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Published: 04/27/11

Obama Sending Panetta to Pentagon, Petraeus to CIA

By  not in system - AOL News
Obama Sending Panetta to Pentagon, Petraeus to CIA

WASHINGTON -- In a major national security reshuffle, President Barack Obama is sending CIA Director Leon Panetta to the Pentagon to replace Robert Gates, a widely praised Bush holdover, and replacing Panetta at the spy agency with Gen. David Petraeus, the high-profile commander of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Obama's changes, expected to be announced at the White House on Thursday, also will include a new ambassador and war commander in Afghanistan. However, they don't signal any major adjustment in the president's Afghan strategy or the fight against violent extremism. The moves ...

Published: 04/27/11

Obama Reportedly to Make Major National Security Leadership Changes

By  not in system - AOL News
Obama Reportedly to Make Major National Security Leadership Changes

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama plans this week to name CIA Director Leon Panetta to replace Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and Gen. David Petraeus, now running the war in Afghanistan, would take the CIA chief's job in a major shuffle of the nation's top national security leadership, administration and other sources said Wednesday. All sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the changes are not final. Getty Images Leon Panetta, left, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the International Security Assistance Force and comma...

Published: 04/21/11

Obama Approves Use of Armed Drone Aircraft in Libya

By  not in system - AOL News
Obama Approves Use of Armed Drone Aircraft in Libya

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama has approved the use of armed drones in Libya, authorizing U.S. airstrikes on ground forces for the first time since America turned over control of the operation to NATO on April 4. It also is the first time that drones will be used for airstrikes since the conflict began on March 19, although they have routinely been flying surveillance missions, Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters at a Pentagon briefing Thursday. He said the U.S. will provide up to two 24-hour combat air patrols each day by the unmanned Predators. Marine Gen. James Cartwright...

Published: 04/20/11

Are US, Other Allies Ignoring Saudi Arabia's Political Prisoners?

By  Dana Kennedy - AOL News
Are US, Other Allies Ignoring Saudi Arabia's Political Prisoners?

The U.S. and European Union are ignoring the fact that Saudi Arabia has arrested more than 160 political dissidents in just two months, Human Rights Watch said in a scathing report today. More than 160 "peaceful" dissidents have been arrested in the oil-rich kingdom since February, as the so-called "Arab Spring" of revolt spread throughout the Middle East. Most of the arrests were in Eastern Province, where the Shiite minority has been holding protests calling for political reforms and the release of prisoners. "Allies of Saudi Arabia have not publicly protested these serious and systematic ...

Published: 04/8/11

Gates: US Troops Could Remain in Iraq After 2011

By  not in system - AOL News
Gates: US Troops Could Remain in Iraq After 2011

MOSUL, Iraq -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, visiting Iraq on the eve of the eighth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad, said Friday the United States could extend its troop presence in the country beyond the scheduled 2011 pullout. Gates said that if Iraq wants American troops to remain, a deal could be negotiated for the long term or for as little as two or three years. Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates flies on a Blackhawk helicopter back to Camp Victory after meeting with Iraq's president and prime minister on Thursday in Baghdad. Gates s...

Published: 04/7/11

Gates Visits Iraq, Says Some US Troops May Stay

By  not in system - AOL News
Gates Visits Iraq, Says Some US Troops May Stay

BAGHDAD - The Obama administration would keep U.S. troops in Iraq beyond the agreed final withdrawal date of Dec. 31, 2011, if the Iraqi government wanted them, but the Iraqis need to decide "pretty quickly" in order for the Pentagon to accommodate the extension, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday during what he said probably is his final visit to this war-torn country. Whether to negotiate an extended U.S. military presence is up to the Iraqis, he said, adding that he thought an extension might make sense. "We are willing to have a presence beyond (2011), but we've got a lot of co...

Published: 04/4/11

US to Withdraw Strike Jets From Libya Mission

By  not in system - AOL News
US to Withdraw Strike Jets From Libya Mission

BRUSSELS -- The U.S. military will pull its warplanes from front-line missions Monday and shift to a support role in the Libyan conflict, a NATO official said. Britain, France and other NATO allies will now provide the fighter and attack jets to conduct intercept and ground attack missions as they enforce a no-fly zone over this North African country. The hand-over is expected to take place later on Monday, a NATO official said. "There won't be a capabilities gap," said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity because of regulations. Last week, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates tol...

Published: 04/1/11

US Pulling Tomahawk Missiles Out of Libya Combat

By  not in system - AOL News
US Pulling Tomahawk Missiles Out of Libya Combat

WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon will soon stop firing Tomahawk cruise missiles against Libya, in addition to pulling its attack planes out of the international air campaign, two U.S. defense officials said Friday. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Thursday announced in congressional testimony the decision to withdraw U.S. combat aircraft from the NATO-commanded mission as of this coming Sunday. They made no mention of putting the Tomahawk-firing ships and subs on standby as well. But the U.S. officials, speaking on condition of ano...

Published: 04/1/11

More Disciplined Libyan Opposition Force Emerging

By  not in system - AOL News
More Disciplined Libyan Opposition Force Emerging

AJDABIYA, Libya -- Something new has appeared at the Libyan front: a semblance of order among rebel forces. Rebels without training - sometimes even without weapons - have rushed in and out of fighting in a free-for-all for weeks, repeatedly getting trounced by Moammar Gadhafi's more heavily armed forces. But on Friday only former military officers and the lightly trained volunteers serving under them are allowed on the front lines. Some are recent arrivals, hoping to rally against forces loyal to the Libyan leader who have pushed rebels back about 100 miles this week. The better organized f...

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