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More Money and Boots on the Ground to Fight ISIS

Ashhh

By Debbie Gregory.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has confirmed that the Pentagon plans to sharply increase spending on the fight against the Islamic State group and potentially put more American “boots on the ground” in Iraq and Syria in an “enabling” role.

“We have 3,700 boots on the ground in Iraq today, and we’re looking to do more. We’re looking for opportunities to do more,” Carter said.

Carter acknowledged there are about 50 U.S. Special Forces troops serving as advisers in Syria to local forces opposed to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in addition to the American troops serving as trainers and advisors to the Iraqi Security Forces.

“We’re not looking to substitute for local forces in terms of governing the place and policing the place,” Carter said. “That’s why we put Special Forces in Syria. They’re tremendous force multipliers. They’re the ones who connect them to the great might of our military. The strategic concept is not to substitute but to enable” local forces, he said.

The new campaign will focus on helping local forces retake the militants’ two main strongholds, Mosul, Iraq and Raqqah, Syria.

“We need to destroy them in those two places, and I’d like to get on with that as soon as possible,” he said.

Carter said he hopes that other countries will offer troops as well. “It won’t just be Americans. This is crucial. It has got to be the other members of our so-called coalition,” he said.

While in talks with defense ministers from allied nations in Brussels, Carter will coordinate future plans for the anti-ISIS fight.

“What I’m going to do with them is to say, all right, here are all the capabilities that are needed — boots on the ground, airplanes in the air, more prosaic things, logistics, bridging, training for those police that are going to patrol cities like they’re patrolling Ramadi now once the cities are retaken,” he said.

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Meet the Army’s New Chief of Staff: Military Connection

milley

By Debbie Gregory.

The largest command in the U.S. military has a new leader. Gen. Mark Milley, an Ivy League graduate and career grunt, is taking over as the Army’s 39th Chief of Staff. The change of responsibility ceremony is scheduled for tomorrow, August 14, at 10 a.m., on Summerall Field, Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia.

Gen. Milley, a 1980 graduate of Princeton University, had commanded U.S. Army Forces Command since August 2014. He has relinquished command of Fort Bragg’s only four-star command to Gen. Robert B. Abrams.

Milley, a native of Boston, MA, replaces retiring Gen. Raymond T. Odierno.

Before his year at the helm of Forces Command, Milley served with the 82nd Airborne Division and 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg and the 7th Infantry Division, 10th Mountain Division, 2nd Infantry Division, 25th Infantry Division and 101st Airborne Division.

Before coming to Forces Command, he led the III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas, and was a military assistant to the Secretary of Defense.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has described Milley as “a warrior and a statesman.”

“He not only has plenty of operational and joint experience in Afghanistan, in Iraq and on the Joint Staff, but he also has the intellect and vision to lead change throughout the Army,” said Carter.

Milley was considered a dark horse among a field of potential nominees that included Gen. Daniel Allyn, the vice chief of staff, Gen. John Campbell, the top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Perkins, the commanding general of Training and Doctrine Command, and Gen. Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Army Pacific.

During his 34 years of service, Milley has deployed to Egypt, Panama, Haiti, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. His awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Army Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters, the Combat Infantryman Badge with star, the Expert Infantryman Badge, the Master Parachutist Badge, the Scuba Diver Badge, the Ranger tab, and the Special Forces tab.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

Meet the Army’s New Chief of Staff: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory

Could the Cold War be Heating Up Again? Military Connection

military connection

By Debbie Gregory.

The Marine Corps commandant thought to be taking over the Joint Chiefs of Staff told lawmakers that he felt that Russia was the “greatest threat” to US national security.

“Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security,” Gen. Joseph Dunford told the Senate Armed Services committee during his confirmation hearing to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the highest-ranking military post in the US, acting as the chief military adviser to the president, the National Security Council and the Secretary of Defense. Obama nominated Dunford for the job in May, after the current CJCS, Gen. Martin Dempsey, announced his retirement.

With its large nuclear arsenal, destabilizing role in Ukraine and threat to NATO nations on its borders, Russia presents a significant challenge to the U.S., even as it faces threats like that of ISIS.

Other top U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Air Force Secretary Deborah James have also voiced similar concerns.  James said that NATO members should honor the promise they made to spend 2 percent of their GDP on defense, in order to combat the alleged threat from Moscow.

When asked about other top challenges, Dunford said that China has been increasingly assertive in the South China and East China Seas. He said that China has been building up artificial islands for possible military use, and asserting territorial rights disputed by their neighbors, most of whom are American allies.

Also on the list were ISIS and North Korea, since North Korea has ballistic missile capabilities.

If confirmed, Dunford, the current commandant of the Marine Corps and former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, will face an uncertain budget environment for the armed services, with the threat of forced cuts through sequestration looming later this year.

“What keeps me up at night is our ability to respond to the unexpected,” General Dunford told the Senators. “On balance, our force can deal with the challenges that we have now. But there is very little residual capability.”

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their families. We are the go-to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go-to site.

Could the Cold War be Heating Up Again? Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory