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The Islamic State was supposed to be reeling from U.S.-led airstrikes. Yet the group was able to capture Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, and is now consolidating control over that strategically important city.

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A key overlooked fact about the much-ballyhooed "surge is working" argument in Iraq is that the U.S. military actually paid some former insurgents $10 a day to help American troops keep the peace in parts of the country. But what happens when that setup changes in volatile regions like Anbar?

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LinkTV's "Mosaic Intelligence Report" analyzes the assassination of Sheik Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, President Bush's chief ally in Anbar province, from a Middle Eastern perspective.

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President Bush capped off his administration's weeklong campaign to convince America that the "surge" is working with a televised address on Thursday. Nestled among assorted pseudo-announcements and stale slogans was a telling pitch from a president who has repeatedly revised his motive for war: "Our mission in Iraq will evolve."

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The "What, me worry?" president paid a cheerful visit to U.S. troops in Iraq's Anbar province, an auspiciously timed trip (his third since the war began in 2003) that falls mere days before Congress is scheduled to hear Army Gen. David Petraeus' Iraq "progress" report. For another status report (read: reality check), follow this link.

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Further evidence that the U.S. military buildup in Iraq is failing to quell violence in the country came Wednesday with the release of a Pentagon report detailing the sobering statistics about widespread bloodshed in Baghdad and other areas.

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Following a toxic trend that began in late January, three Iraqi suicide bombers set off explosives Friday in Sunni-dominated Anbar province that were rigged to release chlorine gas. The three blasts, which killed two and sickened more than 350 with noxious fumes, occurred in areas where resistance to the insurgency has been growing lately.

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