2003 CIA cable casts doubt on claim linking Iraq to 9/11

CNN, By Gabe LaMonica, December 12

A recently released CIA cable casts heavy doubt on a key claim used by the Bush administration to justify the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

It discounts intelligence that said Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 ringleaders, met with an Iraqi official in the Czech Republic a few months […]

‘Hundreds’ more UK troops to be sent to Iraq – Michael Fallon

Hundreds of British troops will be sent to Iraq in the New Year, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said.

BBC, December 13

The deployment – to help train local forces – will be in the “very low hundreds” but could also include a small protection force of combat-ready soldiers, he said.

About 50 UK troops […]

France: ‘Major’ anti-ISIS raid taking place in Iraq

AFP, December 5

France said Friday its fighter jets were conducting a “major” raid in Iraq as part of the U.S.-led coalition offensive against the Islamic State group, days after members said the strikes were having effect.

“At the moment, a major raid is taking place,” Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told BFMTV, refusing to […]

Hagel Stepping Down as Defense Chief Under Pressure

New York Times, By Helene Cooper, November 24

Washington – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises…

The officials described […]

Fence-mending in Turkey, Biden commits to ‘transition’ in Syria

McClatchy, By Roy Gutman, November 22

Istanbul — Vice President Joe Biden assured Turkey Saturday that the U.S. plans to strengthen Syrian rebels and ensure a political transition “away from the Assad regime,” but he stopped short of committing to regime change in Damascus demanded by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On a fence-mending trip […]

Group: Death toll of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria tops 900

CNN, By Salma Abdelaziz & Mariano Castillo, November 23

In the two months since the United States and coalition allies first launched airstrikes against ISIS targets inside of Syria, the missions have killed more than 900 people, nearly all militants, a monitoring group said Saturday.

But 52 civilians, including eight children and five women, are […]

In a Shift, Obama Extends U.S. Role in Afghan Combat

New York Times, By Mark Mazzetti & Eric Schmitt, November 21

Washington — President Obama decided in recent weeks to authorize a more expansive mission for the military in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned, a move that ensures American troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least […]

Dempsey Weighs Frontline Role for U.S. Troops in Iraq

Bloomberg, By Sangwon Yoon, November 13

President Barack Obama’s top military adviser said more U.S. troops may be needed in Iraq for a “long and difficult” fight against Islamic State, as military planners assess the shortcomings of Iraqi forces.

Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers yesterday that more […]

Mark Udall to consider all options to reveal CIA torture report

The Denver Post, By Mark K. Matthews, November 13

Washington — U.S. Sen. Mark Udall has seven weeks left in office, but the Colorado Democrat isn’t prepared to go quietly — especially when it comes to the twin issues of CIA torture and government snooping.

In his first interview since Election Day, Udall told The […]

Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The Voice of America, By Scott Bobb, October 19

Suruc, Turkey -The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed.

Morning in Suruc, southeastern Turkey. Rojava […]

U.S. airstrikes in Syria are now dwarfing those in Iraq, thanks to the fight for one town

Washington Post, By Dan Lamothe, October 19

The Syrian border town of Kobane is still in danger of falling to the Islamic State, more than a week after the U.S. military began launching airstrikes on militants there regularly. Hundreds of fighters have been killed, the Pentagon’s press secretary said Wednesday, but even more are swarming […]

U.S.-led air war in Syria is off to a difficult start

Washington Post, By Liz Sly, October 10

Reyhanli, Turkey — The U.S.-led air war in Syria has gotten off to a rocky start, with even the Syrian rebel groups closest to the United States turning against it, U.S. ally Turkey refusing to contribute and the plight of a beleaguered Kurdish town exposing the limitations of […]

US and Afghanistan sign long-awaited security agreement

A deal signed Tuesday allows US forces to remain in Afghanistan after the majority of NATO coalition forces withdraw.

Al Jazeera, September 30

The United States and Afghanistan on Tuesday signed a long-awaited security pact to allow U.S. forces to remain in the country after the majority of NATO coalition forces withdraw at the end […]

US launches air strikes on Syria Islamic State militants

(BBC)- The US and allied nations have launched the first air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria, the Pentagon has said.

Spokesman Rear Adm John Kirby said fighter and bomber jets and Tomahawk missiles were used in the attack.

The strikes were expected as part of President Barack Obama’s pledge to “degrade and […]

Air Force drops ‘so help me God’ requirement, will allow airman to re-enlist

Stars and Stripes, By Chris Carroll, September 17

Washington – The Air Force announced Wednesday it would drop a requirement for airmen to say “so help me God” in oaths, backtracking after an airman had been denied re-enlistment when he crossed it out on a form last month.

Air Force officials previously told the airman, […]

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