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First foreign-born top U.S. military officer John Shalikashvili dies at 75

WASHINGTON — Retired army general John Shalikashvili, the first foreign-born chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, died early Saturday of complications from a stroke, a military hospital said. He was 75. Shalikashvili — known simply as “Shali” — passed away at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington,…

Panetta to formally end ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy

WASHINGTON — A formal end to the ban on gays serving openly in the US military will likely come by late July or early August, outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates told AFP on Thursday. Gates, revising his earlier forecasts, said in an interview that final approval to end the prohibition…

U.S.: We will kill Zawahiri just like bin Laden

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States Thursday dismissed new Al-Qaeda supremo Ayman al-Zawahiri as a pale imitation of Osama bin Laden and warned the Egyptian to expect a similar fate to his slain predecessor. US officials painted the 59-year-old long-time number two as an “armchair general” with no combat experience,…

Mullen: U.S. will not leave Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The top US military officer is vowing long-term commitment to Afghanistan, touting progress in the war against the Taliban and its Al-Qaeda allies ahead of an American drawdown. Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on the “Charlie Rose” television interview show…

Libyans offer new graves as proof of civilian dead

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – At a clifftop cemetery overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Libyans buried their dead, killed, government officials said, by Western bombs. At an event for escorted foreign reporters, pro-government Libyans raged against western warplanes and missiles they said had spewed death over the Libyan capital at the weekend. The mourners…

Iran not behind Mideast protests: Mullen

DOHA – Iran foments instability in the Middle East but is not behind popular protests in Bahrain and other countries in the region, top US military officer Admiral Mike Mullen said Monday in Qatar. “Iran, I still believe, is a country that continues to foment instability in the region, take…

US military chief predicts ‘more violence’ in Afghanistan in 2011

WASHINGTON – The top US military officer said Wednesday he sees an increase in bloodshed in Afghanistan as allied forces step up their offensive against the Taliban. “As difficult as it may be to accept, we must prepare ourselves for more violence and more casualties in coming months,” said Admiral…

Bush claims he was a ‘dissenting voice’ on Iraq

Former President George W. Bush says he was a “dissenting voice” on the decision to invade Iraq because he “didn’t want to use force” but ran out of options. “I was a dissenting voice. I didn’t want to use force,” Bush told NBC’s Matt Lauer in his first interview promoting…

Gates reluctantly backs deal on gays in military ban

UPDATE: A solid majority of Americans believes gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military, a new poll suggests. According to a survey conducted for CNN, 78 percent said gay people shouldn’t be ejected from the armed forces if their sexual orientation becomes known to their superior officers,…

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