Senior Afghan and Pakistani officials, as well as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are urging Barack Obama's administration to reconsider withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan, pointing to the chaos and violence in Iraq and warning that Afghanistan could suffer a similar fate if all the Americans go home by 2016, as planned.
With the U.S. Military Academy at West Point as his backdrop, President Barack Obama unveiled a new $5 billion fund to fight terrorism in May. Although the announcement was welcomed at the Pentagon and State Department, there were immediate questions about what exactly the money was for. Four months later, those questions remain largely unanswered.
U.S. airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria only began Monday, but already, as the week ended, the mission there seemed to be growing beyond what was previously advertised.
The Pentagon is already describing its first wave of airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria as "very successful," but in Iraq, where the air campaign has been going on for weeks, progress appears minimal.
Turning its campaign of videotaped terror toward Washington's primary battlefield ally, the Islamic State released a video showing the beheading of British aid worker David Haines and threatening to kill another British hostage.