun enriching uranium at a heavily fortified installation inside a mountain, is increasing its stockpile of processed uranium, and is exceeding the allowable enrichment levels. All such steps are prohibited under the agreement Iran reached with world powers to prevent it from building a bomb.” (“UN Reports Increasing Violations Of Iran Nuclear Deal,” The Associated Press, 11/11/2019)


“More than 300 Iraqis have been killed and more than 15,000 wounded by Iraqi and Iranian-backed security forces during protests that began last month in Baghdad. The demonstrations have since spread to provinces in the south of the country.” (“Pompeo Condemns ‘Deplorable’ Killings Of Iraqi Protesters,” The Hill, 11/12/2019)

  • “Demonstrators accuse Iran and Iran-backed politicians of controlling Iraq and harming the country’s interests. Iran has strong links to Iraqi security and intelligence forces, and even perceived insults have led to threats…. Previous protests in central Iraq were Sunni-led, railing against sectarian policies by the Shiite-led government. But in the current protests in Baghdad and the south, demonstrators are largely Shiite — and most reject sectarian divides, saying the important thing is that Iraq is governed by and for Iraqis. The protesters even include active-duty soldiers or fighters with Iran-backed paramilitaries.” (“‘They Have Stolen Everything From Us’: Iraq’s Anti-Government Protests Continue,” NPR, 11/05/2019)


“ISIS fighters in Afghanistan number in the thousands while maintaining the ability to launch deadly high profile attacks across the country. A recent UN report said ISIS terrorists in Afghanistan numbered between 2,500 and 4,000 fighters. A 2019 DoD report on Afghanistan estimates the size of the terrorist group to be less than 2,000 fighters. ISIS’ staying power marches on in the mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan despite major territorial losses in 2018, and immense pressure from sustained operations by Afghan and U.S. forces. Its power and resurgence has ebbed and flowed with its ability to easily move weapons and supplies through Pakistan.” (“ISIS In Afghanistan Is Still Able To Field Thousands Of Fighters Despite Hellacious Fight To Destroy It,” Military Times, 10/04/2019)

“At least 17 people were killed on Wednesday when militants said to be members of the Islamic State attacked a checkpoint on the Tajikistan-Uzbekistan border, the Tajik authorities said. The attack points to the resilience of the Islamic State and its longstanding aim to spread further into Central Asia from its enclave in Afghanistan…. Fifteen assailants were killed in the gun battle in Tajikistan, as were a Tajik border guard and an employee of the country’s Interior Ministry…. [T]he fighters’ spreading from southeastern Afghanistan and eventually into Tajikistan highlights what could be described as the slow but steady growth of the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan, known as Islamic State Khorasan.” (“ISIS Fighters Attack Outpost in Tajikistan,” The New York Times, 11/06/2019)


“A university campus turned into a combat zone of police tear gas and pro-democracy protesters hurling bricks and firebombs Tuesday amid a dramatic surge of violence across Hong Kong that could threaten local elections later this month. The skirmishes at the Chinese University of Hong Kong — among the fiercest clashes since demonstrations began in June — came amid a marathon string of street marches and confrontations that have paralyzed parts of the former British colony. The clashes escalated this week after police shot and wounded a 21-year-old protester Monday.” (“In Protest-Wracked Hong Kong, Doubts Over Election Loom As New Flash Point,” The Washington Post, 11/12/2019)

“Seven Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers were either arrested or received notice of pending arrest in an action criticized as a government clampdown on the opposition ahead of local elections scheduled later this month. Lawmakers Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, Raymond Chan Chi-chuen and Au Nok-hin were charged for breaching the Legislative Council Ordinance, Hong Kong police said on Saturday…. Four other pro-democracy lawmakers, who received summons to turn up at police stations Saturday, could also face arrest for charges relating to the same scuffles that broke out at the Legislative Council meeting on May 11…. The arrests also come weeks before local elections are scheduled to be held on Nov. 24. Pro-democracy candidates are challenging establishment members for a large number of seats in the district-council elections, hoping that widespread antigovernment sentiment will deliver big gains. Some of the seven lawmakers, including Mr. Chu, are running in these elections, while the parties of the others are fielding candidates. Pro-democracy lawmakers accused the government of orchestrating the arrests to try to create fear and chaos, so as to postpone the elections.” (“Hong Kong Arrests Pro-Democracy Lawmakers Ahead of Local Elections,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/09/2019)


“One of Russia’s biggest helicopters landed on a tiny island between Finland and Estonia this summer and disgorged materials and engineers who quickly threw up a helicopter base for the Russian military. The construction on Gogland, in the Gulf of Finland, adds a new military launchpad in a region that could be front line in any conflict between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Both sides have built up their forces there in recent years, with tensions at their highest since the end of the Cold War. Sitting between a NATO country and a Nordic ally, the base doesn’t add much military might. But its construction appears to be in line with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to keep his neighbors on edge. The five new helicopter pads on Gogland put the capitals of Estonia and Finland within minutes’ flying time and let Moscow keep close watch on military moves near its second-biggest city, St. Petersburg. The base, built to serve all types of Russia’s transport and military helicopters, allows Mr. Putin to maintain psychological pressure on its neighbors …” (“On a Rocky Island, Russia Seeks Military and Psychological Edge,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/11/2019)



Related Issues: NDAA, China, ISIL, Afghanistan, War on Terror, Iran, National Security, America's Military, Russia, Iraq, Appropriations