Iraq's fractured army has begun to regroup and stage modest, localized attacks on the Islamic State militants who routed them last spring and summer, but they are unlikely to be ready to launch a major counteroffensive for many months, senior U.S. military officials say.
The chief U.S. nuclear negotiator suggested Thursday that some U.S. allies and members of Congress hope diplomacy with Iran fails, offering a glimpse of the difficult task awaiting the Obama administration if it manages to secure a nuclear agreement with Tehran by a late November deadline.
Airstrikes have helped the Iraqi military stall the advance of Islamic State militants, but it will be months before forces are ready to mount a counteroffensive to reclaim lost territory, U.S. officials say.
American paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division have spent the last seven months closing down bases in eastern Afghanistan. At every base, the Taliban have been eager to send them out with a bang. Literally.
The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group reported for duty on Wednesday in the Middle East, where it will take over from the George H.W. Bush, which has been heavily engaged in the bombing campaign against Islamic militants.
Forces of nature have temporarily deprived the Iraqi military of U.S. air support as they fight Islamic State militants for control of Anbar province, where American troops sustained heavy losses after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Although claims that Iraq was still producing weapons of mass destruction just before the 2003 invasion of the country proved false, the U.S. military tried to cover up injuries to American troops who found chemical stockpiles from before the First Gulf War, according to a New York Times report.
Cellphones have become omnipresent here since the ouster of the Taliban. But connectivity comes with a downside in this conservative Muslim country. Private images of women are increasingly appearing online and being shared publicly, say ordinary Afghans, religious leaders and government officials. The trend has sparked outrage and embarrassment in a culture where women are largely hidden from public view.