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Page last updated at 08:57 GMT, Tuesday, 22 February 2011

US troops 'have become iconic figures'

Whether the war in Afghanistan is being won, or negotiated to a conclusion, the US troops are regarded at home as heroes.

In the first of three reports on US military politics, BBC North America editor Mark Mardell examines how popular attitudes to the military might constrain president Obama's foreign policy.

Listen to Mark Mardell's reports from the US on the "military-industrial complex" and the increasingly intellectual approach to military training or read more and join the debate on his blog.

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