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1:19 pm, December 20, 2014

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Obama discusses Iraq with Abdullah

President Obama spoke recently with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia to convey his best wishes as Ramadan begins. The two leaders discussed the current situation in Iraq, and the threat that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) poses to the stability of Iraq and to the entire region. They reaffirmed the need for Iraq's leaders to move expeditiously to form a new government capable of uniting all of Iraq's diverse communities. The President thanked the King for Saudi Arabia's pledge of $500 million to help alleviate the suffering of all Iraqis who have been displaced by the violence. The two leaders agreed to continue to consult closely on regional developments.

Tags: Pentagon and Beyond , JJ Green , Barack Obama , Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud , ISIL , Saudi Arabia ,

Monday - 07/07/2014, 11:58am EDT

How many US advisors are in Iraq?

Of the 300 troops authorized by President Barack Obama, 180 have arrived in Baghdad. Half are advisors and the remaining 90 are setting up an operations and intelligence analysis unit. The Pentagon confirms that Predator drones, armed with Hellfire missiles, are now also being used over the capitol for force protection.

Tags: military advisers , Pentagon and Beyond , JJ Green , Baghdad , DoD , Predator drones , Hellfire missiles

Monday - 06/30/2014, 09:29am EDT

US military advisors arriving in Baghdad

Ninety of the 300 U.S. military advisers and special operations forces going to Iraq are in Baghdad. The Pentagon says they will begin to do three things: assess the strength of Iraqi forces, gauge the skill of The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and determine if it's viable to send more US advisory teams to Iraq.

Tags: military advisers , Pentagon , DoD , Pentagon & Beyond , ISIS , ISIL

Wednesday - 06/25/2014, 05:06pm EDT

US military advisors granted legal protection in Iraq

The Pentagon says Iraq has agreed to grant legal protection for the U.S. military advisors headed there to assess the state of Iraq's military and the threat from ISIL. That means they will be granted immunity from prosecution for any crimes they commit or legal trouble they might find themselves in during their deployment. Now that the agreement has been made, the first advisory teams will be established.

Tags: Pentagon , Pentagon & Beyond , ISIL , immunity

Tuesday - 06/24/2014, 09:26am EDT

Paul Bremer, Former Ambassador to Iraq

Maybe the United States was never really finished in Iraq. Regardless, events of the past two weeks have returned that nation to a front and center position for Congress and the administration. Paul Bremer was U.S. Presidential envoy to Iraq in 2003 and 2004. A career diplomat, he was thrust into the spotlight as temporary head of the Iraqi government after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Most of the questions this week have been about military options now that the government is under threat. Bremer joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss how this situation affects the State Department both here and in Baghdad.

Tags: Paul Bremer , State Department , ambassador , Congress , Federal Drive

Friday - 06/20/2014, 01:27am EDT
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Military planners prepare Iraq options

The Pentagon is preparing a range of options for President Obama, which include air strikes. They are designed to help Iraq deal with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL. ISIL, which is outnumbered 100-1 by Iraqi forces, have marched unimpeded to Baghdad's doorstep. Obama described them as "vicious" and a "terrorist organization" that could eventually pose a threat to Americans.

Tags: ISIL , DoD , Barack Obama

Friday - 06/13/2014, 05:05pm EDT

How did the Blackwater shootings happen?

It was September 16, 2007. A Blackwater personal security detail was clearing the way for a convoy of State Department diplomats. The shootings supposedly started after the driver of a car kept driving toward the convoy ignoring orders to stop. When the shooting was over, 14 Iraqis were dead and 18 were wounded. A trial is underway in Washington for Blackwater security guards involved in the shooting.

Tags: Blackwater , State Department , shootings

Thursday - 06/12/2014, 10:29am EDT

Blackwater guards facing trial

After long delays, four former guards from the security firm Blackwater Worldwide are going to trial for the killings of 14 Iraqi civilians and the wounding of 18 others that fueled anti-American sentiment around the world. Associated Press reporter Pete Yost writes, "whether the shootings were self-defense or an unprovoked attack, the carnage of Sept. 16, 2007, was seen by critics of the George W. Bush administration as an illustration of a war gone horribly wrong."

Tags: Blackwater Worldwide , Pete Yost , Bush Administration ,

Tuesday - 06/10/2014, 08:57am EDT

IG: Billions wasted on Iraq reconstruction

In his final report to Congress, Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Stuart Bowen's conclusion was all too clear: Since the invasion a decade ago this month, the U.S. has spent too much money in Iraq for too few results.

Tags: Stuart Bowen , inspector general , Congress , contracting , DoD , SIGAR , Federal Drive

Wednesday - 03/06/2013, 10:34am EST
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