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Obama Moves on Funding for Possible Iraq Action, Considers Air Strikes, Deploys Up to 275 Troops Obama Moves on Funding for Possible Iraq Action, Considers Air Strikes...

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Obama Moves on Funding for Possible Iraq Action, Considers Air Strikes, Deploys Up to 275 Troops

By Jordain Carney (@jordainc)

Welcome to NJ's Early Bird, today's best national security, defense, and foreign policy coverage. To contact us, email


White House Moves on Funding for Possible Iraq Action: Congressional Aides
(Reuters: Patricia Zengerle, Richard Cowan)
The White House is putting together a proposal to shift some money that had been designated for use in Afghanistan for possible military operations in Iraq.

Obama Is Sending 275 U.S. Forces to Iraq for Embassy Security
(USA Today: David Jackson, Jennifer Collins, Gilgamesh Nabeel, Ammar Al Shamary)
President Obama also said the troops are equipped for combat and will remain in Iraq until the security situation becomes such that they are no longer needed.

U.S. and Iran Hold Talks Over Iraq Crisis
(The Guardian: Paul Lewis, Spencer Ackerman, Saeed Kamali Dehghan)
It is the first time the two nations have collaborated over a common security interest in more than a decade.


U.S. Considers Air Strikes on Iraq
(Reuters: Ziad Al-Sanjary, Susan Heavey)
Obama has made U.S. action contingent on Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's taking steps to broaden his Shi'ite-dominated government.


Senate Appropriators Likely to Protect A-10, Potentially Harming CRH
(Defense News: Aaron Mehta)
Keeping the A-10 for even one more year puts other key programs in danger, including the CRH program, which will produce 112 new helicopters to replace the aging H-60 Pave Hawk.

Sen. John McCain Calls for 'Incentive Fee' Contracts for F-35 Program
(The Hill: Ramsey Cox)
The Arizona Republican used the example of the F-35 fighter jet as a prime example for a program run amuck.

Senate Logjam Complicates U.S. Efforts in Iraq
(Associated Press: Bradley Klapper)
Obama announced a new ambassador to Iraq last month, and recently nominated envoys to Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, and Turkey. But the Senate is moving slowly to put the new team in place.


Jim Inhofe: 'We Need Some Airstrikes'
(Politico: Sarah Smith)
Sen. Jim Inhofe, the ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, called for airstrikes on Iraq in response to the country's deteriorating situation.

Wait, John McCain and Lindsey Graham Are at Odds? Yes—on Iran and Iraq
(The Washington Post: Sean Sullivan)
Pick your favorite foreign policy debate and odds the two will be on the same side. Not so when it comes to the escalating situation in Iraq.

Foreign Affairs Chairman: 'We've Waited Too Long'
(The Hill: Rebecca Shabad)
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said the United States could have attacked the Sunni militant group taking over parts of Iraq four months ago.

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Bill Would Expand Military Sexual-Assault Legal Services
(The Hill: Cristina Marcos)
Rep. John Kline introduced a measure to expand the ability for members of the National Guard and Reserve to access special victims counsel services if they are sexually assaulted.


U.S. Doesn't Know Who to Hit in Iraq
(The Daily Beast: Eli Lake, Kimberly Dozier)
The U.S. military has the capability to conduct air strikes over Iraq within hours. The problem is they don't know exactly whom they are supposed to be targeting.

Pentagon: No Joint Military Acts With Iran in Iraq
(Associated Press: Lolita Baldor)
While there may be discussions between U.S. and Iranian officials in Vienna about security in the region, it will not include any military coordination.

Iraqi Officials Say Helicopter Shot Down
(Associated Press: Qassim Abdul-Zahra, Sameer Yacoub)
They said the helicopter's two-man crew was killed when their aircraft was shot down near the city of Fallujah in Anbar province.

DOD Has Wide Array of Iraq Options
(Politico: Philip Ewing)
Having options to deliver "effects," as American commanders like to say, has never been the most difficult problem for the military in the latter-day Middle East.

State Department's Aircraft Fleet in Spotlight as Iraq Violence Flares
(The Washington Post: Dan Lamothe)
The State Department has long retained the ability to get around Iraq using a private fleet of aircraft that includes UH-1 utility helicopters and DHC-8 planes.

U.N. Pulls Some Staff From Baghdad as Iraqi Forces Attack Militants
(Los Angeles Times: Nabih Bulos, Laura King)
Iraq's pro-government forces launch a counteroffensive in hopes of retaking town from Islamic militants.

Who Are the Key Players in the Iraq Crisis?
(USA Today: Jim Michaels)
As Iraq edges toward civil war, here's a look at the key players and groups in the crisis.


