The US reportedly used a secret channel to convey to Iran more forcefully that closing the Strait of Hormuz would provoke a military response.
The cost of the Iraq war was high, in lives and treasure. Families who lost loved ones can take heart that Saddam Hussein, one of the worst dictators since Hitler, is gone. But the final answer to whether this US effort was worth it still awaits history.
Iraq's Shiite prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, briefly arrested the Sunni vice president yesterday and has urged a vote of no confidence against the Sunni deputy premier.
Obama praises role of US troops in creating Iraqi democracy. Now he must still help Iraq keep its fragile government and sovereignty.
Some 4,000 US forces will be exiting Iraq in the coming days. 'Iraq will be tested in days ahead,' warned Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, at an end-of-mission ceremony Thursday.
Returning home at the end of the Iraq mission is not all 'cotton-candy clouds and unicorns' for some US troops. They now have to face financial and family problems at home or the rising risk of being cut by a downsizing military.
As they prepare for the final exit from the war in Iraq, US troops aim to avoid any spectacular attack – and take stock of a conflict that gave the Middle East its worst violence in recent decades.