US training 3,600 in Iraq but Syrian forces need more time

The Pentagon confirmed Jan. 23 that it has begun training 3,600 Iraqi and Kurdish forces, but has yet to begin recruiting and actively vetting their Syrian counterparts.

In Iraq, the U.S. and coalition partners have begun training forces at four sites across the country, including al-Assad, Camp Taji in Baghdad Governorate, Bismaya and Erbil.

Obama to name Ashton Carter as defense secretary: White House

President Barack Obama on Dec. 5 will name former Pentagon deputy chief Ashton Carter to be his new defense secretary, a White House official said.

If confirmed Carter would replace Chuck Hagel, who announced his resignation last month. Carter served as deputy defense secretary under Leon Panetta from October 2011 to December 2013.