– The public wants “an endgame” to the war in Afghanistan, said British Prime Minister David Cameron at the start of a three day trip to the U.S. during which he and President Obama are expected to announce that Afghan forces will take over a lead combat role by mid-2013, earlier than originally planned. Cameron said the country “won’t be a perfect democracy” by then, but people want troops to come home.
– President Obama vowed to make a full U.S. inquiry — following facts “wherever they lead us” — regarding the deaths of 16 Afghan civilians at the hands of a U.S. soldier, even as some Afghans sought to link the killings to a demand, in negotiations over a long-term pact, that U.S. soldiers accused of crimes face trials in Afghanistan.
– Iran said that a controversial site — which experts accuse of housing possible nuclear weapons work — will not be opened to inspectors from the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency seeking access.
– Southern Command chief Gen. Douglas Fraser told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday that Iranian-backed terror groups are strengthening their ties to transnational criminal groups in South America and are working to expand their influence in the region.
– The New York Times reports: Emboldened by faltering diplomacy and a Russian pledge to keep supplying weapons, Syria’s armed forces maintained their assault on insurgent enclaves in several parts of the country yesterday, invading the city of Idlib in an expanded campaign to crush the year-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
– Two Syrian dissidents announced today they have quit the Syrian National Council, Syria’s main opposition group, warning that the Council had become an “autocratic” organization.
– In a sign of a possible crackdown on anti-government demonstrators in Russia, a leader of the nascent protest movement there was arrested and ordered to appear before a court.
– The Pentagon is investigating reports that military recruiters fraudulently took $92 million in bonuses intended for soldiers and civilians who referred enlistees.