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Wednesday, Nov 26th

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US to destroy land mine arsenal, except on Korean peninsula

land mine treatyThe United States pledged Tuesday to destroy its land mine supply outside of the Korean peninsula, in Washington’s latest move to make good on a decade-old promise to sign up to an international treaty banning the weapons.

“We will diligently undertake to destroy stockpiles of these land mines that are not required for the defense of the Republic of Korea,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

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Afghan soldiers missing from Cape Cod base

Joint BasePolice and military officials are searching for a second day for three Afghanistan National Army officers who went missing during a training exercise at a Cape Cod military base.

There were no details to report on the search, Lt. Col. James Sahady of the Massachusetts National Guard said Monday.

U.S. military officials said the Afghan soldiers had been participating in a U.S. Central Command Regional Cooperation training exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod. They arrived at Camp Edwards on Sept. 11 and were last seen Saturday at the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis, an off day for the program.

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US airman re-enlists after air force drops 'so help me God' requirement

US airman re-enlistsThe US air force has allowed an atheist airman to re-enlist after initially refusing to process the his paperwork, because he refused to sign an oath that contained the phrase “so help me God”.

The service announced the policy reversal after the American Humanist Association threatened to file suit by 19 September .

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Obama insists: No U.S. ground combat troops in Iraq

ObamaPresident Obama doubled down Wednesday on an increasingly questioned pledge: There will be no U.S. ground combat troops back in Iraq.

"I will not commit you, and the rest of our armed forces, to fighting another ground war in Iraq," Obama told troops at the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla.

After a briefing with military leaders at CENTCOM, Obama said forces in Iraq and Syria must fight ground battles against the Islamic State, a jihadist group also known as ISIL and ISIS.

Obama also said the United States — which is conducting airstrikes in Iraq and planning them in Syria — will be joined by a coalition of other nations under threat by the Islamic State.

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US air force sergeant barred from re-enlisting unless he swears to God

Air Force oathThe US air force has told an atheist airman he must swear his re-enlistment oath to God or he will not be allowed to reenlist, according to the American Humanist.

The airman, who is stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, has not been identified. The service said he has until November to swear the oath required of all servicemembers, which concludes with the phrase “so help me God.”

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U.S. Air Force: Swear to God—or Get Out

Air Force AcademyIn a new, unexplained shift, the Air Force is compelling its troops to use the phrase ‘so help me God’ in their oaths or be discharged.

For years, allegations of religious intolerance have swirled around the U.S. Air Force, with officers accused both of pushing evangelical Christianity on the troops—and of hampering Christians’ practice.

Now, a new case threatens to reignite the firestorm. The Air Force has allegedly refused to allow a service member to reenlist, because he refused to use the phrase “so help me God” in his oath, the American Humanist Association asserts.

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U.S. military charter lands in Iran after mix-up

military charter lands in IranA U.S. military charter aircraft flying from Afghanistan to Dubai landed in Iran because of a misunderstanding over a flight plan, two U.S. officials confirmed Friday.

The plane was allowed to depart after spending several hours on the ground in southern Iran. The State Department later confirmed that it had landed in Dubai.

"We appreciate the efforts of all parties to help the passengers get safely to their destination," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement. She described the problem as a "bureaucratic issue" with the plane's flight plan.

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