A U.S.-Iran Alliance on Iraq Is a Tricky Issue
(CBS News: Rebecca Kaplan)
Neither the U.S. nor Iran wants to see the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria continue to gain a foothold in the Middle East.

Iran and Six Powers Seek to Recover Momentum for Nuclear Deal
(Reuters: Louis Charbonneau, Parisa Hafezi)
Iran and six world powers will try in talks in Vienna this week to narrow differences and keep alive hopes of ending a decade-old nuclear dispute by late July.

Official: Iran Talks Enter 'Critical' Week With Parties Far Apart
(Los Angeles Times: Paul Richter)
U.S. official says Iran nuclear talks are entering "critical" week after months with little progress.


General: U.S. Hikes Surveillance on Pakistan Border
(Associated Press: Lolita Baldor)
Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford said officials have increased the amount of intelligence-sharing with the Afghans.

Abdullah Campaign Alleges Widespread Election Fraud and Points at Karzai
(The New York Times: Matthew Rosenberg, Azam Ahmed)
The aim, in the estimation of the Abdullah campaign, was either to install Ashraf Ghani, the other candidate for president, or to see Karzai use a postelection crisis to extend his own term in office.

In Drive Against Taliban, Pakistani Airstrikes Hit Strongholds
(The New York Times: Declan Walsh, Salman Masood)
The military has said little else about the scope of the operation, except to note that artillery and ground troops will also be used.


South Korea, U.S. Hold Talks on Wartime Command
(Agence France-Presse)
It was the first in a series of monthly discussions aimed at agreeing on a transfer schedule that can be announced in October at their annual security summit in Washington.

China Plants Islands in Disputed Waters to Bolster Its Claims
(The New York Times: Edward Wong, Jonathan Ansfield)
China is moving sand onto reefs and shoals to add new islands to the contested Spratly archipelago, alarming Vietnam, the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations.


Ukrainian President to Unveil Peace Plan
(The Wall Street Journal: Lukas Alpert)
Ukraine's President said he would unveil a detailed peace plan in the coming days to end fighting with separatists in the east.

Ukrainian Forces, Rebels Clash Near Russian Border
(Reuters: Pavel Polityuk)
The border guard service said separatist fighters had fired mortar bombs on government forces and border guards during the night near the city of Luhansk.

Ukraine Proposes Peace With Separatists
(The Washington Post: Carol Morello)
Poroshenko said that a cease-fire would be the first step toward resolving the conflict that has raged in the east since April.

U.S. Military Aircraft to Make Historic Stop at Former Soviet Air Base
(Stars and Stripes)
Three C-130Js are scheduled to arrive at Lielvarde Air Base, Latvia, making them the first U.S. Air Force aircraft to land at the newly renovated installation.


The Pentagon Is Trying to Make the Internet More Anonymous
(The Verge: Adrianne Jeffries)
And the NSA may not be happy about it.

On the Front Lines in the Pentagon Press Room as War Returns to Iraq
(McClatchy: James Rosen)
Thousands of miles away from the actual fighting in Iraq, the Pentagon briefing room was under siege.

Services Could Pose Challenge to Acquisition Reform
(Politico: Leigh Munsil)
More than half of the Defense Department's procurement budget isn't spent on weapons — it pays for services.


O-6 Named to Command Troubled Cruiser
(Navy Times: Mark Faram)
The Navy has chosen the next skipper of the San Diego-based cruiser Cowpens, a selection that came in the days following the high-profile relief of its skipper for performance problems.

Reserve H-60 Squadron to Upgrade in 2015
(Seapower Magazine: Richard Burgess)
The Navy's only Reserve SH-60B Seahawk helicopter squadron is scheduled to be equipped with new MH-60R versions next year.

Fading Solid Fuel Engine Biz Threatens Navy's Trident Missile
(Breaking Defense: Sydney Freedberg Jr.)
The worst part is that the solid fuel rocket engine business is an industry that will live or die not on the military's own decisions, but on NASA's.

Navy Revisits CANES Installations for New Ships Due to XP Obsolescence
(Inside Defense)
The Navy is revisiting a plan to install the service's new tactical afloat network on its newer surface vessels due to security concerns surrounding Microsoft's switch to Windows 7.0.


About 4,000 Airmen to Be Spared Involuntary Separation
(Stars and Stripes: Jennifer Svan)
The Air Force will spare more airmen from involuntary separation in part to bolster the service's nuclear missile corps.

Nichols to Take Over as New CAFB Commander
(Associated Press)
Nichols will succeed Col. Jim Sears, who has been wing commander since July 2012.


Army Lt. Col. Sentenced to Jail for Money Laundering
(Air Force Times: Karen Jowers)
An Army Reserve lieutenant colonel pleaded guilty to charges in connection with pocketing more than $9 million from a contract to train Afghan troops.


