US to leave 8,400 troops in Afghanistan into 2017, 35 percent more than expected


577d17d4c36188cd0e8b456b

The US will leave 8,400 troops through the end of the Obama administration, the president announced. Obama had planned to drop troop levels from 9,800 to 5,500 troops by the end of 2016. But the increase of Taliban attacks have intensified calls to leave more troops there.

“The security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious,” Obama said. The Afghan military still needs our help, the president added.

“It is in our national security interest, esp after all the blood and treasure we’ve invested over the years, that we give our partners in afghan the best chance to succeed.”

Flanked by Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford, Obama announced Washington’s new exit strategy from the White House’s Roosevelt Room on Wednesday. His remarks focused on the need for partnership between the US and Afghan militaries.

https://www.rt.com/usa/349693-obama-afghanistan-withdrawal-number/

NATO WOULD LOSE A WAR TO RUSSIA WITHIN 36 TO 60 HOURS


russian-fighter-jet-tile

First, NATO and Kiev signed a letter of intent in February for cooperation between their special operations forces. Two months later American ambassador and current NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow said it was time to bring the Ukrainian military “in line with NATO standards.” Barely one week later, though, the U.S. Ambassador to NATO ruled out NATO expansion for the “next several years.”

These muddled messages only cause confusion, provoking Russia while potentially false hope for Ukraine. For that reason, it’s time for Washington to make clear that Ukrainian accession to NATO is not on the table. Here’s why.

First, NATO possesses almost no ability to defend Ukraine. Russia has 270,000 troops and 700 jet fighters positioned on Ukraine’s southern and western borders. And as Russia demonstrated in 2015 when it sent 150,000 troops to surround Ukraine, Moscow can quickly mobilize its military in the event of a conflict.

http://www.infowars.com/nato-would-lose-a-war-to-russia-within-36-to-60-hours/

Russia amassing troops at borders in challenge to NATO


Russia-amassing-troops-at-borders-in-challenge-to-NATO

Russia is set to establish three new military divisions — around 30,000 troops — along its borders in a direct challenge to Western allies’ troop buildup in the region.

NATO revealed last month that it would be sending around 4,000 troops to Poland and the former Soviet countries in the Baltic.

Now Moscow has hit back by announcing its own plans to expand its military presence.

“The Defense Ministry is taking a series of measures in order to counter the expansion of NATO forces in direct proximity to the Russian border,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday on state television.

“By the end of the year two new divisions will be formed in the western military district and one in the southern military district.”

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2016/05/04/Russia-amassing-troops-at-borders-in-challenge-to-NATO/4951462367980/

RUSSIA AMASSING TROOPS AT BORDERS IN CHALLENGE TO NATO


putin-nato

NATO revealed last month that it would be sending around 4,000 troops to Poland and the former Soviet countries in the Baltic.

Now Moscow has hit back by announcing its own plans to expand its military presence.

“The Defense Ministry is taking a series of measures in order to counter the expansion of NATO forces in direct proximity to the Russian border,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday on state television.

“By the end of the year two new divisions will be formed in the western military district and one in the southern military district.”

http://www.infowars.com/russia-amassing-troops-at-borders-in-challenge-to-nato/

 

Key Pentagon personnel official stepping down


635935595642723724-Brad-Carson

The architect of controversial Pentagon personnel policies, including the proposed acceptance of transgender troops, will leave his post in April, the Pentagon announced late Monday.

Brad Carson, the Pentagon’s top civilian for personnel policies, had pushed forward a string of initiatives that include opening combat jobs to women and expanded maternity leave.

“Brad Carson has developed some of the most important and groundbreaking work in years to modernize our personnel policies,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in a statement. “At my direction, he charted a path forward for the Department and our people that will leave a lasting legacy, and will improve the mission effectiveness, readiness and the quality of life for our civilian workforce, uniformed service members and families.

Carson had a rocky confirmation hearing last month before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He had been named to fill the spot as undersecretary for personnel on an acting basis. But a federal court determined that in performing the job before confirmation, he had violated federal law, namely the Vacancies Act.

In a statement, Carson said the Senate’s concerns about the Vacancies Act and the implementation of several key policies prompted his decision to step down. He plans to leave office in April.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/03/14/key-pentagon-personnel-official-stepping-down/81769770/

Russia: foreign ground troops would create ‘long war’ in Syria


US Secretary of State John Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry has accused Russia of hitting legitimate opposition groups and civilians with its bombing campaign in Syria.

Speaking at a security conference in Munich, Mr Kerry said Moscow must change its targets in order to respect a ceasefire deal agreed on Friday.

To date, the vast majority of Russia’s attacks have been against legitimate opposition groups. To adhere to the agreement it made, Russia’s targeting must change.

– US SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY

He also said Moscow had been dropping so-called “dumb bombs” that do not have a precise target, leading to the killing of civilians.

Earlier, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev rejected claims Russia has bombed civilians in Syria, saying: “There is no evidence of our bombing civilians, even though everyone is accusing us of this.”

http://www.itv.com/news/update/2016-02-13/kerry-calls-on-russia-to-change-targeting-in-syria/

15 troops killed in five suicide bombings at Iraqi military base, ISIS claims responsibility


5688f50ac46188b3168b45dd

An Iraqi military base north of Baghdad was targeted by multiple suicide bombers, who killed at least 15 security troops and injured at least 22 others. The terrorist group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.

 

Two bombers detonated their explosive-rigged vehicles at the western gate of Camp Speicher, a former US base outside the Sunni-majority city of Tikrit, Reuters reported, citing security sources. Three others made it to the part of the base used for training Iraqi police.

IS said the attack targeted Shiite troops stationed at the base.

https://www.rt.com/news/327776-iraq-military-base-bombing/