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U.S. troops no longer needed in northern Iraq: general

WASHINGTON — Large numbers of US troops are no longer needed on the ground in northern Iraq to defuse Arab-Kurdish tensions and have begun handing over control to local forces, a US commander said Thursday. Army Major General David Perkins, who leads 5,000 US troops deployed in northern Iraq, said…

Budget cuts will mean smaller U.S. Army: general

Under mounting budget pressure, the US Army probably will have to shrink the size of its force below a planned target of 520,000 troops, the new Army chief of staff said Thursday. General Ray Odierno, who took over as Army chief Wednesday, said the push to reduce the deficit would…

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,…

Vice President Joe Biden in Iraq on surprise visit

BAGHDAD — US Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Baghdad on Saturday for a surprise visit aimed at bolstering Iraq’s fledgling democracy almost four months after an inconclusive election. Biden, wearing a blue blazer and khaki slacks, was accompanied on the trip by his wife Jill, who the White House…

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