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Republicans to target Afghan withdrawal timetable

WASHINGTON — Fresh from their historic elections romp, US Republicans served notice Wednesday that they would target President Barack Obama’s July 2011 deadline to start withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan. Republicans, who retook the House of Representatives on Tuesday and sliced deep into the Democrats’ Senate majority, have long criticized…

US combat brigades still in Iraq: report

The US military and the Obama administration loudly trumpeted the withdrawal of the “last combat brigade” from Iraq last week, but news reports suggest the move is purely semantic: The combat brigades are still there, but under a different name. The Army Times reported on Saturday that the US still…

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…

Gates: Iraq occupation could go on, if we’re asked to stay

U.S. combat operations in Iraq were supposed to end by August 31, 2010, signaling the beginning of the military’s accelerated withdrawal from the country after more than seven years of war. Since taking office President Obama has promised, repeatedly, that America’s bloody occupation would finally, truly end by the close…

White House says Afghan deadline ‘non-negotiable’

The White House said Monday that July 2011 was a “non-negotiable” deadline for starting a US withdrawal from Afghanistan, while insisting that President Barack Obama and his top general in Kabul were on the same page. The White House was quizzed about a seeming disconnect between the two after General…

Petraeus hedges on Afghan withdrawal

The new head of US forces in Afghanistan is reserving the right to back away from the July, 2011, deadline set by the Obama administration to begin withdrawal of US forces. Gen. David Petraeus, who took over as commander of the Afghanistan war effort from Gen. Stanley McChrystal last month,…

Iraqi army chief: We need US military until 2020

Iraq’s top army officer on Wednesday warned that a pullout of all US soldiers by the end of 2011 was premature, after eight of his troops were killed in a brazen attack that exposed shaky security here. Lieutenant General Babakar Zebari’s remarks, which run counter to those of his political…

Kucinich: 92,000 reasons to end the wars, pick one

US lawmakers opposed to the Afghan war, emboldened by a huge leak of military files on the conflict, pushed Tuesday for pulling US forces from Pakistan in a blunt challenge to President Barack Obama. The House of Representatives was expected to vote on both an emergency spending bill to pay…

Afghanistan won’t be ready for US withdrawal: Lugar

US and NATO efforts in Afghanistan suffer from a crippling “lack of clarity” about their ultimate goal and sputtering progress on the ground, a top US lawmaker warned Wednesday. “There is substantial concern about our course in Afghanistan,” said Senator Richard Lugar, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations…

US ‘reconsidering’ pace of Iraq withdrawal

American commanders, worried about increased violence in the wake of Iraq’s inconclusive elections, are now reconsidering the pace of a major troop pullout this summer, U.S. officials said Tuesday. The withdrawal of the first major wave of troops is expected to be delayed by about a month, the officials said.…

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