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US soldier to plead guilty to Afghanistan killings

The American soldier accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians, most of them women and children, as they slept in villages adjacent to an army outpost in Kandahar province early last year is to plead guilty at a hearing next week in an attempt to stave off the death penalty, his lawyer said.

Nato alarm over Afghan army crisis: loss of recruits threatens

Thousands of recruits are quitting the newly formed Afghan police and armed forces every month, raising fears over their ability to protect the emerging democracy when coalition troops leave the country in less than two years' time. For every 10 new soldiers recruited to the Afghan National Army (ANA), at least three are lost because they have been sacked, captured or killed in action, new figures have revealed. British officials admit that current "attrition rates", with more than 5,000 soldiers quitting every month, threaten the force's long-term effectiveness.

MoD admits campaign in Afghanistan is 'an unwinnable war'

British soldiers fighting in Afghanistan are part of a campaign that attempted to “impose an ideology foreign to the Afghan people” and was “unwinnable in military terms”, according to a damning report by the Ministry of Defence.

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US and Europe accelerate plans for Syrian transition

The United States and like-minded governments are rushing to fund and legitimize a newly-formed Syrian opposition group amid fear that plans for a political transition are being outpaced by rebel military gains, US and European officials said.