terrorism

The Other Memo Lawmakers Want the Public to See — But Trump Doesn’t
The White House has shrouded a seven-page memo outlining POTUS’ interpretation of war powers

Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., right, and Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., conduct a news conference in the Capitol to introduce an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban in May 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Tim Kaine is demanding that the White House release a secret memo outlining President Donald Trump’s interpretation of his legal basis to wage war.

The Virginia Democrat, a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday requesting that he hand over the seven-page document drafted last spring.

Military Not Ready for the Next Larger War, Experts Say
Complaints about continuing resolutions feature in House Armed Services Committee testimony

National security experts expressed concern last week that the U.S. has fallen behind Russia and China in key areas of military preparedness. (Courtesy U.S. Department of Defense)

While the U.S. military is ready for another Iraq War or Syria-like intervention, it is unprepared to fight a war against bigger challengers such as China or Russia, national security experts told House lawmakers last week.

The Pentagon needs to shift its focus away from the smaller regional conflicts it has specialized in to fight terrorism, the experts said, and refocus itself, and U.S. allies, on these potential future wars with larger adversaries.

Trump Lectures Leaders At Davos — But With A Twist
In shift, U.S. president says he is willing to negotiate with Asian nations ‘as a group’

President Donald Trump delivers remarks Friday at a World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland. (Screen shot via www.weforum.org)

President Donald Trump used part of his address to world and corporate leaders in Davos to lecture them about “unfair” trade practices, saying his administration is trying to “reform the international trading system.”

But he also signaled a shift in thinking, saying he is willing to consider a massive Asia-U.S. trade pact.

The Army’s Ryan McCarthy Pulls the Plug on Bad Acquisitions
“We’re not informed enough,” undersecretary says

Ryan McCarthy, the Army’s undersecretary since August, says his motto is “fail early, fail cheap.” (Courtesy Under Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy/Facebook)

There’s something different about the Army these days. In a word, it is humility.

The service does not have a flagship new weapon in the works, only minor modifications to existing systems. Its recent efforts to develop costly hardware have flopped. Its acquisition budget, relative to the Air Force and Navy, is expected to decline in the next decade. U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan now number in the thousands, not the scores of thousands.

Podcast: Surveillance Is Back
CQ on Congress, Episode 87

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 10: Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., arrives for a vote in the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress disregarded concerns about government surveillance of Americans and on Jan. 18 reauthorized a controversial anti-terrorism law. CQ cybersecurity editor Patrick Pexton explains how the security hawks beat the civil libertarians — energized by the 2013 revelations from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

 

Omaha Man Pleads Guilty to Plotting to Kill Joni Ernst
Suspect believed Iowa Republican was connected to ISIS

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, was the target of a potential plot on her life last July. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An Omaha man pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to threatening the life of Sen. Joni Ernst, who he believed was in cahoots with Islamic State terrorists.

Robert W. Simet, 64, told employees at a motorcycle shop near the Nebraska-Iowa border last July that he might kill the Iowa Republican at a speech she was scheduled to deliver there, according to court documents obtained by The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Trump Again Waives Iran Sanctions — But With a Threat
President has vowed to kill what he calls 'the worst deal ever'

Donald Trump, then president-elect, talks after a meeting with then-President Barack Obama in the Oval Office on Nov. 10, 2016. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Despite Donald Trump’s vows to kill it, Barack Obama’s Iran nuclear deal lives. The 45th U.S. president on Friday again gave a reprieve to the 44th's pact despite his longheld stance that it is “the worst deal ever.”

Trump is again waiving sanctions on Iran that would jeopardize the nuclear pact between Tehran and world powers, according to senior administration officials. But it is the final time he plans to do so, they warned, adding Trump wants to negotiate a new pact with European allies that would re-impose sanctions on Iran if its government violates terms produced by those desired talks.

Royce Retirement Prompts Foreign Affairs Successor Questions
Potential successors, Smith and Rohrabacher, have histories of bucking party

With Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce, left, retiring at the end of this term, fellow California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a potential successor. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce announced his retirement Monday, joining a wave of fellow senior Republicans in the House and Senate declining to seek re-election in a tough political environment.

The 13-term California lawmaker had only one year remaining on his term as committee chairman, but his retirement announcement nonetheless casts a spotlight on his potential successors, two of whom have histories of bucking the party.

Scalise to Undergo Planned Surgery Related to Baseball Shooting
Recovery timetable unclear

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., center, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., arrive for a news conference after the House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on November 29, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise will undergo a planned surgery Wednesday as part of his recovery from injuries sustained last June from a shooting at a GOP congressional baseball team practice.

The operation will take place at MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C.

Pence Doesn’t Rule Out Sending More Troops to Afghanistan
‘Bureaucrats don’t win wars, soldiers do,’ VP says during surprise visit

U.S. Army soldiers walk away as a NATO helicopter flies overhead at Forward Operating Base Connelly in the Khogyani District in the eastern province of Nangarhar, Afghanistan. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images)

Mike Pence is not ruling out sending more American troops to Afghanistan.

The vice president also defended the Trump administration’s strategy in the country, which has been criticized by Democratic lawmakers.