February 24, 2012 |
What is the logic behind the Obama administration's policy toward Afghanistan? On its face, it makes no sense. In 2009, President Obama ordered a major buildup of forces to counter alarming gains by the Taliban and the Haqqani network. The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan increased from 34,000 when he took office to nearly 100,000 in 2010. To oversee the buildup he sent two top Army generals, Stanley A. McChrystal and then David H. Petraeus, to design and implement a comprehensive counterinsurgency plan that the president signed off on. In June of last year, however, Obama announced that 32,000 "surge" troops would come home by September 2012 - earlier than Petraeus and his superiors judged prudent.
April 25, 2010 |
After a follower of Shiite cleric Muqtada Sadr vowed to dispatch militia members to defend Iraqi mosques in the wake of a series of deadly bombings, a statement from Sadr that was widely distributed Saturday made it clear that the Mahdi Army would be reactivated only if the government accepted the offer. The militia's fighters, who were involved in the bloody sectarian violence of Iraq's civil war, were demobilized in 2008 after major confrontations between Prime Minister Nouri Maliki's government and the armed group.
May 11, 2009 |
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Iraqi officials on a visit Sunday to Baghdad that America would need to improve its intelligence in their country after U.S. troops pull out. "If we are going to have a diminished physical military presence, we have to have a strong intelligence presence," Pelosi said after discussions with her Iraqi counterpart and other members of parliament. Pelosi, a strong critic of the U.S.
February 8, 2009 |
The last Salvadoran troops are home from Iraq, ending Latin America's military presence there. Five Salvadoran soldiers were killed and 20 wounded during the country's five-year deployment. Defense Minister Jorge Alberto Molina and relatives greeted 200 soldiers at an army base outside the capital of San Salvador. They had been based near the southeastern Shiite Muslim city of Kut. President Tony Saca had said El Salvador's troops would leave after the Dec. 31 expiration of a United Nations resolution authorizing the international coalition in Iraq.
January 30, 2009 |
Gabriel Hurles' 6th birthday party wasn't a surprise, but his present sure was. The kindergartner was so engrossed in the cupcakes his mother brought to his class on Wednesday that he didn't notice the enormous wrapped box off to the side. "That's one big giant present," a 6-year-old classmate told him. "See what you got, Gabriel." Gabriel peeled back the wrapping paper to find the surprise of his young life -- his father, an Army mechanic home on leave from his second tour in Iraq.
December 2, 2008 |
A lasting image from the parliamentary debate here on the U.S.-Iraqi security plan is of a lawmaker loyal to Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada Sadr sweeping his arm across a table in a rage, hurling books, papers and a vase of flowers onto the floor of the chamber. Ahmed Massoudi's televised tantrum, and days of Sadr loyalists shouting, pounding desks and pleading for parliament to reject the pact, made no difference.