Entries in Combat (3)


Leon Panetta, NATO Officials Meet About Future of Afghan Mission

U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dexter S. Saulisbury(BRUSSELS, Belgium) -- NATO defense ministers, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, are in Brussels, Belgium, where the future of the mission in Afghanistan is topping the agenda at a two-day summit.

Panetta's remarks on Wednesday that the U.S. combat role in Afghanistan would wind down more than a year before the 2014 deadline for withdrawal seem to have landed on the NATO summit like a bombshell.

NATO Secretary Gen. Anders Fogh Rasmussen insisted there was nothing new; the transition would begin when the last province was handed over to Afghan security by mid 2013, he said.

"From that time the role of our troops will gradually change from combat to support.  In that there is nothing new," Rasmussen said.

The alliance, he insisted, would maintain its solidarity and stick to its goals.

Panetta's comments drew criticism, including GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who said the Obama administration should be "telegraphing" its strategy to the Taliban. However, the administration is trying to negotiate with the extremist group, which has stated it has no intention of joining a peace process.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Official: No US Combat Presence in Libya -- 'Period'

Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images(TRIPOLI, Libya) -- Top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East, Jeffrey Feltman, has stressed that Washington has no intention of having combat forces on the ground in Libya.

"President Obama's been very clear that we have not, had not, will not have any combat presence on the ground in Libya. Period."

Speaking in Tripoli Wednesday, Feltman said his visit was intended to "highlight the friendship between the people of the United States and the people of Libya."

"We look forward to re-opening a fully functioning, fully staffed embassy as soon as possible."

As to the ongoing fighting in some areas still loyal to Moammar Gadhafi, Feltman said he was concerned about efforts to negotiate national turnovers to the Transitional National Council.

Earlier this week, NATO warplanes pounded targets in a number of strongholds of support for Gadhafi.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Defense Dept. Investigating Soldier Deaths in Northern Iraq

File photo. Photo Courtesy - United States Army(BAGHDAD) -- The Defense Department confirms two U.S. soldiers were killed Saturday and a third wounded when an Iraqi soldier opened fire on them in northern Iraq.  The Iraqi soldier responsible for the U.S. deaths was killed as well. 

It happened during training exercises conducted by U.S. Forces as part of the Advise and Assist effort.  The attack on the U.S. troops at Ghazlani Training Camp south of Mosul is the second such incident on record.  The Pentagon said there was one last year in Saladin Province in which an Iraqi soldier opened fire on U.S. troops. 

The condition of the wounded soldier is "not releasable," according to the Pentagon.  That soldier was evacuated to Joint Base Balad for medical treatment.  The identities of the dead soldiers is not being released until family members have been told of their loss.

Another soldier died Saturday while conducting operations in central Iraq.

These deaths bring the toll for January to five.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio