Despite ‘Complex Array Of Crises Around The World’ Dem Leader Asserts NDAA ‘A Waste Of Time’

Obama Threatens To Veto Unless IRS Receives More Funding Too

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): “It is simply incomprehensible that as America confronts the most diverse and complex array of crises around the world since the end of World War II, that a president would veto funding for our military to prove a political point.” (Sen. McCain, “Obama Is Wrong To Hold Defense Funding Hostage,” Politico, 6/8/15)

SEN. JACK REED (D-RI): “…we currently face an alarming number of complex and varied national security challenges from many corners of the globe.” (U.S. Senate, Armed Services Committee, 2/26/15)


NDAA: President Obama Threatens Veto, Sen. Reid Calls It ‘A Waste Of Time’

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV) on S.1376, the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act: “I think it really is kind of a waste of time.” (Sen. Reid, Press Conference, 6/2/15)

PRESIDENT OBAMA issues veto threat to S.1376: “First, the President has been very clear about the core principle that … he will not fix defense without fixing non-defense spending.” (Obama Administration Statement Of Administration Policy, S.1376, 6/2/15)


‘We Currently Face An Alarming Number Of Complex And Varied National Security Challenges’

ISIL: ‘If You’re This Far Into Something And You Haven’t Come Up With A “Complete Strategy,” You Have No Strategy’

IRAQ: “The last Iraqi security forces fled Ramadi on Sunday, as the city fell completely to the militants of the Islamic State, who ransacked the provincial military headquarters, seizing a large store of weapons, and killed people loyal to the government, according to security officials and tribal leaders.” (“Key Iraqi City Falls To ISIS As Last of Security Forces Flee,” New York Times, 5/17/15)

  • “In an interview with IJReview, Brett, a 28-year-old Army veteran who’s been serving with a Christian militia, spoke candidly about the lack of strategy by coalition forces in Iraq: ‘If you’re this far into something and you haven’t come up with a “complete strategy,” you have no strategy.’ Calling President Obama’s efforts to combat ISIS ‘discouraging,’ Brett added that the problems in that part of the world have become unnecessarily much larger: ‘Because of [President Obama’s] incompetence, a once small issue has grown relatively stronger in the Middle East, due to his inability.’” (“American Fighting In Christian Militia Against ISIS Reacts To Obama’s No ‘Complete Strategy’ Comment,” IJReview, 6/8/15)


SYRIA: “Islamic State militants swept into the historic desert city of Palmyra in central Syria on Wednesday, and by evening were in control of it, residents and the Syrian state news media said, a victory that gives them another strategically important prize five days after the group seized the Iraqi city of Ramadi.” (“ISIS Fighters Seize Control of Syrian City Of Palmyra, And Ancient Ruins,” New York Times, 5/20/15)

  • “Syrian activists, a U.S. intelligence official and Islamic State all concurred that the group was fully in control of Palmyra, the first time the jihadist group wrested a major city from the government. … Now, their Palmyra takeover opens the way for it to push toward other major regime-held cities. Palmyra is the main city on the highway that cuts through the desert to connect with the government-controlled cities of Homs and the capital Damascus” (“Islamic State Gains New Leverage In Syria,” Wall Street Journal, 5/21/15)

LIBYA: “In Libya, the Islamic State captured a critical power plant along the coastal road westward from its stronghold in Surt toward Misurata, a commercial center whose powerful militias are the backbone of a coalition that controls the capital, Tripoli. The loss was the second significant retreat in less than two weeks by the Misuratan militia, which the provisional government in Tripoli had originally sent to expel the Islamic State from Surt.” (“ISIS Stages Attacks In Iraq And Libya, Despite U.S. Airstrikes,” The New York Times, 6/9/15)

SAUDI ARABIA: “A suicide bomber disguised as a woman blew himself up in the parking lot of a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers, killing four people in the second such attack in as many weeks claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The latest attack and a suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque that killed 21 people last Friday appeared aimed at fanning sectarianism and destabilizing the kingdom.” (“ISIS Claims Responsibility For Attack In Saudi Arabia,” CBS News, 5/31/15)


