Monday, October 20, 2014
Irregular Warfare Alert
News on the Pentagon's irregular warfare and counterterrorism efforts
DefenseAlert - 10/17/2014

America's top general in the campaign against Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria believes enemy units will be "much degraded" over the next eight to 12 months, creating the opportunity for 5,000 U.S.-trained Syrian rebels to make a significant impact when they join the fight next year.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/09/2014

The United States' post-2014 plans for Afghanistan could leave the country's military unprepared to fend off insurgent forces and become reminiscent of Iraq after the U.S. withdrawal, according to a former Defense Department official.

Inside the Navy - 09/22/2014

The Marine Corps' crisis-response unit supporting U.S. Central Command recently held a six-day mission readiness exercise on the West Coast to prepare for its deployment to an area of responsibility, according to a document obtained by Inside the Navy.

DefenseAlert - 09/11/2014

While a plan to resource President Obama's new strategy to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has yet to fully emerge, the Pentagon remains focused on a $500 million request to Congress for the vetting and training of Syrian rebels as the House prepares to pass a stop-gap measure likely to fund the rest of the president's strategy.

DefenseAlert - 09/10/2014

President Obama is shifting the United States onto the offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, pursing a new strategy that includes airstrikes in Syria; increased support for forces on the ground in Iraq; and an effort to train Syrian rebels inside Saudi Arabia, according to senior administration officials.

Inside the Pentagon - 08/28/2014

The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee called on the White House this week to develop a comprehensive strategy to combat the Islamic State of Iraq in Syria in ways that go beyond the fiscal year 2015 budget.

Inside the Pentagon - 08/21/2014

The Pentagon has notified Congress that it intends to transfer millions to the Global Security Contingency Fund to help Ukraine in light of its conflict with Russia, as well as activities to counter Boko Haram in Africa, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told lawmakers in two recent letters.

Inside the Air Force - 08/08/2014

As the Defense Department increases its partnership with militaries in East Africa, the need for mobility units such as the 75th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron has grown as well, the squadron's commander told Inside the Air Force this week.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/31/2014

The special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction has found that Textron Marine and Land Systems has not been able to properly service a $660 million fleet of mobile strike vehicles delivered to Afghan military due to a lack of security for contractors.

Inside the Navy - 07/28/2014

The Marine Corps is in the process of redefining doctrine on its role regarding security cooperation, which includes discussion about the service's role in the foreign internal defense mission, according to a service spokesman.

DefenseAlert - 07/16/2014

Top-ranking Pentagon officials are defending the $58.6 billion overseas contingency operations request against claims from lawmakers that it has become a "slush fund."

Inside the Pentagon - 07/03/2014

U.S. Special Operations Command saw a nearly $100 million increase over last year in the Defense Department's recent overseas contingency operations (OCO) procurement request for fiscal year 2015, and a new counterterrorism program could push more funding SOCOM's way, according to DOD budget documents.

Inside the Pentagon - 06/19/2014

A Senate panel is recommending the extension of a pilot fund designed to carry out overseas security, counterterrorism training and rule of law programs in light of increased tensions in Ukraine.

Inside the Pentagon - 06/19/2014

The Pentagon is creating a new council to help oversee and guide U.S. Special Operations Command and coordinate special operations issues across the department, according to a new report to lawmakers.

DefenseAlert - 06/18/2014

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey told Senate appropriators that the United States has no choice but to fund President Obama's new $5 billion overseas contingency operations request to develop counterterrorism partnerships in Africa because the nation badly needs regional allies to address militant extremism.

Inside the Pentagon - 06/12/2014

As part of an ongoing effort to enhance oversight of U.S. Special Operations Command, House appropriators are increasing funds for the Defense Department's special operations and low-intensity conflict shop to bring in additional staff to help keep an eye on the command's operations.

Inside the Navy - 06/09/2014

The Marine Corps' 2014 Command Element Roadmap reflects a shrinking service that is putting more emphasis on Marine Expeditionary Brigades and the document has been used to inform program objective memorandum 2016.

Inside the Pentagon - 06/05/2014

The Senate Armed Services Committee wants to establish new rapid acquisition deployment procedures for U.S. Special Operations Command, according to the committee's version of the fiscal year 2015 defense authorization bill.

Inside the Pentagon - 06/05/2014

The Senate Armed Services Committee authorized an unrequested $60 million to U.S. Africa Command for increased intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities in support of the U.S. effort to counter the Lord's Resistance Army led by Joseph Kony in Central Africa, according to the committee's version of the fiscal year 2015 defense authorization bill.

Inside the Pentagon - 05/22/2014

Defense officials are defending the creation of new special operations centers, arguing they enable persistent collaboration with partner nations and promote interoperability without overlapping with existing activities.

Inside the Pentagon - 05/01/2014

A House Armed Services subcommittee wants to restrict U.S. Special Operations Command modernization funding until the panel receives more information on the command's intelligence activities.

Inside the Navy - 04/14/2014

The Marine Corps is finalizing plans for two additional special-purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-crisis response units -- one in U.S. Central Command and one in U.S. Southern Command -- that it hopes to set up to offset a lack of available amphibious ships, according to a service official.

Inside the Navy - 04/07/2014

The Marine Corps' newest crisis-response force has extended its host nation agreement by one year so that it can continue to support U.S. Africa Command, a service spokesman told Inside the Navy.

Inside the Navy - 04/07/2014

Standing up two additional Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response units -- one in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility and another in U.S. Southern Command -- is contingent upon the Navy having the funding and manpower necessary to do so, according to a top Marine Corps official.

Inside the Pentagon - 03/20/2014

U.S. Special Operations Command is launching several new programs to improve its aviation capability, with one effort going toward enhancing the command's psychological operations.

