07 April 2009

Vocabulary In the News: Obama in Iraq to push for political progress


By Matt Spetalnick

capt_photo_1239118639891-2-0 BAGHDAD (Reuters) – President Barack Obama flew to Baghdad on Tuesday to meet U.S. military commanders and Iraqi leaders, making his first trip as president after announcing his new strategy to wind down the unpopular six-year-old war.

Obama's visit to Baghdad was shrouded in the secrecy typical of similar trips made by his predecessor George W. Bush. For security reasons the visit was not publicized beforehand and was made known only after Air Force One had touched down at Baghdad International Airport.

Obama flew from Istanbul at the end of his first major international tour, making his first visit to Iraq since before he won the White House in the November 2008 U.S. election.

His arrival came a day after a string of seemingly coordinated bombings across the Iraqi capital killed 37 people. On Tuesday, a car bomb killed nine people and wounded 20 in the Shi'ite Kadhimiya district of northwest Baghdad, police said.

The attacks underscored security challenges as the U.S. military prepares to implement Obama's order to withdraw all combat troops by August 2010.

Obama said he had come to Iraq for face-to-face meetings and to get a better sense of the security situation.

"We spent a lot of time trying to get Afghanistan right (but) there's still a lot of work to be done here," he told reporters in Baghdad before meeting the top U.S. commander in Iraq, General Raymond Odierno.

The sectarian warfare and insurgency unleashed by the 2003 U.S.-led invasion have receded sharply over the past year, but Iraqi security forces still face huge challenges as they take on policing and military operations from the United States.

Obama said there had been significant progress in Iraq, but that much work remained to be done by the leaders of Iraq's squabbling political factions to reach "equitable, fair" solutions.

Bad weather prevented Obama from flying to the Green Zone, the heavily guarded compound that houses the Iraqi government in central Baghdad. But the White House said Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki would travel to Camp Victory, the sprawling U.S. base near the airport, to see the president.

Under Obama's new Iraq war strategy, announced in February, the roughly 140,000 U.S. troops now in Iraq will be drawn down to between 35,000 and 50,000 - a number that anti-war critics consider too high -- by the end of August 2010. Their mission will be redefined mostly to help train Iraqi forces. But they too must leave by the end of 2011.

USE YOUR DICTIONARIES to find other meanings, uses and roots of the following vocabulary from the text!!

check-mark-graphic be shrouded in secrecy expression
to be very secret
They were a very mysterious society, whose activities are shrouded in secrecy.
check-mark-graphicbeforehand adverb
before a particular event, especially used for talking about something done in preparation for the event
If you do most of the cooking beforehand, you’ll enjoy the evening more.
check-mark-graphiccompound noun [countable]
an enclosed area where a particular group of people live, or where people such as soldiers and prisoners can exercise
check-mark-graphicimplement verb [transitive]
to make something like a system, plan, idea or law start to work and be used
Attempts to implement change have met with strong opposition.
check-mark-graphicpush for verbal phrase [transitive]
to try hard to get or achieve something
They continue to push for more pay.
We are pushing for a ban on nuclear testing.
check-mark-graphicrecede verb [intransitive]
to become less strong or likely
His pain has receded a little.
The prospects of victory receded still further.
check-mark-graphicroughly adverb
used for showing an amount, number, time etc that is not exact
The meeting lasted roughly 45 minutes.
We’re roughly the same age.
check-mark-graphicsprawling adjective
built over a wide area in a way that is ugly or not carefully planned
a sprawling city
check-mark-graphicsquabbling adjective
arguing over someone or something that is not important
The political party lost their majority because they were too many squabbling members who couldn’t agree on certain issues.
check-mark-graphictouch down verbal phrase
if an aircraft or space vehicle touches down, it lands
The planed touched down in Sydney at midday.
check-mark-graphicunderscore verb [transitive]
to emphasize something, or to show that it is important
The study underscores the importance of early diagnosis.
check-mark-graphicunleash verb [transitive]
to do or to cause something that has a very powerful or harmful effect
The new tax laws have unleashed a storm of criticism.
check-mark-graphicwind down verbal phrase [transitive / intransitive]
to end or finish gradually
The party started to wind down around 2:00 am.
The UN has decided to wind down the peacekeeping mission.
check-mark-graphicwithdraw verb [transitive / intransitive]
if an army withdraws or is withdrawn from a place, it leaves
The troops began to withdraw from the northern regions.

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