- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
- Dick’s Sporting Goods lays off 478 PGA golf pros
- Senators: Cease-fire must allow Israel to defend against rockets, tunnels
- Sierra Leone doctor fighting Ebola catches disease
- Iraq welcomes Russian fighter jets, helicopter gunships into ISIL fight
Italy remains a ‘determined’ ally
Question of the Day
Giulio Terzi di Sant’Agata, the newly appointed Italian ambassador to the United States, objected to the term “war” to describe the conflict in Afghanistan, but he said Italy had dropped restrictions that had kept its troops away from the fighting.
In an interview with editors and reporters at The Washington Times Thursday, Mr. Terzi said that Afghanistan is a key component of Italian foreign policy.
“We are determined to remain there. Afghanistan could become again the nest for terrorist initiatives,” he said.
He said Western involvement in Afghanistan could best be described as “peacekeeping” instead of war, because it has been mandated by the U.N. Security Council.
“It is not a war in its typical sense. There has been no declaration of war in the terms of international law,” Mr. Terzi said. “It has many characteristics of a true war, an asymmetric war.”
Italy is the fourth largest contributor of troops, with a contingent of about 2,795, according to the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force.
Italy has been criticized for basing its soldiers in relatively safe regions of Afghanistan such as Kabul and in the west and keeping them away from the front lines.
Mr. Terzi said those restrictions had been lifted and there were no longer any “caveats” in Italy’s so-called rules of engagement.
In September, a suicide bombing killed six Italian soldiers.
Italy plans to deploy a new contingent of 200 carabinieri to help train Afghan police and the national army.
On the nuclear standoff with Iran, Mr. Terzi urged other Western nations to pursue a dual approach.
“The opening of a diplomatic dialogue made by President Obama and the five plus one meeting must remain in place, but also stricter measure must be considered. The West will not accept an Iranian nuclear weapon,” he said, referring to the five veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany. The group has taken the lead in negotiating with Iran.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, recently inspected a site that Iran had hidden in a mountainside near Qom that could produce about a ton of enriched uranium a year, complicating the negotiations.
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- Evidence shows Russia firing artillery into Ukraine: Pentagon
- Norway expects imminent 'concrete threat' from ISIL terrorists 'within days'
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq