ashton carter

Afghanistan: Revoking Obama Rules of Engagement Leads to Progress Against Taliban

The expanded military authorization granted by President Barack Obama last month, which allows American troops supporting their Afghan counterparts to offensively target the Taliban rather than waiting for the terrorist group to attack first, is leading to progress on the battlefield, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan told USA Today.

The Afghan Taliban have announced the start of their 'spring offensive', even as the government in Kabul tries to bring the insurgents back to the negotiating table

Navy Demotes Commander in Charge of Sailors Captured by Iran

Navy Commander Eric Rasch, formerly executive officer of Coastal Riverine Squadron 3, was removed from his post on Thursday. The Navy Times describes him as “the first officer to be publicly disciplined for errors that led to 10 sailors being captured by Iran after getting lost in the Persian Gulf” on January 12.

This frame grab from Tuesday, January 12, 2016 video by the Iranian state-run IRIB News Agency, shows detention of American Navy sailors by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Persian Gulf, Iran. The 10 U.S. Navy sailors detained by Iran after their two small boats allegedly drifted into Iranian territorial …

Joe Biden Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden made a surprise visit to Iraq on Thursday, the first in nearly five years, in an effort to bolster the American-led coalition fight against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

BAGHDAD, IRAQ - APRIL 28: Vice President of US Joe Biden meets Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (R) during his official visit in Baghdad, Iraq on April 28, 2016. (Photo by Pool / Iraq Prime Ministry Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

China Inaugurates Third Lighthouse in Disputed South China Sea

Chinese media outlet Xinhua has confirmed that a third illegally constructed lighthouse in the South China Sea is now fully operational. The lighthouse is located on the artificial island formerly known as Subi Reef and equipped with “automatic identification systems” that significantly expand China’s surveillance capabilities.

REUTERS/CSIS ASIA MARITIME TRANSPARENCY INITIATIVE/DIGITAL GLOBE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS/FILES

China Places Surface-to-Air Missiles on South China Sea Islands

New satellite images indicate that the Chinese government has placed “an advanced surface-to-air missile system” on illegally constructed artificial islands in the South China Sea, threatening both the nations who claim that territory and any passersby navigating those international waters.

Reuters

Iran Re-Enacts U.S. Navy Kidnapping to Celebrate Anniversary of Revolution

The U.S. Navy has condemned Iran’s new propaganda film, in which a U.S. sailor is shown weeping in captivity, as “outrageous and unacceptable.” Meanwhile, a defiant Iran is re-enacting the capture of the American sailors on January 10 as street theater, during celebrations marking the anniversary of the Iranian revolution.

AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi