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Even though halting Iran’s nuclear weapon ambitions is an urgent priority, there is time for a disciplined approach and a serious and determined effort to resolve the situation diplomatically. Read more»

President Obama has announced that U.S. troops will leave Iraq by the end of the year. Read more»

U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Kahler, left, Pfc. Jonathan Ayers and Pfc. Adam Hamby arm a M240 machine gun in Afghanistan's Kunar Province, 2007. A recent study by Congress’s non-partisan research arm calculated the direct costs of Iraq, Afghanistan and other post-9/11 operations at $1.28 trillion through 2011.

The numbers are murky, but there’s enough information to conclude that the financial toll to the United States is astronomical. Read more»

The Joint Coordination Center at Abu Ghraib is transferred to Iraqi control, April 20.

As the U.S. military concludes its combat role — which President Barack Obama will formally announce Tuesday — Iraq is indeed a dramatic example for the Middle East, but not in the ways that President Bush envisioned. As U.S. troops became mired in fighting an insurgency, Iran extended its influence. Read more»

An airman keeps watch at Balad air base, Iraq, July 25.

This is the way a war ends — not with a bang but a chai tea latte. At Victory Base Camp in Baghdad, soldiers from the last American combat brigade in Iraq are packing up their coffee grinders, their pirated DVDs and their tangled memories for the long journey home. Read more»

Gen. Stanley McChrystal

A day after Gen. Stanley McChrystal's resignation, the profound challenges the U.S. and its allies face remain and some are brought more sharply into relief by the surprising turn of events, particularly the deep divisions within the administration of President Obama. Read more»

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf aka Bagdad Bob

New Smart v. Stupid column: I’ve never written or cared much about Sarah Palin. But her recent Twitter offensive blaming “Greenies” for the Gulf oil spill – to defend her signature line “Drill Baby, Drill!” – got me thinking about how much she reminded me of Baghdad Bob. Read more»

A U.S. Army Soldier attached to 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment hands out informational flyers in Mosul, Iraq.

Staff Sgt. James Ausmann, 32, wears a black metal “memorial” bracelet around his wrist with the names of two buddies killed during the Iraq invasion. “It sucks. You miss them. But you continue to do well, and make sure they didn’t die in vain.” Read more»

In a city without cinemas, in a country without movies, the impossible is happening. A tattered red carpet adorns the steps of the long-defunct Semiramis Cinema in Baghdad and cheerfully-dressed artists bustle past surly soldiers on the way to a premiere. Read more»

When my sister, 101st Airborne Army Capt. Chaplain Fran E. Stuart, returned from Iraq, she was forever changed. Not only had the desert sand, gun blasts and heat penetrated her psyche during her one-year deployment, but a carcinogen had made its way into her body as well. Read more» 1

A screenshot from the WikiLeaks video. The subtitle and annotation by WikiLeaks asserts that a U.S. helicopter crew mistook a camera for a weapon.

In recent weeks – and in the wake of a recently uncovered video – military officials have made some serious admissions about shooting civilians. Read more» 1

An Afghan construction company works on a road in Helmand Province.

In the past eight years, the United States has allocated $51 billion to rebuild and stabilize Afghanistan. But tracking that money sometimes seems as challenging as finding the leaders of the Taliban. Read more»

PRAGUE, Czech Republic — As NATO reviews its mission and purpose, some newer members worry that the alliance's most valued safeguard, the commitment that an attack on one is an attack on all, is not inviolable. Read more»