military strategy

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Obama Unveils 'Leaner,' 'Agile' Military

He wants to shift focus from ground troops to 'irregular warfare'

(Newser) - President Obama officially unveiled his plan for a slimmed-down military with a speech at the Pentagon today, promising that budget cuts and a reduction in conventional ground forces wouldn't harm the nation's security. "Our military will be leaner, but the world must know—the United States is... More »

US Withdraws from Once-Key Afghan Valley

Some troops see wasted effort in Pech Valley

(Newser) - The US is withdrawing from the Pech Valley, the mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan that for years was central to its strategy—and the site of much bloodshed. The move is a controversial one, notes the New York Times : 103 US troops were killed there, and many more wounded, leading... More »

Woodward: Obama's Directing Afghan War

President is 'strategist-in-chief'

(Newser) - President Obama is personally directing the course of the war in Afghanistan, author Bob Woodward tells ABC News . While chatting with Diane Sawyer about his new book , the famed investigative reporter calls the president "strategist-in-chief" and says, unequivocally, that Afghanistan is "Obama's war"—so much so that... More »

New US Afghanistan Chief: Convince, Don't Kill

Sketches strategy to mix troops with population

(Newser) - The new US commander in Afghanistan says his experiences there and in Iraq have changed his perspective on an effective counterinsurgency: “You're going to have to convince people, not kill them,” Gen. Stanley McChrystal tells the Wall Street Journal. “Since 9/11, I have watched as America tried... More »

Sacked Commander Wrong for New Afghan Strategy

McKiernan's approach in Afghanistan too 'conventional,' officials say

(Newser) - David McKiernan was dumped as top American commander in Afghanistan yesterday, after less than a year, because his approach was too “conventional,” Pentagon officials tell the New York Times. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said “fresh eyes were needed” and “a new approach was probably in our... More »

For Afghan Success, Look to Colombia

Countries face similar troubles—and Colombians know how to fix them

(Newser) - When President Obama reviewed US strategy in Afghanistan, the lessons of Iraq were key. But a better comparison might be Colombia, where parallels abound—and where the government has handled insurgents with a fair bit of success, writes Scott Wilson in the Washington Post. Both Afghanistan and Colombia have faced... More »

Go All In on Afghan War, McCain, Lieberman Say

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s strategy for Afghanistan must roundly reject the so-called “minimalist” approach being whispered about in DC, write John McCain and Joe Lieberman in today’s Washington Post. The minimalists want the US to focus on limited, “realistic” counterterrorism goals. But McCain and Lieberman remind Obama that... More »

Afghanistan Demands Broader Strategy: Kissinger

Diffuse country calls for localized military approach

(Newser) - The US can no longer afford to follow “traditional anti-insurgency tactics” in such a large, ethnically diverse, and “forbidding territory” as Afghanistan, Henry Kissinger writes in the Washington Post. Instead of focusing on a stronger centralized government, he urges a “coherent” strategy that supports “local and... More »

Obama Challenges Troop Surge in Afghanistan

Asks for clear strategy before sending more troops

(Newser) - President Obama has called for a review of the planned deployment of up to 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, a nation that some fear will become his “Vietnam,” the Times of London reports. Some 17,000 more troops were poised to head there last week, but defense... More »

Obama to Focus on bin Laden, Revamp Afghan Approach

Eyes regional strategy, talks with Taliban, Iran

(Newser) - Barack Obama is drastically rethinking the war effort in Afghanistan, his security advisers tell the Washington Post, including making the capture of Osama bin Laden a top priority. The administration’s fledgling plan calls for a more aggressive regional approach, possibly involving help from Iran. Obama also favors the ongoing... More »

Kissinger Outlines Endgame for Iraq—Without Deadlines

Foes may lie low to re-emerge, he says

(Newser) - Henry Kissinger outlines his vision for the endgame in Iraq in a piece in the Washington Post, arguing that recent progress makes redeployment of US troops feasible, but "establishing a deadline is the surest way to undermine the hopeful prospects." A fixed deadline would encourage both al-Qaeda and... More »

On Iraq, Petraeus Has Bush's Ear

Close ties fuel fears that other commanders aren't heard

(Newser) - George Bush and top Iraq commander David Petraeus have a close relationship unusual for wartime presidencies, the Washington Post reports. The president skips over several middlemen, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates, to speak directly and regularly with Petraeus, and has fully deferred to the general on controversial Iraq decisions. But... More »

As Bush Foe, Admiral's Days Were Numbered

What's truly amazing is that he held out as long as he did

(Newser) - It's amazing that Adm. William Fallon held on to his job as long as he did while openly disagreeing with the Bush administration on matters of military strategy, writes John Barry in Newsweek. Fallon's continued insistence that war with Iran is a lousy idea finally led to his resignation yesterday... More »

US Admiral in Charge of Mideast Quits

Move comes after article depicts him defying Bush on Iran

(Newser) - The top US military commander for the Middle East resigned today after the publication of a magazine profile that portrayed him as a vocal opponent of the Bush administration's Iran strategy, the AP reports. Adm. William Fallon, head of US Central Command, denied any rift and said he stepped down... More »

Obama, McCain Trade Potshots Over Iraq War

Each delivers 'news' to the other about al-Qaeda presence

(Newser) - John McCain and Barack Obama traded sharp words today, as the two presidential frontrunners bludgeoned each other over the Iraq war. McCain dug into Obama for saying, in the debate last night, that he wouldn't hesitate to act if al-Qaeda established bases in Iraq for targeting the US, Reuters reports.... More »

Protect or Prevent? Iraq Tanks Raise Heavy Issues

New armored vehicles will save soldiers, but may endanger strategy

(Newser) - A new heavily armored vehicle will better protect US soldiers in Iraq from roadside bombs, but possibly at the risk of jeopardizing the overall counter-insurgency strategy, the Los Angeles Times reports. The new equipment has ignited debate over whether it is better to protect soldiers from attack, or stop the... More »

Russian "Father of All Bombs" May Be Hoax

US officials are skeptical about new super explosive

(Newser) - Several weeks after Russia boasted of successfully testing the world's most powerful non-nuclear bomb, US experts and officials are beginning to voice doubts. Careful analysis of video footage of the device reveal inconsistencies, particularly about just what kind of bomb it was, Wired reports. "You've got to approach Russian... More »

Military Preps for Iraq Pullout

Envisions 40K force to stay for years; big withdrawal by early 2009

(Newser) - Top military officials are quietly setting their post-pullout strategy, reports Thomas Ricks in today's Post, and they're readying to keep in place a long-term, mid-size force. The new plan requires upwards of 40,000 American troops to stay in the country, with half dedicated to security, a quarter to training,... More »

Attacks on US Troops Get Deadlier

Bigger IEDs and more complex ambushes lead to more US deaths in Iraq

(Newser) - Iraqi insurgents are using bigger bombs and more sophisticated tactics to kill US troops, reports the Washington Post. While Iraq civilian deaths have dropped 50 percent since the new counterinsurgency strategy was launched in Baghdad, American fatalities compared to the number of wounded have nearly doubled. More »

Troops May Double in 'Second Surge'

Analysis of Pentagon orders shows 8 more brigades in Iraq by year's end

(Newser) - The number of US combat troops in Iraq is being quietly doubled this year in what the San Francisco Chronicle calls a second surge, the paper concludes from an analysis of Pentagon orders. The combination of new combat brigades and lengthened tours for troops already stationed in Iraq could bring... More »

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