Marine to Receive Nation's Highest Honor
(The Clarion-Ledger: Billy Watkins)
Carpenter will become the third Mississippian to receive the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. military distinction.


F-35 Program Office Predicting Slight Drop in F-35 Concurrency Costs
(Inside Defense)
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's concurrency cost estimates have dropped slightly since 2013, from $1.7 billion to $1.6 billion.

Boeing-Lockheed Venture Eyes Alternate Rocket Engine by 2019
(Reuters: Andrea Shalal)
United Launch Alliance said it would choose one of the companies to develop a new engine by the fourth quarter, which would enable initial launches by 2019.


VA's Global-Warming Tweet Draws Anger, Confusion
(The Hill: Kristina Wong)
The VA tweeted about how the world's oceans are under threat from overfishing, pollution, and even climate change.

Military Support Groups Worry Veterans Could Overtax MTFs
(Navy Times: Patricia Kime)
A provision in the Senate's veterans health access bill that would allow some vets to be seen at military hospitals is raising concerns among military advocacy groups.

Lack of Kin Delays Vet's Burial for Months
(Associated Press)
A service is scheduled today for a U.S. Navy veteran whose body lay in a hospital morgue for six months.

Veterans Advocate Steve Robinson Dies
(USA Today: Kelly Kennedy)
Steve Robinson, a former Army Ranger and veterans advocate who pushed for benefits for veterans dealing with the aftermath of combat, died at the age of 51.


Guantánamo Bay Tribunal to Hear Arguments Over Suspected FBI Probe
The Guantanamo Bay military commission is weighing a defense motion whether to abate or modify proceedings against the five inmates.

Guantánamo Detainees' Lawyers Seek Further Delays
(The New York Times: Charlie Savage)
The lawyers said that until they knew more about scrutiny of defense teams by the F.B.I., they could not know whether they had a conflict of interest and needed to step aside.

Tampering Taints 9/11 Suspect's Defense, Lawyers Say
(USA Today: Tom Vanden Brook)
The lead lawyer for alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had said that he might have to drop out of the case because of government tampering with the defense.

Force-Feeding Videos Got Special Flight From Gitmo
(Politico: Josh Gerstein)
The on-demand flight was arranged to try to meet a federal judge's order that copies of the videos be made available to lawyers for Dhia.


Al Shabab Claims Responsibility for Kenyan Attack That Killed Dozens
(Los Angeles Times: Robyn Dixon)
Terror group Al Shabab warns foreign tourists to stay away from Kenya "or suffer the bitter consequences."

Marines Train for Africa Deployment
(The Jacksonville Daily News: Jannette Pippin)
Camp Lejeune Marines got a taste this week of working with other countries before ever stepping foot in the African nations where they will soon deploy.


Building an Inclusive Iraq
(The Washington Post)
The U.S. can't abandon its goals in a crucial Mideast country.

Why Iraq War III Is Headed Into a Long, Bloody Stalemate
(War Is Boring: Robert Beckhusen)
This war could persist for years.

Wider War
(The New Yorker: Dexter Filkins)
The border between Iraq and Syria may have effectively disappeared, but the dynamics driving the civil wars in those nations are not identical.

The War on Terror Is Over—Long Live the War on Terror
(Time: Massimo Calabresi)
Just last month, Obama was making progress in rolling back extraordinary post-9/11 presidential powers. That was then.

False Dilemmas in the Iran Talks
(The National Interest: Ali Vaez)
If both sides don't abandon some of their maximalist positions, the present opportunity could turn out to be a mirage.

The Limits of Signals Intelligence
(The Atlantic: Conor Friedersdorf)
The outbreak of violence in Iraq is a good reason to think carefully about the NSA, not an excuse to ignore critics' warnings.

Benghazi Will Not Ruin Hillary Clinton's Chances of Becoming President, Security Insiders Say
(National Journal: Sara Sorcher)
Experts also say the Bergdahl prisoner exchange will have no impact on the terrorist threat.

Get Real on Cantor's Defeat and Defense: A Setback, Not Doomsday
(War on the Rocks: Dustin Walker)
Those who say a sequestration deal is now dead should explain when they thought it was alive.

What Dunford Faces if He's Confirmed
(Marine Corps Times: Paul McLeary)
Dunford will be forced to strike a not-so-delicate balance between an expanded post-Afghanistan operational tempo and the equipping and modernization needs of a force in motion.

CORRECTION: In the June 16, 2014, edition of Early Bird, the article "Will Sgt. Bergdahl Stay in the Army?" was attributed to the incorrect writer at Defense One. It was written by Molly O'Toole. 

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