Will Obama ‘Make History, But Not In A Good Way’?

With Global Crises Spreading, President Obama Threatens To Veto Bipartisan Defense Bill

“American presidents rarely veto national defense authorization bills, since they are, well, vital to national security. …Refusing to sign this bill would make history, but not in a good way. Mr. Obama should let it become law…” (Editorial, “Mr. Obama’s Veto Threat,” The Washington Post, 10/4/15)

  • Q: “On the Hill yesterday, lawmakers reached a compromise on the annual defense authorization bill.” … JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary: “…if the President got this bill he’d veto.” (White House Press Briefing, 9/30/15)


Strong Bipartisan Support For 2016 Defense Authorization Bill

“After months of wrangling, the National Defense Authorization Act conference report is done and in the hands of lawmakers, and is expected to get a vote on the House floor as soon as Thursday. … Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) did sign the report, staffers said.” (“National Defense Authorization Compromise Is Done, But Dems Aren’t Backing It,” Washington Post, 9/29/15)

PREVIOUSLY: “The Senate on Wednesday voted 84-14 to end debate on the bill, known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)…” (“US Defense Bill…” International Business Times, 6/17/15)

The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 passed the House of Representatives 269-151. (H.R.1735, Roll Call Vote #239, Passed 269-151: R 228-8; D 41-143, 5/15/15)

“The House passed the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act Thursday, setting up a veto showdown with the Obama administration. The 270-156 vote comes after the House and Senate Armed Services committees reached agreement on a final conference report earlier this week.” (“House Passes Defense Authorization, Setting Up Veto Showdown,” The Hill, 10/1/15)


Meanwhile: China, Russia, ISIS, & The Taliban Are On The March…

‘Largest Deployment Of Russian Forces Outside The Former Soviet Union Since The Collapse Of The USSR’

“Russia is to deploy 2,000 military personnel to its new air base near the Syrian port city of Latakia, signalling the scale of Moscow’s involvement in the war-torn country. The deployment ‘forms the first phase of the mission there’, according to an adviser on Syria policy in Moscow. … ‘Our main goal is to defend the Syrian state,’ Mr Putin said.” (“Russia To Deploy 2,000 In Syria Air Base Mission’s ‘First Phase,’” Financial Times, 9/21/15)

  • “Russia's military build-up in Syria has grown to include the shipment of a half-dozen highly sophisticated battle tanks -- and more troops -- a defense official told Fox News, in what the source called the ‘first clear sign of offensive weapons arriving in Syria.’ The Pentagon has now tracked a total of 15 Russian Antonov-124 Condor flights into Syria, reflecting a steady stream of military cargo into Syria. According to the latest intelligence, this also includes the arrival of two more Russian cargo ships, containing the tanks. … The defense official, briefed on the latest satellite photos of the Syrian coastline, said: ‘This is the largest deployment of Russian forces outside the former Soviet Union since the collapse of the USSR.’” (“Russia Shipping Tanks Into Syria…” Fox News, 9/14/15)

““Russia is intensifying its airstrikes in Syria... The Russian air force began strikes in Syria on Wednesday. In the past 24 hours, it has carried out 20 flights targeting 10 ISIS positions in Idlib province, the Russian Defense Ministry announced in a statement Sunday.” (“Russia Intensifying Syria Airstrikes,” CNN, 10/4/15)


‘The Offensive To Reclaim Territory From The Islamic State Largely Stalled In Iraq’

“The offensive to reclaim territory from the Islamic State largely stalled in Iraq… The effort, which would begin by increasing pressure on the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa, marks an important shift in an administration strategy that for most of the past year has prioritized defeating the militant group in Iraq and viewed Syria as a place where there were few real prospects for battlefield success.” (“With Fight Against The Islamic State In Iraq Stalled, U.S. Looks To Syria For Gains,” Washington Post, 9/21/15)

“The change is driven partly by frustration with the stalemated fight in Iraq, where an Iraqi army assault on Ramadi has ground to a halt and where a much- anticipated offensive to reclaim Mosul, originally planned for this year, may come only after President Obama leaves office.” (“With Fight Against The Islamic State In Iraq Stalled, U.S. Looks To Syria For Gains,” Washington Post, 9/21/15)

“Even if the U.S.-backed rebels can make gains in Syria, a larger conventional army would be required to push the Islamic State from its strongholds in Iraq and prevent it from returning, U.S. officials said.” (“With Fight Against The Islamic State In Iraq Stalled, U.S. Looks To Syria For Gains,” Washington Post, 9/21/15)


‘The Taliban Have Overrun The Northern Afghan City,’ ‘Held Kunduz For Three Days’

“The Taliban have overrun the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, taking control of most areas and freeing hundreds of prisoners from its jail. Hundreds of militants stormed the city before dawn, quickly seizing key buildings and advancing on the airport. ... Kunduz would be the first provincial capital taken by the Taliban since they lost power in 2001's US-led invasion.” (“Taliban Overrun Afghan City Of Kunduz,” BBC, 9/28/15)

  • “Residents of the northern Afghan city of Kunduz began venturing out of their homes as calm returned to the streets on Monday, officials said, in the first signs of normalcy following the deadly Taliban blitz last week that captured and held Kunduz for three days. But clashes were still underway between government forces and the Taliban along Kunduz's northern, southern and eastern outskirts on Monday, according to Khosh Mohammad, a member of the Kunduz provincial council.” (“Calm Returns To Kunduz, Pressure Mounts On U.S. Over Airstrike,” CBS News, 10/5/15)


‘Latest Demonstration Of How China’s Military Is Rapidly Expanding Its Operations’

“Five Chinese navy ships are currently operating in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska, Pentagon officials said Wednesday, marking the first time the U.S. military has seen Chinese naval activity in the area.” (“Five Chinese Navy Ships Are Operating In Bering Sea Off Alaska,” Wall Street Journal, 9/2/15)



Related Issues: ISIL, Iraq, Syria, Russia, China, National Security, Afghanistan, NDAA