Public Law 113-164, 113th Congress, September 19, 2014.
SEC. 149. (a) The Secretary of Defense is authorized, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to provide assistance, including training, equipment, supplies, and sustainment, to appropriately vetted elements of the Syrian opposition and other appropriately vetted Syrian groups and individuals for the following purposes:
(1) Defending the Syrian people from attacks by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and securing territory controlled by the Syrian opposition.
(2) Protecting the United States, its friends and allies, and the Syrian people from the threats posed by terrorists in Syria.
(3) Promoting the conditions for a negotiated settlement to end the conflict in Syria.
(3PA: Note that the funds dedicated for training and equipping the “appropriately vetted” rebels cannot be used to attack Assad regime forces. So, if they are used against Syrian security forces, does the funding end and are the weapons taken away?)
“Kissinger Considered Attack on Cuba Following Angola Incursion,” National Security Archive, released October 1, 2014.
Secretary of State Henry Kissinger ordered a series of secret contingency plans that included airstrikes and mining of Cuban harbors in the aftermath of Fidel Castro’s decision to send Cuban forces into Angola in late 1975, according to declassified documents made public today for the first time…"I think we are going to have to smash Castro," Kissinger told President Ford. "We probably can’t do it before the [1976 presidential] elections."
Drafted secretly by the Washington Special Actions Group in April 1976, the contingency plans outlined punitive options that ranged from economic and political sanctions to acts of war such as mining Cuba’s harbors, a naval quarantine, and strategic airstrikes "to destroy selected Cuban military and military-related targets." The contingency planners warned Kissinger, however, that any act of aggression could trigger a superpower confrontation. Unlike the 1962 missile crisis, stated one planning paper, "a new Cuban crisis would not necessarily lead to a Soviet retreat."
Indeed, "a Cuban/Soviet response could escalate in areas that would maximize US casualties and thus provoke stronger response," Kissinger’s national security advisers warned. "The circumstances that could lead the United States to select a military option against Cuba should be serious enough to warrant further action in preparation for general war."
“A Conversation with Robert O. Work,” Council on Foreign Relations, September 30, 2014.
JAMES E. SCIUTTO, CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT, CNN: Will the U.S. go to war to protect the Senkakus? Because it gets back to the first question I asked you. When it’s not an overt invasion, when the tanks aren’t driving across the border, but it’s a subtle, you know, step-by-step move that at the end of the day gets you to the same place...
ROBERT O. WORK, DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Well, the United States has said over and over that we take no position as to who has the long-term control of islands either in the East China Sea or in the Senkakus. But while the Senkakus are under Japanese control, Article 5 applies, and we would respond if there was an attempt to take the Senkakus, and we would support our Japanese allies.
(3PA: Note that this applies to any disputed territory that Japan “controls,” regardless of whether the United States or the world thinks it is Japan’s sovereign territory.)
Josh Rogin, “Exclusive: America’s Allies Almost Bombed in Syrian Airstrikes,” Daily Beast, September 30, 2014.
Last week, an airstrike from the American-led coalition nearly hit a command-and-control facility affiliated with the Free Syrian Army, the moderate rebels the Obama administration says are America’s “boots on the ground,” according to two opposition leaders. They are asking the Obama administration to please coordinate with them in the future before America bombs its only allies in Syria.
Since U.S. airstrikes against ISIS in Syria began on Sept. 22, there has been no coordination between the U.S. military and its alleged partners on the ground, according to FSA leaders, civilian opposition leaders, and intelligence sources who have been briefed on the U.S. and allied military operation…
“Obama: U.S. Underestimated Rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” CBS "60 Minutes," September 28, 2014.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: "What we also have to do is we have to come up with political solutions in Iraq and Syria, in particular, but in the Middle East generally that arrive in the combination between Sunni and Shia populations that right now are the biggest cause of conflict, not just in the Middle East, but in the world."
“Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Iraq: 6 July – 10 September 2014,” United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, September 2014.
As of August 2014, an estimated 1.8 million Iraqis had been displaced due to the ongoing violence. Some 1,000,000 are displaced in areas under the control of ISIL and associated armed groups or in areas under Government control, while 800,000 were displaced in the Kurdistan Region. Ensuring the protection and basic humanitarian needs of all civilians remains of critical importance. (i)
Overall, at least of 24,015 civilians have been killed or injured in Iraq during the first eight months of 2014. Of this total, at least 8,493 were killed and 15,782 were wounded. From the spread of the conflict from Anbar to other areas of Iraq, UNAMI/OHCHR recorded at least 11,159 civilian casualties between 1 June and 31 August. This number includes at least 4,692 killed, and 6,467 wounded. The actual numbers could be much higher. (page 1)