Troop strength in war zones
How many U.S. troops are currently in Afghanistan? I've seen various reports in your newspaper, days apart. Have the number of troops/personnel in Afghanistan for the first time surpassed the number of troops/personnel we have in Iraq since the start of the Iraqi War?
About 94,000 U.S. troops and personnel have been committed to Afghanistan by President Barack Obama, though not all of them have been deployed yet.
Sometime this summer, the number of troops in Afghanistan is expected to outnumber those in Iraq, 94,000 to 92,000.
That difference will continue to widen as the number of U.S. troops grows in Afghanistan to 98,000 by the end of the year, while troops are withdrawn from Iraq.
The Iraq drawdown calls for a reduction in forces to 50,000 by Sept. 1.
What is Hagel doing now?
What is former U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., doing now?
Hagel serves as a distinguished professor at Georgetown University and a visiting professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1971. He also is co-chairman of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board and chairman of the Atlantic Council, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan think tank that promotes international cooperation.
Hagel also is a member of the secretary of defense's policy board and the secretary of energy's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future. He also serves on the advisory boards and boards of directors for several institutions and corporations.
Hagel served two terms in the Senate, from 1997 to 2009.
A hearing on shootings
What's going on with that psychiatrist that killed those people at Fort Hood? I haven't heard anything more on that.
Maj. Nidal Hasan has been in custody since shortly after the Nov. 5 shootings at Fort Hood in Texas. Paralyzed after being shot by police, Hasan was transferred from the hospital to a county jail housing military inmates in April.
Hasan is to appear in a military courtroom on Oct. 4 for his Article 32 hearing, similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding in which a military official hears witness testimony to determine whether the case should go to trial.
Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the worst shooting on a U.S. military post. Military prosecutors have not said whether they will seek the death penalty.