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Photo: Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Iranian-backed militias are more frequently and boldly attacking U.S. personnel in Iraq, and for the first time some of the strikes are taking place in broad daylight, The Washington Post reports.

The big picture: "The question of how to deter further militia strikes without putting troops at greater risk highlights how much American security and influence have evaporated in Iraq," Louisa Lovelock and Missy Ryan write.

  • The Trump administration is trying to develop a game plan to counter these attacks without "sparking costly retaliation."

The state of play: More than 5,000 U.S. troops currently are stationed in Iraq. The U.S. requested that Iraqi authorities find and prosecute those responsible for the attack, but the Iraqis have had little success so far.

The Pentagon issued a directive last week for military commanders to prepare a campaign to destroy an Iranian-backed militia group that's threatened more attacks against U.S. troops, The New York Times reports.

  • Yes, but: Lt. Gen. Robert P. White wrote a memo last week that a new military campaign would require thousands more U.S. troops in Iraq and would divert from current efforts to train the Iraqi military to fight the Islamic State.

Go deeper: Iran's proxies in the Middle East

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
6 mins ago - Health

Falling sperm counts could threaten the human race

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A new book makes the case that sperm counts have been falling for decades — and a major reason is chemicals in the environment that disrupt the body's hormonal system.

Why it matters: The ability to reproduce is fundamental to the viable future of any living thing. If certain chemicals are damaging our fertility over the long term, human beings could end up as an endangered species.

2 hours ago - Health

Black churches become vaccine hubs

A woman arrives at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic outside the Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church in southeast D.C. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Black pastors have a new job on their plates during COVID-19: encouraging skeptical congregants to get vaccinated.

Why it matters: “There’s distrust in our community. We can’t ignore that,” Rev. James Coleman of D.C.'s All Nations Baptist told AP.

Biden names USPS board of governors nominees, as Democrats put pressure on DeJoy

United States Postal Service Postmaster General Louis DeJoy at a Feb. 24 committee hearing. Photo: Graeme Jennings/pool/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday nominated a former postal union lawyer, a vote-by-mail advocate, and a former deputy postmaster general to sit on the Postal Services' Board of Governors.

Why it matters: The nominations, which require Senate confirmation, come as some Democrats call for Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's ouster and others push for Biden to nominate board members to name a new postmaster general.