Inside the Pentagon - 03/13/2014

The Defense Department is pushing for the continuance of its Regional Defense Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program in a report to Congress, noting that the program has trained more than 25,000 military, police and security officials in the last 11 years.

Inside the Navy - 02/17/2014

A newly formed Marine Security Augmentation Unit can respond to U.S. embassies in turmoil at a moment's notice from its home at Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA, and has performed 10 operational deployments since its inception last July.

Inside the Navy - 02/17/2014

The first commanding officer of the Marine Corps' newest crisis response force returned from the first rotational deployment and said that a lesson learned is that a new end-state must be determined when operating in U.S. Africa Command.

Inside the Navy - 02/17/2014

A forthcoming capstone strategy document from the Marine Corps will lay out the service's return to its roots as a forward and responsive expeditionary force, with an emphasis on advanced basing and smaller rapid response units, according to a draft copy of the document obtained by InsideDefense.com.

Inside the Pentagon - 02/13/2014

Projected funding reductions across the military and the federal government are expected to degrade the readiness of special operations forces even if direct cuts to America's elite formations can be avoided, according to Michael Lumpkin, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict.

Inside the Pentagon - 02/13/2014

Responding to congressional concerns, U.S. Special Operations Command has forgone a plan to increase its footprint in the national capital region, but continues to push for regional special operations forces coordination centers elsewhere in the world, according to the command's leadership.

Inside the Pentagon - 01/30/2014

Recommendations from a 2012 Pentagon study illuminating the mostly painful lessons from a "decade of war" in Iraq and Afghanistan have spawned several new initiatives, but officials are approaching the study's insights through the military's catch-all, force-development mechanism rather than through a discrete initiative, according to a defense official.

Inside the Pentagon - 01/30/2014

Freshman Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) this week criticized what he dubbed the "large-scale outsourcing" of diplomacy from the State Department to the nation's intelligence agencies and the military, saying members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on which he serves, are kept in the dark about government activities in current hot spots.

Inside the Pentagon - 01/23/2014

Army and Marine Corps officials are putting the finishing touches on a revision of the dual-service counterinsurgency field manual that was credited as a major force in shaping the conduct of the Iraq war seven years ago.

Inside the Navy - 01/20/2014

Marine Corps leadership will meet this week to discuss employing a crisis-response force in U.S. Central Command following the drawdown of U.S. military forces in Afghanistan, according to a top service official.

Inside the Navy - 11/18/2013

The Marine Corps is looking to establish a special-purpose, Marine Air-Ground Task Force used for crisis response in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility about a year from now, according to a service spokesman.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/17/2013

U.S. Special Operations Command's current authorities are largely adequate to fulfill its missions, but fiscal constraints will require increased civilian oversight of the organization, according to Michael Lumpkin, nominated to be the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict.

Inside the Army - 10/14/2013

A two-star Army general said he was surprised to be part of a panel of military leaders on Capitol Hill last week to discuss the controversial Air-Sea Battle concept, but made his service's case for its inclusion in the strategy.

Inside the Pentagon - 10/03/2013

The Pentagon, and particularly the Air Force, will continue supporting French military forces in Mali into the fall based on France's requirements for airlift and other services that the European nation cannot entirely cover on its own, according to a Defense Department spokesman.

Inside the Army - 09/30/2013

While details on its future have not yet been publicized, the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization will remain a separate but smaller agency after the war in Afghanistan comes to a close, according to a Sept. 6 memo sent to service leaders by Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

DefenseAlert - 09/06/2013

While the Obama administration insists that any U.S. military strike on Syria would not involve the use of American ground troops, the Defense Department has quietly planned for that possibility, according to a senior defense official.

Inside the Pentagon - 08/29/2013

Data required by the U.S. military to keep track of contractors in Afghanistan is "often incomplete, inaccurate or even nonexistent," endangering American withdrawal plans from the country, according to a previously unreported May memo by the former head of U.S. Central Command's Joint Theater Support Contracting Command.

Inside the Pentagon - 08/29/2013

The Defense Department is looking into creating a separate funding line for a critical counterterrorism authority, known as "Section 1208," and making it permanent, according to defense officials.

Inside the Pentagon - 08/15/2013

Despite concerns from lawmakers, Pentagon officials do not want to modify a training authority for special operations forces, expressing concern that such changes could detrimentally impact the important program.

DefenseAlert - 08/14/2013

Defense Department authority for American support of France's military operations in the north African country of Mali is set to expire at the end of this month, but that mission could be extended pending an official request for continued assistance form the French, according to defense officials.

DefenseAlert - 07/30/2013

Afghan forces are not fielding nearly enough units to counter improvised explosive devices, the leading cause of deaths and injuries to coalition and Afghan troops and civilians in Afghanistan, according to a Pentagon report released today.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/25/2013

With Afghan casualties from improvised explosive devices on the rise, coalition forces are trying to impart to local army and police units vital lessons learned from NATO's decade-old struggle ahead of a drawdown scheduled for next year.

Inside the Pentagon - 07/25/2013

America's best chance of eliminating the threat of terrorism lies in adopting a law-enforcement mindset in hotspots around the world, with U.S. military forces in a mere advisory role, according to the chief of U.S. Special Operations Command, Adm. William McRaven.

Inside the Pentagon - 06/13/2013

Newly proposed legislation in the House of Representatives paints a picture of lawmakers growing increasingly concerned that U.S. Special Operations Command may be overreaching in its attempts to assert a prominent role in the national defense apparatus, according to a congressional source and an Inside the Pentagon analysis of the emerging fiscal year 2014 defense appropriations and authorization bills.

Inside the Pentagon - 06/13/2013

U.S. officials should describe terror attacks in a "nuanced" fashion and avoid rhetoric that could empower al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, a senior Pentagon official said last week.