By Mark Mix
Home day care providers would be forced into unions
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The former commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan and a former top Pentagon official are floating an idea to keep a "bridging force" of U.S. troops, as well as a planned "enduring force," after the December 2014 deadline for most international combat troops to withdraw from the country.
Pentagon and State Department officials Monday appeared to work in tandem to tamp down reports of mounting tension between the Obama administration and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The Army stepped to the fore last month, winning one of the armed forces' most coveted commands after having seen Marine Corps generals selected in recent years to head operations in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Europe.
President Obama will decide shortly how many U.S. troops he wants to keep in Afghanistan after the U.S.-led coalition mission ends in December 2014, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Wednesday as he opened two days of consultations with top U.S. commanders and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
The Obama administration's decision to grant retirement to the top general of U.S. Africa Command is part of the internal jockeying that goes on among the military branches to win top war-fighting assignments and was not related to the terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, a well-placed military source told The Washington Times.
A suicide bomber detonated explosives outside a mosque packed with senior regional officials in northern Afghanistan on a major Muslim holiday Friday, killing 41 people. The officials escaped unhurt, and many of the dead were soldiers and police.
The rising number of attacks on U.S. troops by Afghan police and soldiers may be due in part to the stress on Afghan forces from fasting during the just-concluded Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Thursday.
Heavily armed Taliban insurgents stormed into a lakeside hotel north of Kabul and opened fire on guests inside, killing 18 people — most civilians — before the 12-hour long rampage ended Friday morning, Afghan officials said.
The U.S. military is on a path toward significantly fewer battlefield deaths in Afghanistan this year because it has become better at detecting the No. 1 killer of U.S. troops: the improvised explosive device (IED).
In another embarrassment to the Pentagon, newly published photographs purport to show U.S. troops posing with the bodies of dead insurgents in Afghanistan.
The Afghan government and the U.S. signed a deal Sunday governing night raids by American troops, resolving an issue that had threatened to derail a larger pact governing a U.S. presence in the country for decades to come.
The United States still will need "significant combat power" in Afghanistan in 2013 despite the call for reducing the force, the top U.S. commander there said Thursday.
Facing a skeptical Congress, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan insisted Tuesday that the United States is winding down the decade-plus war and has no intention of remaining in the country indefinitely.
Facing a skeptical Congress, the top commander in Afghanistan insisted on Tuesday that the United States is winding down the decade-plus war and has no intention to remain in the country indefinitely.
Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Tuesday he was awaiting details from Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, the top commander in Afghanistan, on his plan for bringing home the remaining 23,000 troops sent to Afghanistan during the 2010 surge.
"The Afghan forces are going to be fully built at 353,000 at the end of this year," said Gen. John R. Allen, who spoke during a forum held by the Brookings Institution in Washington. "They'll have had two full fighting seasons under their belt before we shift to the long-term enduring presence, an advisory mission."
"Sometimes this comes as a surprise when I say this, that on the first of January  ... there's still going to be fighting in Afghanistan," he said.