Hagel worked behind the scenes but seemed overly deferential to generals in top-level strategy meetings, officials said.
As the war in Afghanistan wanes, the troops deploying for a final tour are heading out with a different focus, finding they still have a long way to go.
Presidential speeches, interviews, appearances by Cabinet members and massive digitial outreach planned.
The commander is assessing air support, the pace of the drawdown and a future security presence.
The president, in his weekly radio address, says “we can’t give in to hysteria or fear.”
In the Kurdish capital, expats drawn by the oil boom enjoy Americana and raise money for refugees.
Robert Carlson bears mental wounds from years in combat. Now he is sentenced to eight years in prison.
The U.S. strategy to combat the Islamic State leans on the Kurds, but they have problems of their own.
Confirmation vote gives the U.S. an opening to expand its role in fighting the Islamic State.
The troops were aided by U.S. airstrikes, marking a sharp escalation of the American military campaign.