The Marjah Offensive

February 16, 2010

U.S. marines are leading a massive NATO effort to drive Taliban insurgents from Southern Afghanistan so that power in the region can be transfered to the Afghan government.

NATO forces have so far been facing the most resistance in the Taliban haven of Marjah. U.S. troops have been plagued by sniper fire and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). However, British and Afghan troops are reported to be making better progress in the neighboring district of Nad Ali.

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Iraq Postpones Elections

February 8, 2010

Iraq’s independent election commission has postponed the start of parliamentary races. Officials say that they need time to determine who is eligible to campaign after a ban was lifted on hundreds of potential candidates.

An Iraqi appeals court last wednesday overturned an effort to bar hundreds of candidates from running for office. Most of the people barred were formerly aligned with Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath party, and many of them were previously members of parliament. The ban threatened to disenfranchise Sunnis and open up possible sectarian tensions that have plagued Iraq for the past few years.

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