Bob Gates says U.S. lacks strategy for combating Islamic State: In an interview with Katie Couric for Yahoo News over the weekend, former secretary of state Robert Gates said he sees a “lack of strategy” in the White House’s dispatch last week of 450 additional noncombat personnel to Iraq to help Iraqi security forces fight the Islamic State. “Just adding another few hundred troops doing more of the same is not likely to make much of a difference,” said Gates, who served in the George W. Bush and Obama administrations.

Lawmakers hope to pass NDAA by end of June: June passage of the defense policy bill would give House and Senate conference committee staff most of the summer to work out the differences between the two drafts, reports Military Times. Both Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and his counterpart in the House, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.), have predicted relatively calm negotiations, the story says.

House passes defense spending bill: The House on Thursday approved a $579 billion defense spending bill for 2016, The Hill reports. The bill increases defense spending by $38 billion through the overseas contingency fund (OCO), which the White House has said it will veto. It is the sixth spending bill passed by the House so far this year. The Senate marked up its version of the defense bill on Thursday.