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Obama Touts War’s End in Afghanistan, But Critics See Election-Year Guise for Prolonged Occupation | DemocracyNow!

On a surprise visit to Afghanistan, President Obama marked the one-year anniversary of the assassination of Osama bin Laden and announced the signing of a long-term strategic partnership with the Afghan government. In a speech to the U.S. public, Obama said the agreement heralds “a future in which the war ends, and a new chapter begins.” We’re joined by writer ...

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Israel’s Barak: election would not alter Iran plans | Reuters

(Reuters) – The prospect of an imminent election in Israel will not affect its strategy for tackling Iran’s nuclear program, including plans for a possible preemptive war, Defence Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday. Rifts in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative coalition over military conscription and budget cuts have prompted parties to mobilize to bring forward the ballot to as ...

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US, NATO exploring post-Assad scenarios in Syria, says top general | The Hill’s DEFCON Hill

Top U.S. and NATO military leaders are exploring the possible political and military fallout in Syria if Western powers decide to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by military force. Those scenarios were one of many issues covered during Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey’s meeting with alliance leaders in late April, he said during a Tuesday ...

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Why Obama is Not Ending the War in Afghanistan | Counterpunch

New Pact Won’t Stop the War–or the Special Forces Night Raids by GARETH PORTER The optics surrounding the Barack Obama administration’s “Enduring Strategic Partnership” agreement with Afghanistan and the Memorandums of Understanding accompanying it emphasise transition to Afghan responsibility and an end to U.S. war. But the only substantive agreement reached between the U.S. and Afghanistan – well hidden in ...

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Isreal Plots an Endgame | CounterPunch.org

Illegal Settlements Bonanza by RAMZY BAROUD Israel’s colonization policies are entering an alarming new phase, comparable in historic magnitude to the original plans to colonize Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem following the war of 1967. On April 24, an Israeli ministerial committee approved three settlement outposts – Bruchin and Rechelim in the northern part of the West Bank, ...

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About 25,000 Troops May Be Needed In Afghanistan After 2014, Planners Say | NPR

When President Obama on Tuesday signed a 10-year security agreement with Afghan President Karzai, it wasn’t announced how many U.S. troops would remain in Afghanistan past 2014 — the year Afghans are supposed to take over full responsibilty for security there. American military officials say that the planning figure is 25,000 troops, commanded by a three-star general. For more on ...

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Ineffective protests, excuses | TheNation.pk

That a senior official of the US Embassy was summoned by the Foreign Office for protest over the drone strike on a government school on Sunday that left four girls dead would no doubt show that the government is bothered. However, circumstances dictate stricter measures since such formal protests do not weigh much in the eyes of Washington. Already things ...

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U.S. not reporting all Afghan attacks | The Salt Lake Tribune

Report » U.S. doesn’t tell about insider violence nor does it report the wounded. By ROBERT BURNS | The Associated Press Washington — The military is under-reporting the number of times that Afghan soldiers and police open fire on American and other foreign troops. The U.S.-led coalition routinely reports each time an American or other foreign soldier is killed by ...

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Difficult Days Ahead in Afghanistan and at Home | Peace Action Blog

–Judith Le Blanc, Field Director Tonight in a televised address from Afghanistan on the U.S.-Afghanistan Strategic Partnership Agreement, President Obama said, “Still, there will be difficult days ahead. The enormous sacrifices of our men and women are not over.” I would add the sacrifices of the Afghan and all the people in the region will also continue. Without a new ...

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U.S. drone strikes resume in Pakistan; action may complicate vital negotiations | The Washington Post

By Richard Leiby and Karen DeYoung ISLAMABAD, Pakistan— CIA drone missiles hit militant targets in Pakistan on Sunday for the first time in a month, as the United States ignored the Pakistani government’s insistence that such attacks end as a condition for normalized relations between the two perpetually uneasy allies. The drone strikes, which have long infuriated the Pakistani public, ...

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Campaigners welcome Co-operative Group move to end trade links with companies that source goods from illegal settlements | boycottisraelnetwork.org

Palestine human rights campaigners today welcomed news that the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer, The Co-operative Group, will “no longer engage with any supplier of produce known to be sourcing from the Israeli settlements”. The Co-op’s decision, notified to campaigners in a statement, will immediately impact four suppliers, Agrexco, Arava Export Growers, Adafresh and Mehadrin, Israel’s largest agricultural export company. ...

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