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Staying power: By not leaving Afghanistan, U.S. frustrates China, Russia, Pakistan but not India

U.S. President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai meet to sign the Strategic Partnership Agreement at the Presidential Palace in Kabul, Afghanistan on May 2.  /Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Special to By Brian M Downing, President Obama whisked into Afghanistan unannounced, inked a somewhat nebulous yet significant agreement with Afghan president Hamid Karzai, then quickly returned home. It was an impressive diplomatic coup that guarantees an appreciable U.S. presence in the country over many years, for better or worse. Many regional powers [...]

May 3rd, 2012 | Posted in Afghanistan,Daily Brief,Exclusives,Mideast,Top Stories,U.S. Military | Read More »

As U.S. allies focus on Pacific, Aussies to exit Afghanistan 1 year early

Australian soldiers of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) stand guard in Tirin Kot, capital of Uruzgan Afghan province.  /AFP

Special to Compiled by Miles Yu, In a surprise announcement, Australia Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced April 17 that she would present NATO with a plan in August to withdraw all 1,550 Australian troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2013, one year earlier than the original December 2014 schedule, when most NATO [...]

May 2nd, 2012 | Posted in Afghanistan,Australia,China,Exclusives,Mideast,NE Asia,Stateside,U.S. Military | Read More »

FAITH MATTERS: Easter, Santorum and the spread of fatal, self-centered thinking in the West

The plight of women in Afghanistan is commonly overlooked in the West.  /Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

Special to By Uwe Siemon-Netto As Christianity is set to celebrate its highest feast in the church year, a Christian from overseas may be forgiven for asking his American coreligionists two troubling questions concerning the faltering campaign of Sen. Rick Santorum and the trivialization of life-and-death concerns in the current electoral season of the [...]

April 6th, 2012 | Posted in Afghanistan,Exclusives,Life,Mideast,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Culture,U.S. Politics,World Links | Read More »

Tale of two massacres and the price of withdrawing from Afghanistan and Pakistan

Mohammed Merah.

Sol W. Sanders [See Archive Two recent deeply intertwined violent events demonstrate the terrible burden hanging on the outcome of U.S. intervention in Afghanistan and Pakistan. An American soldier’s rampage allegedly taking the lives of 17 Afghan villagers paralleled the attack of a Franco-Mahgrebian youth resulting in seven deaths of French [Muslim] veterans and Jewish [...]

March 26th, 2012 | Posted in Afghanistan,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,Life,Mideast,Pakistan,Sol Sanders,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Military,World Links | Read More »

U.S. Treasury IDs Iran general as drug kingpin

The U.S. has named a general in Iran's elite Al Quds force as a key figure in trafficking heroin from Afghanistan.

Special to WASHINGTON — The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on Gen. Gholamreza Baghbani, an officer in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Baghbani, assigned to IRGC’s Quds Force, was said to have overseen drug trafficking from Afghanistan through Iran in cooperation with Taliban. “Today’s action exposes IRGC-QF involvement in trafficking narcotics, made doubly [...]

March 11th, 2012 | Posted in Afghanistan,Exclusives,Hamas,Hizbullah,Iran,Mideast,Stateside,Top Stories,U.S. Intelligence | Read More »

World waits for someone to do something, and then waits some more

Residents protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad after a burial ceremony for what activists say are victims of shelling by the Syrian army, in Homs on Feb. 4. Syrian forces killed more than 200 people in an assault on the city of Homs, activists said, the bloodiest day of an 11-month uprising against Assad. / Reuters

Sol W. Sanders Looking around the world, the striking characteristic is waiting out a number of crises. Their outcome seems almost artificially suspended, and their interaction on one another and their ultimate effect on the world is at issue. We start with the Euro. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s supplications in Beijing were perhaps laudable but a [...]

February 6th, 2012 | Posted in Afghanistan,Africa / Europe,China,Columnists,COMMENTARY,Egypt,Exclusives,Germany,Greece,Iran,Israel,Japan,Lebanon,Life,Mideast,NE Asia,Russia,Sol Sanders,Spain,Stateside,Syria,Top Stories,U.S. Economy,U.S. Politics | Read More »

Kuwait replaces Iraq as air command post for U.S. operations in Gulf

U.S. soldiers at the Kuwait border wave to colleagues who are part of the last military convoy to leave Iraq on Dec. 18, 2011.  /Mario Tama/Getty Images

Special to ABU DHABI — The U.S. military has begun using Kuwait for air defense operations in the Gulf. The U.S. Air Force has re-assigned key units based in Iraq for air defense missions in the Gulf. The missions have been based in Kuwait and included the Air Force’s 727th Expeditionary Air Control Squadron, [...]

February 3rd, 2012 | Posted in Afghanistan,Exclusives,Iraq,Kuwait,Mideast,Top Stories | Read More »

Re-thinking war-fighting doctrines after the failure of ‘overwhelming wealth’

"Today, troops believe that water comes from the air. It‘s something choppered in for them."

Special to Gregory Copley, Global Information System Most strategic allies of the United States are waking up after the long Cold War and post-Cold War party with the realization that their efforts to integrate their military doctrine with that of the U.S. have led them to evolve force structures which require enormous capital investment [...]

January 11th, 2012 | Posted in Afghanistan,China,Exclusives,Iraq,Life,Top Stories,U.S. Military,U.S. Politics | Read More »

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