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May 17, 2012 | By Julie Pace, Associated Press
WASHINGTON - More than two dozen world leaders will join President Obama in an extraordinary weekend of back-to-back summits to tackle Europe's mounting economic woes and solidify plans for winding down the decade-long war in Afghanistan. The Group of Eight economic summit and the national security-focused NATO meeting will be infused with politics from every angle. For Obama, the summits are a unique election-year opportunity to show leadership on the world stage without having to leave the United States.
NEWS
May 16, 2012 | Associated Press
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - NATO on Tuesday invited Pakistan's president to next week's Chicago summit on Afghanistan, the strongest sign yet that Islamabad is ready to reopen its western border to U.S. and NATO military supplies heading to the war in the neighboring country. Pakistan blocked the routes in November after U.S. air strikes killed 24 of its troops on the Afghan border. The attack sent ties between Washington and Islamabad to new lows, threatening regional cooperation needed for negotiating an end to the Afghan war. The developments signal something of a rapprochement, but tensions are likely to bedevil what has long been a brittle relationship, scarred by mistrust on both sides.
NEWS
May 16, 2012 | Breaking News Desk
Sixty-seven Philadelphia police officers are going to Chicago this week to assist in security operations for this weekend's NATO summit. The officers, who will be drawn from around the city, will be in Chicago Friday through Tuesday, said Officer Jillian Russell, a Philadelphia police spokeswoman. The summit is scheduled for Sunday and Monday and is expected to the target of a variety of protests. Police from Milwaukee and Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., also will be helping their Chicago counterparts, the Associated Press reports.
NEWS
May 13, 2012
Afghan police kill 2 NATO soldiers KABUL, Afghanistan - Men wearing Afghan police uniforms shot dead two NATO service members Saturday in southern Afghanistan, authorities said, the latest in a string of attacks on international troops by Afghan security forces or militants disguised as police. Two other coalition service members also died Saturday in Afghanistan, one in an insurgent attack and the other of non-battle-related injuries. Fareed Ahmad, a spokesman for the Helmand provincial police, said two Afghan policemen opened fire at a joint Afghan-coalition compound, killing two coalition troops.
NEWS
April 20, 2012 | By Slobodan Lekic, Associated Press
BRUSSELS - Russia's foreign minister sharply criticized NATO's plan to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan by 2014, saying Thursday that coalition troops should remain in the country until Afghan government forces are capable of ensuring security. "As long as Afghanistan is not able to ensure by itself the security in the country, the artificial timelines of withdrawal are not correct and they should not be set," Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. In southwestern Afghanistan, meanwhile, a U.S. Army helicopter crashed on a nighttime mission, and initial reports from the scene indicated that as many as four soldiers may have been killed, a U.S. defense official said.
NEWS
April 16, 2012 | By Heidi Vogt and Rahim Faiez, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - Taliban insurgents struck the heart of the Afghan capital and three eastern cities Sunday, firing automatic weapons and grenades at embassies, government buildings, and NATO bases as they launched the spring fighting season with the boldest and most complex assault in years. The multipronged attacks show the Taliban and their allies are far from beaten and underscored the security challenge facing government forces as U.S. and NATO forces draw down. The majority of international combat troops are scheduled to leave by the end of 2014.
NEWS
April 4, 2012 | By Chris Brummitt, Associated Press
ISLAMABAD - U.S. diplomatic efforts to persuade Pakistan to reopen NATO supply lines to the Afghan war are proving no match for rampant anti-Americanism here, with Pakistani lawmakers increasingly unwilling to support a decision that risks their being branded as friends of Washington. Opposition legislators are demanding that the United States end its drone strikes against militants as a precondition, complicating U.S. strategies for winding down the 10-year war just weeks before a major NATO conference in Chicago.
NEWS
March 29, 2012 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
BRUSSELS, Belgium - In a world where China is rising, and Islamist movements are thriving, the alliance between America and European democracies takes on new importance. So it was sobering last week to attend the Brussels Forum, an annual high-level meeting of North American and European leaders who discuss the pressing challenges facing both sides of the Atlantic. The Europeans showed a lack of self-confidence - and the Americans a lack of strategic clarity - that was unsettling. And when it came to the future of NATO (whose leaders will be convening in Chicago in May)
NEWS
March 27, 2012 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - Afghan security forces Monday shot and killed three international troops, one of them an American, in two attacks. They were the latest in a rising number of attacks in which Afghan forces have turned their weapons on their foreign partners. The killings reflect a spike in tensions between Afghan and international forces that follow an American soldier's alleged massacre of Afghan civilians, the burning of Muslim holy books at a U.S. base, and uncertainty about Afghanistan's fate as foreign troops prepare to depart.
NEWS
March 18, 2012
President Obama has been adamant in repeating his goal to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan until the 2014 deadline he has set for withdrawal. But if he is as in tune with the American public as his reelection campaign professes, he must be working on contingency plans that would remove all but a token number of soldiers long before that date arrives. Recent events have only made it clearer that the longer American soldiers remain in Afghanistan, the less likely it is that they will be able to win the hearts and minds of the population, which is deemed essential in any effort to reduce the Taliban's influence.
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