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U.S., Afghan forces launch assault in southern Afghanistan

Reporting from Howz-e-Madad, Afghanistan — Hundreds of U.S. and Afghan troops pushed into insurgent-dominated areas west of Kandahar city early Wednesday, hoping to establish a foothold not far from the area where the Taliban movement was born. Read: U.S., Afghan forces launch assault in southern Afghanistan | LATimes.

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Candidly Speaking: Peace theater of the absurd

Despite all the ritualistic pledges endorsing peaceful coexistence, the likelihood of progress is virtually zero. It is once more déjà vu. Magnificent speeches bubbling with visions of reconciliation and goodwill between Israelis and Palestinians. Global media editorials pontificating and debating whether peace in our time is about to be consummated, accompanied by demands for Israel to be flexible and forthcoming. ...

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Five myths about the Iraq troop withdrawal

Early Thursday, less than two weeks before the president’s Aug. 31 deadline for ending American combat operations in Iraq, the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division crossed the border from Iraq into Kuwait. With the departure of this last combat brigade, the U.S. military presence in Iraq is now down to 50,000 troops, fewer than at any time since the ...

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Netanyahu hints at settlement construction limits

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday Israel could not extend a moratorium on housing construction in West Bank settlements but indicated he would limit the scope of future building, officials said. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to quit nascent peace talks with Israel if it resumes new construction in occupied territory once a 10-month moratorium Netanyahu imposed under ...

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US troops ‘murdered Afghan civilians and kept body parts’

A group of US soldiers murdered a number of Afghan civilians and took body parts as trophies, documents released by military officials allege. The charging sheets relate to allegations that five US soldiers were involved in the murders of civilians in January, February and May of this year. via BBC News – US troops ‘murdered Afghan civilians and kept body ...

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Settlements row to dominate U.S.-led Mideast talks

Remarks by Palestinians and Israelis ahead of the talks convening at Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh resort did not suggest a compromise was at hand to resolve a dispute over Israeli settlement construction in the occupied West Bank. “Choosing to continue with settlements in any form means destroying the negotiations,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told Reuters. Read: Settlements row to dominate U.S.-led ...

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NATO chief says forces to stay in Afghanistan to finish job

MADRID — NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen vowed to keep the alliance’s troops in Afghanistan for the time needed to finish its mission, in an interview with a Spanish newspaper published Sunday. “Defeat is not an option, we will win. The Taliban will never win, nor will they return to power. Never will we allow Al-Qaeda to have refuge Afghanistan,” ...

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US soldiers charged with murdering civilians in Afghanistan war

A dozen US soldiers have been charged with a series of crimes committed in Afghanistan, including the murder of three Afghan civilians and the subsequent cover-up, according to documents the US Army released Wednesday. CNN reports that the soldiers from the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division out of Washington state have been charged in connection with the attempted cover-up of ...

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In Afghanistan, relative quiet

The ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks that drew a U.S.-led force to Afghanistan was marked by a handful of protests, although most Afghans spent the day celebrating the end of Ramadan. Thousands of protesters irate at the now-canceled plan by a small church in Florida to burn copies of Islam’s holy book took to the streets in Logar ...

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