After a 20-year absence, Aseel Albanna returned to her native Iraq and found a very different country. Here, she poses with the statue of King Shahryar, a character in The Thousand and One Nights, near the Tigris River in Baghdad.
Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich talks to the media as his attorney, Neal Puckett, looks on after a 2010 pretrial hearing at Camp Pendleton in California. Wuterich is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians in 2005.
As many as 5,000 private security contractors will be protecting U.S. diplomats in Iraq. The U.S. Embassy compound (above) and several consulates will have about 15,000 workers, making it the largest diplomatic operation abroad.
Iraqi security forces inspect a crater caused by a car bomb attack in the neighborhood of Karrada in Baghdad earlier today (Dec. 22, 2011). It was one in a wave of such bombings in the Iraqi capital today.