War

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

The U.S. says it has reached a deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan that lays out what could be the first steps toward ending America's longest-running war.

Administration officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity at the Munich Security Conference, say there will be a seven-day "reduction in violence" but did not specify when it would start. The seven days are meant as an initial confidence-building measure.

Updated at 3:18 p.m. ET

The Senate approved a bipartisan resolution to curb the president's war powers when it comes to Iran — a rare rebuke and effort to reassert Congress' authority,

The vote was 55-45 — with eight Republicans joining all Democrats to pass the measure. The tally fell far short of the two-thirds needed to override a presidential veto.

The Trump administration has lifted a ban on the U.S. military's use of anti-personnel land mines outside of the Korean Peninsula. In a statement released Friday, the White House said the ban — implemented under the Obama administration — interfered with the president's "steadfast commitment to ensuring our forces are able to defend against any and all threats."

The House has approved two measures seeking to limit the president's ability to take military action without congressional approval.

The first piece of legislation, known as the No War Against Iran Act, would block funding for military force in or against Iran unless Congress has signed off. The measure, introduced by Rep. Ro Khanna of California, passed by a vote of 228-175.

Iran's cultural heritage is suddenly a topic of urgent global interest, after President Trump threatened to strike such sites if the country retaliates for the United States' killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani last week.

Dr. Amir Khalil and his rescue team reached the King Hussein Bridge between Jordan and Israel at 6 a.m. on April 4. It was the first of three borders Khalil needed to cross that day, and his second attempt to do so in a week. With him were three trucks and the tools and medicine necessary to evacuate 47 animals — including lions, wolves, baboons and ostriches — from a struggling zoo in the city of Rafah, in the Gaza Strip.

The United States may have committed war crimes as it bombed al-Shabab militants in Somalia, a new report Amnesty International alleges.

Researchers for the human rights group investigated five U.S. airstrikes and found that they had resulted in 14 civilian deaths. The U.S. has "indiscriminately killed some of these civilians," Abdullahi Hassan, a Nairobi-based researcher for Amnesty, said in an interview.

The remains of a Navy sailor from Butler County stationed aboard the USS Oklahoma during World War II have been identified. Fireman Third Class Willard Irvin Lawson, 25, died during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency reports.

Before the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, Gen. Najm al-Jabouri would stand at the border crossing with Turkey and look longingly across the gate.

"As an officer, I had a dream to travel outside of Iraq," he says, sitting in a garden in Saddam Hussein's former palace complex in Mosul. "Sometimes I would go to Ibrahim Khalil gate just to see outside Iraq — to see whether the ground outside Iraq was different from inside Iraq."

The jitters over North Korea's missile tests have led Hawaii to bring back air raid sirens. The state already has sirens in place in case of tsunami, but starting this month the state will once again test the "wailing tone" meant specifically to warn of attack.

First Use and Nuclear Command

Nov 30, 2017
kalhh / Pixabay

Presidential powers and The Bomb. How federal lawmakers are rethinking presidential "first use" of the bomb and what are the latest prospects for World War III.

Five years ago, before he was a candidate for president, Donald Trump was pretty sure he knew what to do about Afghanistan. It was a losing proposition, "a complete waste" in terms of "blood and treasure."

"Why are we continuing to train these Afghanis who then shoot our soldiers in the back?" he asked on Twitter in 2012. "Afghanistan is a complete waste. Time to come home!"

More recently, candidate Trump was less certain about exactly when the U.S. should exit the struggle that he had railed against continuing.

Updated at 6 p.m. ET on Aug. 20

President Trump's calculation about Afghanistan boils down to a familiar question in U.S. national security: Of all the bad options, what's the least worst?

Trump will "provide an update on the path forward" in Afghanistan and South Asia on Monday night at 9 ET, the White House said on Sunday. The president will make the announcement at Fort Myer in Arlington, Va.

The Defense Department says two U.S. servicemembers died in action in eastern Afghanistan Wednesday.

According to a statement released by the headquarters of United States Forces — Afghanistan, "Two U.S. Servicemembers were killed in action and a third was wounded in action on Wednesday evening when they came under attack during a raid against insurgents in Nangahar Province."

The statement says "The servicemembers were conducting a partnered operation with Afghan National Defense and Security Forces."

The U.S. has dropped the most powerful conventional weapon ever used in combat to hit an underground ISIS complex in Afghanistan, Pentagon officials say.

The nearly 22,000-pound "MOAB" — standing for Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or as it's also known, the "Mother of All Bombs" — was designed during the Iraq War but had never before been used on the battlefield.

The U.S. has used the bomb's predecessor, a smaller but still massive weapon known as the "Daisy Cutter," in Afghanistan before.

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