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Obama honors remains of Afghan crash dead

DOVER, Delaware — President Barack Obama made a solemn trip to a Delaware air base Tuesday to honor unidentified remains of 30 US servicemen which were returned home after a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Obama made the unannounced visit after two C-17 military aircraft landed carrying remains of those killed…

US to ‘stay the course’ after Afghan chopper crash

The United States on Saturday vowed to “stay the course” in Afghanistan after 30 US soldiers were killed there when, according to local officials, the Taliban shot down their helicopter. The pledge from US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta — and a salute from President Barack Obama — came after the…

Iraq to open talks with U.S. on military training

Iraq will open talks with Washington over a military training mission to last beyond a 2011 pullout deadline, Baghdad’s Foreign Minister said on Wednesday, after months of US appeals for a decision. The move is a key first step to reaching an agreement on the future of the US troop…

Dempsey confirmed as next top U.S. military officer

Army General Martin Dempsey will become the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff after the Senate confirmed his appointment. Dempsey, 59, will replace Admiral Mike Mullen, who has held the post since 2007, as the highest-ranking US military officer at the end of September. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta,…

U.S. troops in Iraq will need legal immunity: U.S. chief

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Any agreement for U.S. troops to stay in Iraq beyond a year-end deadline for their withdrawal would require the Iraqi parliament to agree to grant American soldiers legal immunity, the top U.S. military officer said on Tuesday. Immunity for American troops staying on in Iraq could complicate…

U.S. says Iran-backed militia attacks down in Iraq

There has been a significant decline in attacks carried out by Iran-backed Shiite militias in Iraq in recent weeks, after June saw the highest US death toll in two years, the top US officer said on Tuesday. Admiral Mike Mullen, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made…

Top U.S. officer pushes for troop decision in Iraq

Iraq must decide on the future of the US troop presence in the country as soon as possible and include provisions on immunity for American soldiers, the top US military officer said in Baghdad on Tuesday. The remarks by Admiral Mike Mullen, outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,…

U.S. sees dramatic drop in Iran-backed attacks in Iraq

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) – Attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq by Iran-backed militia have fallen sharply thanks to U.S. and Iraqi military operations and diplomatic engagement with Tehran by Baghdad, top U.S. military officials said Monday. The upbeat assessment signals a shift from only three weeks ago when visiting Defense…

U.S. admiral ‘alarmed’ by spike in Afghan violence

The United States’ top military officer insisted that security in Afghanistan had improved “dramatically” since last year but expressed “alarm” over the recent spike in violence. Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also warned during an interview with the BBC that victory in Afghanistan could…

Anxiety in Afghanistan over troops pay if U.S. defaults

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (Reuters) – It is unclear if the United States will be able to pay troops on time in the event of a debt default, the top U.S. military officer told troops in Afghanistan on Saturday. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said…

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