Washington (CNN) - Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. Carl Levin defended U.S. involvement in Libya as a mission with a "clear purpose," but said it is up to the Libyan people to remove their leader Moammar Gadhafi.
The Michigan Democrat on Sunday said support from the international community is vital to the success of the mission that began when the United Nations Security Council voted March 17 to authorize a no-fly zone over the African country and to "take all necessary measure" – without using an occupation force – to protect the civilians under attack in Libya.
(CNN) – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D- Nevada) has said he will try to bring a measure to repeal the controversial Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy - which prevents gays from serving openly in the military– to the Senate floor after Thanksgiving.
"During the work period following the Thanksgiving holidays, I will bring the Defense Authorization bill to the floor, including a repeal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' Our Defense Department supports repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' as a way to build our all-volunteer armed forces. We need to repeal this discriminatory policy so that any American who wants to defend our country can do so," Reid said in a statement.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The senator at the center of the legislative tug of war over a vote on the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" said Tuesday the strategy on how it could be considered is "up in the air," according to a spokeswoman.
In what could be a be a major victory for opponents of a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Michigan, told reporters on Capitol Hill it is possible the vote on repeal could be considered separately from the defense authorization bill. Levin supports repealing the law, which bans openly gay troops from serving.
(CNN) – Michigan Sen. Carl Levin may have been expecting a friendly town-hall audience in Big Rapids, Michigan on Monday, but the Armed Services Committee Chairman instead found himself at the receiving end of a pie in the face, according to the Detroit News.
Levin was speaking before the Mecosta County Democratic Party at Pepper's Café and Deli when a man who identified himself as a student scolded Levin over the U.S. war policy, the Detroit News Reports. Several minutes a later, a woman who was with the student walked up to Levin and hit him in the face with a pie, Sgt. Jeff Jennings of the Big Rapids Police Department confirmed to CNN.
The woman has been arrested but is yet to be arraigned, Jennings also said.
The Obama administration has made clear some troops - no one can say how many - will start withdrawing by next July from stable areas where Afghan forces can provide security.
However, questions over how to measure success and whether the almost 9-year-old war is worth the continuing U.S. investment in lives and resources are gaining prominence as congressional mid-term elections approach in November.
In interviews with military and political leaders broadcast Sunday, scenarios presented on what happens next year ranged from guarded optimism to serious concern. While most views followed expected party talking points, all appeared grounded in the common belief that success is vital even as they differed on what it would be.
On CNN's "State of the Union," Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan defended the planned troop draw-down next year as a necessary part of strategy.
"[W]e’re taking the fight to the Taliban right in the heart of the Taliban heartland," Sen. Carl Levin told CNN Sunday. (Photo Credit: CNN)
Washington (CNN) – The Democratic chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee emphasized Sunday that Afghans are beginning to take the lead in the fight against Taliban.
“What I see is a mixed picture with some signs of progress,” Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, said on CNN’s State of the Union.
Watch: Levin on Afghanistan
Levin told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that while a “negative picture” of the situation in Afghanistan is the one that predominates, “but there actually is some positive indicators too” including U.S. Special Forces “doing a very good job” at capturing Taliban leaders.
Levin added that the number of American and Afghan casualties has increased because “we’re taking the fight to the Taliban right in the heart of the Taliban heartland.”
In the long troubled Kandahar region of the country, Levin said that the U.S. was “gradually” removing Taliban control “but it is being done as we speak now with the Afghan troops taking the major lead and with more Afghan troops finally than American troops there.
“So this transition to Afghan control of their own destiny is gradually taking place,” he said.
Levin also spotlighted President Obama’s July 2011 target date for beginning to draw down the additional troops that have been sent to Afghanistan.
President Obama has tapped Gen. David Petraeus to command the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Michigan, told CNN Wednesday that he hopes to hold confirmation hearings for Gen. David Petraeus as early as next week.
President Barack Obama's decision to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal with Petraeus was "reasonable," Levin said.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota, is the first member of the Democratic leadership to suggest that Gen. Stanley McChrystal should resign.
When asked by CNN if McChrystal’s comments in Rolling Stone magazine warrant resignation, Dorgan replied “if he said what it was reported that he said, the answer is yes.”
Dorgan, who chairs the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, was visibly annoyed about McChrystal’s comments, just as many of his colleagues have been all day.
But Dorgan went further than his fellow Democratic senators, most of whom have called McChrystal’s reported comments about the president’s national security team inappropriate and troubling, but have also said it is up to President Obama to decide if McChrystal should be fired from his job as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
“We can’t have a general calling the national security adviser a clown, or whatever had been attributed to him with respect to Vice President Biden, the national security adviser, and others. It’s just unbelievably inappropriate and just can’t be allowed to stand,” Dorgan told CNN.
Washington (CNN) – The commander of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan was escorted from a congressional hearing room after apparently choking during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday.
Sen. Carl Levin, the committee's chairman, said Gen. David Petraeus "appears to be doing very well" after the incident, but withheld a decision on whether the hearing would go on.
"He's eating," Levin said. "He probably didn't have enough water to drink coming in here this morning."
Petraeus is the head of U.S. Central Command, which oversees the conduct of the U.S. wars in the Middle East and central Asia.