People & Programs To Watch in 2015: US

WASHINGTON — Despite all of the talk in the Pentagon and among the defense intelligentsia in Washington about the “new normal”— the present era of battling Islamic extremists while putting out security and humanitarian brushfires across the globe — there has really never been a “normal” year when it comes to national security.

And 2015 will be no different. The rise of the al-Qaida offshoot in Iraq, the Islamic State, — or Daesh, as US policymakers are increasingly referring to it — has prompted Washington to send 3,100 troops back to Iraq, with other allies offering about 1,500 more troops to help advise and train Iraqi and Kurdish forces.

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