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Truth, lies and Afghanistan: How military leaders have let us down

Truth, Lies and AfghanistanI spent last year in Afghanistan, visiting and talking with U.S. troops and their Afghan partners. My duties with the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force took me into every significant area where our soldiers engage the enemy. Over the course of 12 months, I covered more than 9,000 miles and talked, traveled and patrolled with troops in Kandahar, Kunar, Ghazni, Khost, Paktika, Kunduz, Balkh, Nangarhar and other provinces.

What I saw bore no resemblance to rosy official statements by U.S. military leaders about conditions on the ground.

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IRAN: US/Israeli False Flag Attack May Be Underway

Several warnings of an imminent “false flag” attack by the Israeli-influenced United States on one of its own warships, which will be attributed to Iran, have been reported by several reliable sources. In recent years “false-flag” terrorism has been utilized multiple times by US and Israeli political actors to provide pretexts for otherwise unjustifiable, anti-Islamic military excursions. The plan is to justify an all-out assault on Iran based upon a new fabricated “Pearl Harbor”.

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Iraq: Bombings in Baghdad and Nasiriya kill scores

Iraq bombingsAt least 68 people are reported to have been killed in bomb attacks in southern Iraq and in the capital Baghdad. Officials said 44 people died in a suicide attack targeting Shia pilgrims in the city of Nasiriya.

Earlier, at least 24 people were killed in a number of blasts in Shia areas of Baghdad. Sectarian tensions have risen after the last US combat troops left in December and an arrest warrant was issued for Sunni Vice-President Tariq al-Hashemi.

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Under Obama, an emerging global apparatus for drone killing

Obama's drone networkThe Obama administration’s counterterrorism accomplishments are most apparent in what it has been able to dismantle, including CIA prisons and entire tiers of al-Qaeda’s leadership. But what the administration has assembled, hidden from public view, may be equally consequential.

In the space of three years, the administration has built an extensive apparatus for using drones to carry out targeted killings of suspected terrorists and stealth surveillance of other adversaries. The apparatus involves dozens of secret facilities, including two operational hubs on the East Coast, virtual Air Force­ ­cockpits in the Southwest and clandestine bases in at least six countries on two continents.

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No U.S. Troops, But An Army Of Contractors In Iraq

No US troops, but an army of contractors in IraqThe U.S. troops have left Iraq, and U.S. diplomats will now be the face of America in a country that remains extremely volatile.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, along with several consulates, will have some 15,000 workers, making it the largest U.S. diplomatic operation abroad. Those diplomats will be protected by a private army consisting of as many as 5,000 security contractors who will carry assault weapons and fly armed helicopters.

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There's No Going Home For Iraqi Squatters

Iraqi squattersNadia Karim Hassan says she stayed in her Baghdad neighborhood as long as she could, but by the height of the sectarian war in 2007, too many fellow Shiites were getting killed, and she had to leave the area and move into an abandoned building.

As American troops pull out of Iraq, one of the most striking consequences of the war remains unresolved today: the issue of people who were forced out of their homes and still can't go back. Relief organizations estimate there are some 2 million displaced people inside Iraq.

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Civilian killings created insurmountable hurdle to extended U.S. troop presence in Iraq

What US troops left behind in IraqIn the accounting of what was won and lost in America’s Iraq war, this sleepy farming town deep in the western desert will rank as a place where almost everything was lost.

It was here, on Nov. 19, 2005, that a group of Marines went on a shooting spree in which 24 Iraqi civilians were killed. Their patrol had been hit by a roadside bomb and one of their comrades was dead. They ordered five men out of a taxi and gunned them down. Then they went into three nearby homes and shot 19 people, including 11 women and children.

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