U.S. Foreign Policy Correspondent
Arshad's Feed
Jan 6, 2015

U.S. stands by plan to pull troops from Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Monday stood by plans to halve the number of its troops in Afghanistan this year and reduce them further in 2016 following Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s suggestion that President Barack Obama review his deadline.

But Ghani’s comment adds to a growing debate over whether the White House will stick to its plans, already amended twice, of cutting U.S. troops to about 5,000 by the end of this year and drawing down to a “normal” U.S. embassy presence in Kabul at the end of 2016.

Dec 19, 2014

U.S. reaches out to China, others, for help on Sony hack

WASHINGTON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – The United States has sought
help from China, Japan, South Korea and Russia in combating
cyber attacks such as the one Washington on Friday accused North
Korea of carrying out against Sony Pictures, U.S. officials
said.

The outreach, which included meetings among U.S. and Chinese
officials in both nations’ capitals, is a tacit acknowledgement
that if anyone has influence over Pyongyang it is China, given
its long border, historical ties and quiet trade with the North.

Nov 17, 2014

State Department’s unclassified email systems hacked

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The State Department’s unclassified email systems were the victim of a cyberattack in recent weeks, around the same time as White House systems were breached, a senior U.S. official said on Monday.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no classified systems were compromised. Portions of State’s unclassified systems have been shut down to improve security but should be back online shortly.

Nov 7, 2014

Exclusive: U.S. weighs sanctions on Libyan factions to try to halt proxy war

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is considering imposing sanctions on Libya’s combative factions to try to prevent a proxy conflict fueled by regional powers from erupting into full-blown civil war and force militant leaders to negotiate, U.S. officials said.

Three years after Muammar Gaddafi’s downfall, outside intervention has exacerbated the fighting, with Qatar and, to some degree, Turkey supporting Islamist-linked forces and Egypt and the United Arab Emirates backing more secular rivals.

Oct 23, 2014

Iran will be seen as responsible if nuclear talks fail: U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iran will be widely seen to be responsible if a comprehensive deal to curb its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief is not reached, the top U.S. negotiator said on Thursday.

U.S. Under-Secretary of State Wendy Sherman also said major powers negotiating with Iran have offered it ideas that are “equitable, enforceable and consistent with Tehran’s expressed desire for a viable civilian nuclear program.”

Oct 20, 2014

U.S. military says air-drops weapons for Kurdish fighters near Kobani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military said it had air-dropped arms to Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State militants near Kobani on Sunday in what appeared to be the Pentagon’s first public acknowledgment it has delivered lethal aid to the rebels.

The U.S. Central Command said it had delivered weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to the Syrian rebels who for weeks have sought to stave off an onslaught by Islamic State fighters that have overrun swathes of Syria and Iraq this year.

Oct 10, 2014

Analysis – Kobani’s fall would be symbolic setback for Obama Syria strategy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It’s not a particularly strategic location, the United States and its allies never pledged to defend it, and few people outside the region had even heard of it before this month.

    But the symbolism of U.S.-led airstrikes failing to stop Islamic State militants from overrunning the Syrian city of Kobani could provide an early setback to U.S. President Barack Obama’s three-week old Syria air campaign – far beyond its battlefield importance.

Oct 10, 2014

Kobani’s fall would be symbolic setback for Obama Syria strategy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It’s not a particularly strategic location, the United States and its allies never pledged to defend it, and few people outside the region had even heard of it before this month.

    But the symbolism of U.S.-led airstrikes failing to stop Islamic State militants from overrunning the Syrian city of Kobani could provide an early setback to U.S. President Barack Obama’s three-week old Syria air campaign – far beyond its battlefield importance.

Oct 8, 2014

U.S. frustrated by Turkish inaction, but seeks support over time

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is frustrated by Turkey’s failure to stop the Islamic State onslaught on the Syrian town of Kobani but hopes to win its support against the group over time, a U.S. official said on Wednesday.

Turkish troops have sat on the sidelines as Islamic State militants have fought to gain control of Kobani, a Syrian town on the border with Turkey that is largely populated by Kurds, who also constitute large minorities in Turkey and Iraq.

Oct 8, 2014

U.S. military says air power may not save Syrian town of Kobani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military on Wednesday said air power alone may not save the Syrian town of Kobani from Islamic State militants as U.S. officials appeared to brace for the town’s fall.

Although the U.S. military carried out six air strikes to try to keep the town from IS hands, it also acknowledged that Kobani and other towns may be overrun by the group, which has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria this year.

    • About Arshad

      "I cover U.S. foreign policy for Reuters from a base at the State Department. I joined Reuters in 1988 and have worked as a correspondent in New York, Paris, Algiers and Washington, where I have covered the White House (1996-2002) and the State Department (2002-2005, 2006-present)."
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