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U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates in Washington on January 11 (epa) January 14, 2007 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates arrived in London today for talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on whether more troops are needed in Afghanistan to deal with a resurgent Taliban.


The new defense chief also plans to discuss with Blair and British Defense Secretary Des Browne the situation in southern Iraq and British plans to withdraw part of its forces there this spring.


The new U.S. defense secretary will visit NATO headquarters in Brussels on January 15 for talks with Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.


(Reuters, AFP)

On The Verge Of Civil War

The Imam Al-Mahdi Army on parade (epa)


HAS THE CONFLICT IN IRAQ BECOME A CIVIL WAR? Many observers have concluded that the tit-for-tat sectarian violence that emerged after the February 2006 bombing of a mosque in Samarra has become a full-blown civil war.... (more)

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THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.

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