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Nov 7, 2010

Afghan review to back Obama plan, despite violence

WASHINGTON/KABUL (Reuters) – A December review of the Afghanistan war is expected to say the U.S. strategy is working despite increased violence and record casualties, and that a July 2011 deadline to start withdrawing can be met.

But General David Petraeus, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, will say that since the addition of 30,000 U.S. troops was just completed in late summer, it will take more time to get a complete picture of how the strategy is working, analysts said. That could affect the pace of the U.S. troop withdrawal.

Nov 7, 2010

Analysis: Afghan review to back Obama plan, despite violence

WASHINGTON/KABUL (Reuters) – A December review of the Afghanistan war is expected to say the U.S. strategy is working despite increased violence and record casualties, and that a July 2011 deadline to start withdrawing can be met.

But General David Petraeus, commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, will say that since the addition of 30,000 U.S. troops was just completed in late summer, it will take more time to get a complete picture of how the strategy is working, analysts said. That could affect the pace of the U.S. troop withdrawal.

Nov 3, 2010

Obama still hopes to repeal military ban on gays

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he still hoped to end the ban on gays serving openly in the military, despite big electoral gains by Republicans, many of whom oppose repealing the restrictions.

Many gay voters were disappointed with Obama’s failure to overturn the controversial “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and pulled back on financial support for Democrats in the campaign for Tuesday’s congressional elections, in which Republicans won control of the House of Representatives.

Oct 20, 2010

Obama admin: Mortgage troubles not “systemic”

WASHINGTON, Oct 20 (Reuters) – The Obama administration
said on Wednesday it found no sign of “systemic” troubles so
far with U.S. home mortgages, as banks sought to play down a
crisis over accusations of shoddy foreclosure practices.

But Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan
insisted the government would “take every action” to press
banks to fix paperwork problems at the core of a foreclosure
crisis that has put major financial firms on the hot seat.

Oct 19, 2010

White House keeps heat on banks over foreclosures

WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) – The White House warned banks
on Tuesday it would hold them accountable for any illegal
mortgage practices, keeping pressure on financial firms after
two institutions announced the resumption of home
foreclosures.

GMAC Mortgage joined Bank of America (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the largest
U.S. mortgage servicer, which announced on Monday a partial
rollback of its foreclosure moratorium.

Oct 8, 2010

New Obama security adviser clashed with military

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will name close aide Tom Donilon as his new national security adviser on Friday in a move that could have implications for the struggling U.S. war effort in Afghanistan.

A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Obama’s current national security adviser, Jim Jones, a former Marine general, resigned on Friday.

Oct 6, 2010

U.S. backs Afghan reconciliation, no comment on talks

WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States on Wednesday renewed its support for an Afghan reconciliation effort aimed at ending a 9-year-old war that has worsened, despite the presence of nearly 150,000 foreign troops in the country.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, however, declined to give any details of reported high-level secret talks between representatives of the Taliban and Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s government.

Sep 1, 2010

Obama treads carefully in Iraq speech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Using the gravity of the Oval Office as a backdrop, President Barack Obama said in a 17-minute televised address to war-weary Americans on Tuesday that it was “time to turn the page” on the unpopular Iraq war.

* Obama declared the formal end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq but the reality is that there are still 50,000 U.S. troops in harm’s way there. Combat units may have been relabeled “advisory and assistance” brigades but they are still heavily armed and may be called upon by the Iraqi government to help in counter-insurgency operations in the still volatile country.

Sep 1, 2010

Snap analysis: Obama treads carefully in Iraq speech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Using the gravity of the Oval Office as a backdrop, President Barack Obama said in a 17-minute televised address to war-weary Americans on Tuesday that it was “time to turn the page” on the unpopular Iraq war.

* Obama declared the formal end of the U.S. combat mission in Iraq but the reality is that there are still 50,000 U.S. troops in harm’s way there. Combat units may have been relabeled “advisory and assistance” brigades but they are still heavily armed and may be called upon by the Iraqi government to help in counter-insurgency operations in the still volatile country.

Aug 19, 2010

Analysis: Will Obama keep U.S. troops in Iraq beyond 2011?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is on track to draw down its forces in Iraq to 50,000 by August 31, but there are doubts President Barack Obama can fulfill his pledge to withdraw all U.S. troops by the end of 2011.

As a presidential candidate Obama campaigned to end the now seven-year-old war responsibly, and as president he has been explicit in his assurances to Americans that not a single U.S. service member will remain in Iraq come January 1, 2012.