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A lighter footprint will not prevent conflict

I'm quite sure that when General Odierno said:"I'm not saying 3-5,000 is the right number," but "there comes a time...when it (US presence) becomes counter-productive...I'm not quite sure what the right number is, but there's a number...Show More Summary

Sadr says will suspend operations against US troops

So Moqtada Sadr, trying to make himself look reasonable, issued a statement Saturday night in which he claims that:"Out of keenness on Iraq's independence and the withdrawal of American forces from the country, I must halt military operations...Show More Summary

Ahmadinejad tells Assad to end to violence?

Something must have been lost in translation, because this couldn't be coming from Ahmadinejad.

Iraq Discovers Oil, Gas Field in Anbar Province, Official Says

Never heard of recent active exploration in this area,which roughly corresponds with the southern edge of "block 2", one of the 12 exploration blocks that will be auctioned off in the upcoming 4th bid round in January. I'd take this one with a grain of salt, for now.

Iraqi Army Receives Last Abrams Shipment

All 140 of them have been delivered. We'll need about 4 times as many only to complete the modernization of tank elements for 4 modern mechanized divisions...still a long way to go before having adequate defense against conventional external threats.

Revolution in Syria brings security to Iraq's border

Iraqi border guards report that since protests escalated in Syria, there have been almost no militants trying to cross into Iraq. "We have recorded only three infiltration attempts in the last three months, and this is the lowest rate...Show More Summary

Iraq eyes EU gas exports through Turkey | Petroleum Economist

This article actually raises a few very interesting points about Iraq's potential gas exports, particularly this one:Al-Shamma also said gas exports to Europe would begin only if gasfields were found, saying associated gas would not be exported by pipeline. Show More Summary

Iraq OKs six more companies for 4th energy bid | Energy & Oil | Reuters

Reuters:Iraq has approved six more energy companies to participate in its 4th energy auction, raising the number of pre-qualified bidders to 46, a senior oil ministry official said on Wednesday.The auction for 12 new exploration blocs,...Show More Summary

Sadr applauds Hizbollah Brigades, seeks merger

Al-Sumaria News (Arabic) quoted Moqtada Sadr as saying that he blesses the work of the Hizbollah Brigades--one of the notorious IRGC backed special groups--and that he offered a merger between the group and his militias; "The strength...Show More Summary

Panetta says 3,000 is enough

New York Times reports:Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta is supporting a plan that would keep 3,000 to 4,000 American troops in Iraq after a deadline for their withdrawal at year’s end, but only to continue training security forces there, a senior military official said on Tuesday.Now one of the big questions is force protection. Show More Summary

Al-Qaeda offshoot acquires, well, something!

Al-Qaeda offshoot acquires Libyan air missiles: EUDue to the turmoil in Libya, members of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) have "gained access to weapons, either small arms or machine-guns, or certain surface-to-air missiles which are extremely dangerous because they pose a risk to flights over the territory," said Gilles de Kerchove.So what exactly did they acquire again?

Tehran looking beyond Al-Assad

Asharq Al-Awsat:...The senior ISCI member also told Asharq Al-Awsat that “Tehran is very concerned about the fate of the Syrian regime, and it wants to move the area of conflict to Iraq and the Arab Gulf region” adding that “in the event...Show More Summary

Iraq bars Hess from auction over Kurdish deals

Iraq's Oil Ministry has excluded U.S oil firm Hess Corp from competing in its 4th energy auction because the company signed deals with Iraq's northern Kurdish region, a senior Iraqi oil official said on Monday....A laughable attempt to fool the system and avoid blacklisting. You'd expect a company of this size to know better!

U.S. Eyes Covert Plan to Counter Iran in Iraq

Military commanders and intelligence officers are pushing for greater authority to conduct covert operations to thwart Iranian influence in neighboring Iraq, according to U.S. officials....Those in Iraq with shady ties to Iran will freak out. Show More Summary

Iranian Police Arrest Water-Pistol 'Rebels'

Iranian police have started cracking down on water fights springing up across the country, arresting several young men and women who took part in the latest organized water-pistol battles....Seriously Iran!?

Al-Sadr calls for Iraqis to rise up against gov't

Al-Sadr calls for Iraqis to rise up against gov't...He wants yet another fight.

US military marks first month with no troop deaths in

US military marks first month with no troop deaths in Iraq war.

EU bans Syrian oil as crackdown kills 13

EU bans Syrian oil as crackdown kills 13...will China do the same?

Syrian Protesters Burning Iranian and Russian Flags

Through decades we saw protesters within the Middle East burning the flags of both America and Israel as these countries were believed to represent the “enemies of the people.” For the first time, we see protesters burning the Russian and Iranian flags and not the American and Israeli flags. Show More Summary

Middle East Transformation Will Not Favor Extremists

The ambiguity surrounding some Islamist powers involved in Middle East revolts raise questions in the West about the trajectory in which ongoing turmoil is taking the region. Skepticism is exacerbated by the fact that some Al-Qaeda affiliates are enthusiastically talking about the opportunities that change in the Middle East holds for them. Show More Summary

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