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In Afghanistan, US Troops Begin to Withdraw

The first of them left this week

(Newser) - President Obama's troop drawdown has begun: About 650 troops left after their rotations ended Wednesday, and they will not be replaced. "As part of the drawdown the first US troops have left Afghanistan," says a military spokesperson. About a third of the 100,000 US forces in... More »

Speech Was Obama's 'Mission Accomplished'

All he needed was a flight suit

(Newser) - He may not have unfurled a banner or donned a flight suit, “but make no mistake: President Obama gave his own version of a ‘mission accomplished’ speech last night,” writes Dana Milbank of the Washington Post . Last night the president declared—“perhaps prematurely”—that the... More »

US Left 30K Iraqi Detainees to Be Tortured

Troop pullout leaves a slew of untried inmates

(Newser) - The US is turning a blind eye to the systematic abuse of detainees in Iraq's prisons, a report by Amnesty International claims. The transfer of prisoners from US-run detention centers to Iraqi facilities is a less-discussed aspect of the American pullout, but has flooded a system that remains rife with... More »

12K US Troops to Leave Iraq by Fall

US will turn over facilities to Iraqi control starting this month

(Newser) - A total of 12000 American and 4000 British troops will leave Iraq by September, the US military said today, just hours after a suicide bomber killed 32 people at the entrance of Baghdad's main police academy. The blast—the second major attack to hit Iraqis in 3 days and the... More »

Army to Shorten Combat Tours

Three years between deployments

(Newser) - The Pentagon aims to trim tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan from 15 months to a year with an eventual three years between deployments, the Army's top general told the Senate Committee on Armed Services yesterday. The change will be made after the military reduces troop levels this summer,... More »

Gates Backs Pause in Iraq Troop Pullout

Defense secretary sees need to stabilize gains after 'al-Qaeda routed'

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Robert Gates today backed a "pause" in pulling out US forces from Iraq once the 30,000  troops added for the surge are sent home in July. “The notion of a brief period of consolidation and evaluation probably does make sense,” Gates told reporters during... More »

UK to Slash Iraq Force by More Than Half

PM sees 'overwatch' role after cut from 5,500 to 2,500 troops

(Newser) - British troops will number only 2,500 in Iraq by next spring, Gordon Brown said today. In “two distinct stages,” the PM said, the UK will shrink its presence to 4,000 troops from the current 5,500 and then to 2,500, the Guardian reports. Three of... More »

7 Stories