CHINA: ‘Massive Chinese Military Build-Up’ On ‘Man-Made Islands’

CHINA: “The Chinese navy issued warnings eight times as a U.S. surveillance plane on Wednesday swooped over islands that Beijing is using to extend its zone of influence. The series of man-made islands and the massive Chinese military build-up on them have alarmed the Pentagon, which is carrying out the surveillance flights in order to make clear the U.S. does not recognize China's territorial claims. The militarized islands have also alarmed America's regional allies.” (“China Warns U.S. Surveillance Plane,” CNN, 5/26/15)

  • BURNETT: “You think war's a real risk?” MORELL: “Yes. Yes, absolutely.” MICHAEL MORELL, Former Acting CIA Director: “Here's what's interesting. Right? I saw a study recently of all the times in history when a rising power, in this case China, comes up against a status quo power, in this case the United States. Seventy percent of the times in history, the result has been war. So only 30 percent of the time has it been worked out.” ERIN BURNETT, CNN: “So the odds are for war.” MORELL: “That's the fundamental issue we're talking about here. That's how important this is.” BURNETT: “You think war's a real risk?” MORELL: “Yes. Yes, absolutely.” BURNETT: “War between the United States and China?” MORELL: “Yes” (CNN, 5/20/15)


RUSSIA / UKRAINE: ‘Colossal Threat Of The Resumption Of Large-Scale Hostilities’

“After several months of shaky ceasefire, east Ukraine has seen the first bout of serious fighting since February, with clashes this week leaving up to 21 dead and prompting fears of a resumption of full-blown conflict in the region.” (“Escalation Of Fighting In East Ukraine Leaves Ceasefire Teetering On The Brink,” The Guardian, 6/4/15)

“Speaking in his annual address to parliament in Kiev on Thursday, Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, said there was now a ‘colossal threat of the resumption of large-scale hostilities by Russian and terrorist forces.’ He claimed there were 9,000 Russian troops currently in the rebel-controlled areas of east Ukraine.” (“Escalation Of Fighting In East Ukraine Leaves Ceasefire Teetering On The Brink,” The Guardian, 6/4/15)

“Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, speaking during a visit to a base where American soldiers are training Ukrainian National Guard members, said Russia had violated the Minsk accord by ordering the attack after negotiations foundered. ‘Russia yesterday broke up the trilateral meeting and today gave an order to its terrorists to begin a military operation,’ he said. ‘This is another challenge for the world community.’” (“At Least 19 Killed In Fighting In Eastern Ukraine,” New York Times, 6/3/15)


IRAN: Growing Influence

IRAN: “With only one month left before a deadline to complete a nuclear deal with Iran, international inspectors have reported that Tehran’s stockpile of nuclear fuel increased about 20 percent over the last 18 months of negotiations, partially undercutting the Obama administration’s contention that the Iranian program had been ‘frozen’ during that period.” (“Iran’s Nuclear Stockpile Grows, Complicating Negotiations,” The New York Times, 6/1/15)

IRAQ: “Iranian-allied ­Shiite militias mobilized fighters Monday to try to wrest back the capital of Iraq’s largest province from Islamic State fighters, raising the specter of a major clash that could inflame the country’s sectarian relations. Thousands of militiamen, many of them veterans of the anti-American insurgency a decade ago, are expected to join Iraqi government forces in trying to push Islamic State fighters out of Ramadi.” (“Iran-Aligned Shiite Militias Gather To Join Fight Against Islamic State Gains,” The Washington Post, 5/18/15)

YEMEN: “The last vestiges of Yemen’s government crumbled as Shiite Houthi rebels advanced on Aden. The pro-American president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, had taken refuge there, but the Houthis offered $100,000 for his capture, and local officials said he fled on a boat.” (“Yemen’s Government Collapses After Rebels Offer Bounty For President Hadi,” PBS, 3/25/15)



Related Issues: China, ISIL, America's Military, Iraq, Russia, NDAA, National Security, Iran, Senate Democrats, Syria