Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 2:13 pm
President Obama reiterated that he will not commit U.S. troops to fight another ground war in Iraq, adding that U.S. airstrikes, combined with expertise, would be more effective in defeating the group that calls itself the Islamic State.
"As your commander in chief, I will not commit you and the rest of our armed forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq," Obama said at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.
Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:01 pm
The United States has begun its first-ever airstrikes in direct support of Iraqi ground forces, in the opening move of what could be a protracted fight against so-called Islamic State militants in the region.
NPR's Tom Bowman, on Morning Edition, says the airstrikes, south of Baghdad, targeted an Islamic State position after Iraqi soldiers fighting them requested the assistance.
Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 9:43 am
President Obama on Monday awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military honor, to two soldiers who served in Vietnam: Army Command Sgt. Maj. Bennie Adkins, who survived a harrowing battle and 18 body wounds; and Army Spc. 4 Donald P. Sloat, whose dying act saved his fellow soldiers.
In January 1970, President Obama said Monday, Sloat was on patrol with his squad in Vietnam.
Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 12:44 pm
World leaders and diplomats from more than 20 countries have gathered in Paris to discuss strategies for defeating the Islamic State insurgency, with France's president urging that there's "no time to lose" and Iraq's new president insisting that extremists must be pursued to their sanctuaries in neighboring Syria.
"The Iraqis' fight against terrorists is also ours," French President Francois Hollande said. "There is no time to lose."
Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 3:47 pm
President Obama arguably won the Democratic primary in 2008 because of his strong opposition to the Iraq war. Now he's arguing he doesn't need congressional approval to ramp up a bombing campaign in Iraq and expand air strikes into Syria.
Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:06 pm
In an interview with NPR, President Obama's national security adviser Susan Rice says the United States will not be drawn into a ground war in Iraq and Syria, even if local forces are ineffective at holding gains made against the group calling itself the Islamic State.
Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 3:28 pm
Franklin Delano Roosevelt delivered his most resonant and famous line during his presidential inauguration speech of 1933: "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief, that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." It was resonant because he was being defiant, and optimistic, in the face of the Great Depression — and it was famous because it was broadcast live, to the entire nation, on the relatively new medium of radio.
The JFK assassination is like the Maine coastline: craggy, uneven, full of serration, points, inlands, islands, amenable to endless exploration and quickly obscured by sudden fogs. There are so many side trips and any one of them is a potential life's work.
Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 1:43 pm
President Obama previewed his plan for dealing with the Islamic State by comparing it to counterterrorism operations in recent years and said it would not be an invasion akin to the ground war in Iraq.
As he prepares to lay out the details in a speech to the nation Wednesday night, several key factors are likely to determine the success or failure of any military mission.
Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 7:41 pm
Republicans are increasingly confident that when this year's midterm elections are over, they will control both houses of Congress. But in this period of polarization and gridlock, what difference would it make?
This midterm election doesn't seem to be about anything in particular other than whether you like President Obama or not. There's no overarching issue, no clashing national agendas. Instead, it's just a series of very expensive, brutally negative races for Congress.
Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 2:57 pm
The top four congressional leaders will be at the White House today to talk to President Obama about U.S. military action against the group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS. This comes just one day before Obama will address the nation and lay out his strategy for dealing with the extremist group.
The president says he wants congressional buy in, but "buy in" can mean a lot of things.
Originally published on Sat September 6, 2014 12:43 pm
During a press conference to mark the end of a two-day meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Wales, President Obama said he found "conviction" among U.S. friends and allies that the international community must "degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State.
Obama said the militant Sunni group cannot be contained because it is already causing so much damage.
Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 11:11 am
(This post was last updated at 8:04 a.m. ET.)
On the second and final day of their meeting in Wales, members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization are expected to announce more aid to Ukraine.
NATO also announced the formation of a so-called rapid-reaction force. As The Associated Press describes it, this consists of "several thousand troops in Eastern Europe that could quickly mobilize if an alliance country in the region comes under attack."
Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 11:05 am
The U.S. Department of Justice will launch an investigation into police tactics in Ferguson, Mo., NPR's Carrie Johnson reports, with a focus on looking for a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing.
Carrie says the department was holding off on announcing the investigation until clashes in the town died down:
Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 11:18 am
President Obama, along with all members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, are in Wales today as a set of international conflicts puts the military alliance back in the spotlight.
At the top of the agenda is, of course, the crisis in Ukraine.
In an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, said the allied forces are facing a situation they never thought they would see again in the region.
Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 3:44 pm
Ever since the Cold War ended, the armies of NATO and Russia have been moving warily toward each other while their political positions keep moving further apart.
Twelve Eastern European countries have joined NATO since the Soviet breakup, and NATO is now on the verge of creating a rapid-reaction force for the region. Russia has sent troops into two former Soviet republics, Ukraine and Georgia, that have relationships with NATO, but not membership.
Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 12:42 pm
Speaking in Estonia today, President Obama issued a warning to the extremist group that took responsibility for beheading two American journalists: "We will not be intimidated," Obama said, according to Time. "Those who make the mistake of harming Americans will learn that we will not forget, and that our reach is long, and that justice will be served."
Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 8:53 am
There's been much criticism of the president lately, even within his own party, that he's too detached and withdrawn, not combative enough anymore. This can be explained completely with a sports analogy: We elected a basketball president, but then we ended up with a golf president.
President Obama has ordered a review of federal programs that supply local law enforcement agencies with military weapons and equipment after concerns over how the police handled unrest in Ferguson, Mo., in the aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown.
A senior Obama administration official says the president "whether state and local law enforcement are provided with the necessary training and guidance; and whether the federal government is sufficiently auditing the use of equipment obtained through federal programs and funding."