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Obama and Petraeus discuss Afghan pullout

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama has met with Afghanistan war commander General David Petraeus to discuss a troop withdrawal set to begin next month, the White House said Thursday. Presidential spokesman Jay Carney said the two met in Washington on Wednesday to “discuss Afghanistan (and) to review the broad…

Next U.S. Defense Secretary Panetta backs significant Afghan withdrawal

WASHINGTON — Leon Panetta, the nominee to be the next US defense secretary, said Thursday that he backed a significant troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in July, in an apparent break with outgoing Pentagon chief Robert Gates. “I agree with the president’s statement,” Panetta told Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl…

Top US officer: Afghan pullout to be ‘a slow transition’

WASHINGTON — A top US officer returning from commanding US Marines in Afghanistan’s restive southwest emphasized Wednesday that the pullout of foreign troops from the country would be a slow, drawn-out process. The withdrawal will be “a slow transition, not a lot of bells and whistles, not a lot of…

Germany: pullout from Afghanistan to start in 2011

German foreign minister: expectations for Afghanistan lower, troop pullout to start next year Germany’s foreign minister played down the country’s expectations for Afghanistan’s future Thursday while reiterating that German troops will start their withdrawal by the end of next year as planned. After nearly a decade in Afghanistan, Guido Westerwelle…

Gibbs: Combat troop pullout should be permanent

Obama spokesman Gibbs minimizes possibility US combat troops would have to return to Iraq Presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs says he cannot foresee a circumstance in which the United States would have to send combat troops back to Iraq. Interviewed on the day of the troop withdrawal, Gibbs said President Barack…

America’s top Marine challenges Obama’s Afghan pullout deadline

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Gen. James Conway challenged President Obama’s commitment to begin withdrawing soldiers from Afghanistan in July, 2011, saying his deadline gives the Taliban “sustenance” and encourages them to simply outlast the Americans. “In some ways, we think right now it’s probably giving our enemy sustenance,” he…

Pentagon: No one has declared the end of the Iraq war

US stresses military role in Iraq US troops will still be in combat and taking on Islamist militants in Iraq even as the American military moves to an “advise and assist” role with a smaller force, officials said. The withdrawal of the last US combat brigade at dawn on Thursday…

Last US combat brigade pulls out of Iraq

The last US combat brigade pulled out of Iraq and crossed into Kuwait almost seven and a half years after the US-led invasion to oust Saddam Hussein, US media reported. Television footage showed an NBC reporter travelling with the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division crossing the border into Kuwait…

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