The Complex

Hagel Revamps U.S. Nuclear Program

The Pentagon will invest billions of dollars into its nuclear forces as part of an effort to improve the management and security of the nation's nuclear stockpile, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Friday. Although reforming the troubled force is a welcome move, experts are skeptical that money can solve the military's nuclear problem, which stems from questions about the mission itself.

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Who Has Contributed What in the Coalition Against the Islamic State?

This post was updated on Nov. 12.

As the Obama administration has ramped up its campaign against the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, it has tried to present itself as acting with the support of a broad range of partner nations. The State Department lists 62 countries as members of the “global coalition to degrade and defeat ISIL.” But the bar for inclusion is apparently fairly low. Although many countries have pledged military or humanitarian support, the State Department indicates that simply "exposing ISIL's true nature" can qualify a nation for the coalition.

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U.S. Ramps Up Push to Save Key Syrian Town

This story has been updated. 

U.S. aircraft delivered weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State in the key Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobani on Sunday, further expanding Washington's efforts to save the town from being overrun, according to a U.S. official.

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When Centcom General Speaks, People Listen

Something surprisingly unusual will take place at the Pentagon Friday. The general directing U.S. operations against the Islamic State will brief reporters for the first time since U.S. bombs started falling on Iraq and Syria -- and for the first time in his entire tenure overseeing the military command in charge of the Middle East.

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