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Jun 17, 2015

U.S. urges ‘greater commitment’ to war effort from Baghdad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States called for a “greater commitment” from Iraq’s government on Wednesday in the fight against Islamic State as it lamented Baghdad’s failure to deliver enough soldiers for training and underscored the need to empower Sunni tribesmen.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a congressional hearing that the U.S. military had hoped to train 24,000 Iraqi security forces by this fall but had only received enough recruits to train about 9,000 so far.

Jun 17, 2015

U.S. calls for ‘greater commitment’ from Iraq’s government

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States called for a “greater commitment” from Iraq’s government on Wednesday in the fight against Islamic State as it lamented Baghdad’s failure to deliver enough soldiers for training and underscored the need to empower Sunni tribesmen.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a congressional hearing that the U.S. military had hoped to train 24,000 Iraqi security forces by this fall but had only received enough recruits to train about 9,000 so far.

Jun 17, 2015
via FaithWorld

Judge tells U.S. Army to let Sikh student into reserve officer training

Photo

(A Sikh boy marches in the annual Sikh Day Parade in New York, April 27, 2013. REUTERS/Keith Bedford)

A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Army to stop barring a Sikh college student from participating in reserve officer training because of his beard and turban, a decision welcomed on Monday as a step toward more religious Sikhs serving in the military.

Jun 16, 2015

Afghan troops must improve to avoid stalemate with Taliban: Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Afghan security forces have demonstrated resilience in heavy fighting with the Taliban this year, but suffered high casualties and must continue to improve to achieve more than a stalemate this fighting season, the Pentagon said in report released on Tuesday.

The 108-page Defense Department report to Congress stressed the importance of Afghan security forces demonstrating their effectiveness against the Taliban in their first full year with overall responsibility for the country’s security.

Jun 12, 2015

U.S. troops at Taqaddum to help Iraqis plan fight for Ramadi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has said American forces being sent to a new operations center in the heart of the war against Islamic State will not engage in combat, but they will do almost everything but fight to support the beleaguered Iraqi forces.

U.S. defense officials say the tasks of the troops going to Taqaddum air base will range from advising Iraqi commanders how to ensure soldiers have enough bullets to integrating air power into combat plans.

Jun 10, 2015

Pentagon proposes reform of U.S. military retirement system

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon on Wednesday proposed a reform of its retirement system, which would cut guaranteed benefits for those who serve 20 years while boosting retention pay and adding a retirement savings plan to ensure most troops can leave with a benefit.

Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said the proposal submitted to Congress would “achieve real tangible savings” of $8.1 billion over 10 years for the Defense Department.

Jun 10, 2015

U.S. weighs more Iraq training sites but no strategy overhaul

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama is considering expanding the number of training sites for Iraqi forces to bolster the battle against Islamic State, U.S. military officials said on Tuesday, which could mean deploying hundreds more U.S. forces in Iraq.

The proposed build-up follows only sporadic successes in the months-long U.S.-backed Iraqi drive to push back Islamic State, a drive that suffered a severe setback with the fall of the Anbar provincial capital Ramadi last month.

Jun 8, 2015

Iraqis make progress against Islamic State in Baiji: Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraqi forces backed by U.S.-led coalition air strikes have opened supply lines into Baiji town and its nearby oil refinery, making progress at last against Islamic State rebels in a seesaw battle that has gone on for months, the Pentagon said on Monday.

Army Colonel Steve Warren, a Defense Department spokesman, said the Pentagon was not ready to declare Baiji refinery, the country’s biggest, or the town “liberated,” but progress was being made.

Jun 5, 2015

U.S. defense chief working on plan to close Guantanamo prison

MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) – U.S Defense
Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday he was working with the
White House to prepare a proposal for Congress on closing the
Guantanamo prison for terrorism suspects, a long-time goal of
President Barack Obama.

The Senate is currently debating an annual defense policy
bill that would permit closure of the prison, but only if the
president first submits a plan that is approved by the
Republican-led Congress.

Jun 5, 2015

Defense chief working on plan to close Guantanamo prison

MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) – U.S Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday he was working with the White House to prepare a proposal for Congress on closing the Guantanamo prison for terrorism suspects, a long-time goal of President Barack Obama.

The Senate is currently debating an annual defense policy bill that would permit closure of the prison, but only if the president first submits a plan that is approved by the Republican-led Congress.

    • About David

      "David has been a journalist for 30 years, based in Washington, London, New Delhi, Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He covered the first Gulf war, the Palestinian intifada and the conflict in Kashmir. Since 1998 he has been an editor and reporter in Washington, covering politics, the White House and other stories."
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