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Petraeus won’t resign over Afghan troop withdrawal plan

WASHINGTON — The US commander in the Afghan war said Thursday he disgreed with President Barack Obama’s decision for a troop drawdown in Afghanistan but ruled out resigning in protest. General David Petraeus, the outgoing commander of the NATO-led coalition in Afghanistan, said he favored a more modest timeline for…

Pentagon wants to ‘extend’ Afghanistan surge

WASHINGTON — The US military is asking President Barack Obama to maintain its troop surge in Afghanistan until the fall of 2012, a month before a scheduled withdrawal, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday. The timeline would mean the president could promise large troop reductions to a war-weary public just…

Key Senate panel approves Panetta for Pentagon

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US Senate Armed Services Committee unanimously approved Leon Panetta’s nomination to be US defense secretary on Tuesday, setting the stage for a full senate confirmation. Panetta, 72, who has served President Barack Obama as CIA chief, was expected to sail to confirmation by the full US…

Osama bin Laden’s death may end Afghanistan war sooner than planned

Word from the Obama administration is that with al Qaeda spiritual leader Osama bin Laden dead, U.S. forces may now have found the fast-track to exit the Afghan occupation. It won’t be easy, and it will require more than just political capital in the U.S., but unnamed officials tell The…

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…

House rejects call for Afghan withdrawal

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US House of Representatives on Thursday rejected a resolution calling for the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, a war that is facing growing public opposition. The proposal was defeated by a vote of 321-93, but it showed increased opposition compared with March 2010 when a…

Vote reflects diminishing Congressional support for Afghan war

WASHINGTON – Facing growing budget pressure and an increasingly skeptical public, Congress’s appetite to continue funding the war in Afghanistan appears to be diminishing. The House on Thursday voted 321-93 against withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan by the end of 2011 — although a similar measure was rejected last…

US mission will be safe after Iraq withdrawal: officials

WASHINGTON – The US envoy to Baghdad and the senior US commander in Iraq assured skeptical lawmakers Thursday that the US diplomatic mission there will be well protected after US troops withdraw in late 2011. A private security force some 5,500 strong will protect the large US diplomatic presence in…

Kucinich to force Congress to vote on withdrawing from Afghanistan after news Obama will extend war to 2014

President Obama said he would begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in 2011. Now, the Administration says 2011 is still in play, but has begun floating the year 2014 as a more “reasonable” date for the war’s end. One Congressional Democrat is not happy. Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) blasted President Barack…

White House sets new Afghan deadline for 2014

The Obama administration has decided to de-emphasize plans to begin withdrawing US forces from Afghanistan starting July 2011, administration and military officials said Tuesday. The new policy is to be unveiled at a NATO conference in Lisbon next week, where the United States and other NATO countries are set to…

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