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US Congress Reviews Overseas Operations Budget While Withdrawal Consequences Seem Clear

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* The US House Armed Services Committee is holding a hearing (with live video) today on the belated FY15 war funding request, $53B of which are allocated to Afghanistan. * Islamic State insurgents reportedly repelled official Iraqi forces who tried to take back Tikrit. * The idea that the US will have withdrawn most of […]

* The US House Armed Services Committee is holding a hearing (with live video) today on the belated FY15 war funding request, $53B of which are allocated to Afghanistan.

* Islamic State insurgents reportedly repelled official Iraqi forces who tried to take back Tikrit.

* The idea that the US will have withdrawn most of its troops from Afghanistan by 2016 doesn’t look so good in light of both the current situation in the country and how Iraq turned out post US withdrawal. During a recent event organized by the Brookings Institution, outgoing USMC Commandant General Amos said about Iraq that:

“I have a hard time believing that had we been there, and worked with the government, and worked with parliament, and worked with the minister of defense, the minister of interior, I don’t think we’d be in the same shape we’re in today.”

XS-1 Phase 1

* DARPA awarded contracts to Boeing/Blue Origin, Masten Space Systems/XCOR, and Northrop Grumman/Virgin Galactic to get work started on its XS-1 reusable launcher project.

Asia

* China announced it is moving an oil rig from contested waters that had triggered an acute crisis with Vietnam since May. An interesting precedent after years of bullying in the region. Xinhua | NYT.

Just Short of Farnborough

* Aaron Mehta at Defense News thinks the F-35 “dominated Farnborough without ever being there.” That’s one way to put it, if you adhere to the “any publicity is good publicity” school of thought.

What’s Up With Their Visas?

* Today’s video from Vice News covers the fate of the Afghan interpreters who are not getting visas to NATO countries despite threats on their lives made by the Taliban. During the past decade American officers often looked at [PDF] France’s counter-insurgency experience in Algeria. It is not too late to avoid repeating the shameful treatment of harki soldiers, but time will run out soon:

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