Iraq from Fox News:
Iraq's government Monday ruled out allowing U.S. combat troops to remain in Iraqi cities after the June 30 deadline for their withdrawal, despite concern that Iraqi forces cannot cope with the security challenge following a resurgence of bombings in recent weeks.
Asking U.S. forces to stay in the cities, including volatile Mosul in the north, would be embarrassing for Iraq's prime minister, who has staked his political future on claims that the country has turned the corner in the war against Sunni and Shiite extremists.
The departure of heavily armed combat troops from bases inside the cities is important psychologically to many Iraqis, who are eager to regain control of their country after six years of war and U.S. military occupation.
U.S. officials played down the Iraqi decision, with Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman saying it's up to the Iraqi government to request an extension of the U.S. presence in the cities and "we intend to fully abide by" terms of the security agreement.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, told reporters Monday that violence had not risen to a level that would force a change in the withdrawal schedule.
Last month, however, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. Raymond Odierno, said he was worried that Iraqi forces won't be ready to assume full responsibility for Mosul by the end of June.
Privately, some U.S. officers fear the Iraqis may lose control of Mosul within a few months after American forces pull out of Iraq's third largest city, where al-Qaida and other Sunni militants remain active.
Well it is there country. If they don't want us to remain in the cities as per the agreement, then its a null and void issue. I'm not sure why the MSM is making such a big deal about this.
Afghanistan from Fox News:
President Hamid Karzai chose a powerful warlord accused of rights abuses as one of his vice presidential running mates on Monday, hours before leaving for meetings in Washington with President Obama and Pakistan's president.
The selection of Mohammad Qasim Fahim, a top commander in the militant group Jamiat-e-Islami during Afghanistan's 1990s civil war, drew immediate criticism from human rights groups.
A 2005 Human Rights Watch report, "Blood-Stained Hands," found "credible and consistent evidence of widespread and systematic human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law" were committed by Jamiat commanders, including Fahim.
Karzai was "insulting the country" with the choice, the New York-based group said Monday.
Fahim served as Karzai's first vice president during the country's interim government put in place after the ouster of the Taliban in the 2001 U.S.-led invasion. During the 2004 election, Karzai dropped Fahim from his ticket in favor of Ahmad Zia Massood — the brother of resistance hero Ahmad Shah Massood, who was assassinated by Al Qaeda two days before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
Well it's his choice. Calling Fahim strictly a warlord might be a stretch though. Before we start throwing words like that around, we have to understand the tribal structures and networks within Afghanistan. Something I have never seen anyone do when they are making reports like this. Sounds like a good blog post for tomorrow evening, since it will be a long one.
God Bless America
Sphere: Related Content
Veteran Challenge 2013
1 hour ago