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May 1, 2013

Pentagon may soon clear use of Apple, Samsung, BlackBerry devices

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon is expected to clear Apple, Samsung and BlackBerry mobile devices for use on Defense Department networks in the next few weeks, part of an effort to ensure the military has access to the latest communications technology, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The decision will set the stage for an intensified struggle for Pentagon customers among BlackBerry devices, Apple’s iPhones or iPads and units using Google’s Android platform such as Samsung Electronics’ phones. The Pentagon currently has some 600,000 users of smart phones, computer tablets and other mobile devices.

May 1, 2013

Pentagon prepares to ask Congress for break from ‘sequester’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon is preparing to ask Congress soon for more authority to shift funds to cope with automatic spending cuts, confronting lawmakers with another exception to the “sequester” just days after they gave a break to the flying public and the airline industry.

The request may be sent to the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee as early as next week, a House Republican aide said on Wednesday.

May 1, 2013

Pentagon prepares to ask U.S. Congress for break from “sequester”

WASHINGTON, May 1 (Reuters) – The Pentagon is preparing to
ask Congress soon for more authority to shift funds to cope with
automatic spending cuts, confronting lawmakers with another
exception to the “sequester” just days after they gave a break
to the flying public and the airline industry.

The request may be sent to the House of Representatives’
Appropriations Committee as early as next week, a House
Republican aide said on Wednesday.

Apr 29, 2013

In changing region, U.S. committed to military ties with Gulf Arabs

DUBAI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Washington is signaling its military commitment to its Gulf Arab allies at a time of unfamiliar strain in their decades old partnership.

Syria’s civil war and Iran’s nuclear program have led to tensions, with Gulf Arab states willing a more assertive U.S. response to bring Iran to heel and force Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power. Growing U.S. energy independence has further complicated a relationship founded on oil and defense.

Apr 26, 2013

U.S. suspects Syria used chemical weapons, wants proof

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House said on Thursday that the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad has probably used chemical weapons on a small scale in the country’s civil war, but insisted that President Barack Obama needed definitive proof before he would take action.

The disclosure created a quandary for Obama, who has set the use of chemical weapons as a “red line” that Assad must not cross, and triggered calls from some hawkish Washington lawmakers for a U.S. military response, which the president has resisted.

Apr 25, 2013

U.S. believes Syria used chemical weapons but says facts needed

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. intelligence agencies believe Syria’s government has likely used chemical weapons on a small scale, the White House said on Thursday, but added that President Barack Obama needed “credible and corroborated” facts before acting on that assessment.

The disclosure of the assessment, which Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said was made within the past 24 hours and the White House said was based in part on physiological samples, triggered immediate calls for U.S. action by members of Congress who advocate deeper U.S. involvement.

Apr 24, 2013

U.S. defense chief reaffirms military ties with Egypt

CAIRO (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel underscored Washington’s military commitment to Egypt on Wednesday and pledged American support as Egyptian forces evolve to address new and shifting security threats, U.S. defense officials said.

“I wanted to stop in Egypt to … reaffirm American commitment to Egypt’s emerging democracy, encourage the democratic and economic reforms that are underway here,” Hagel told reporters after a day of meetings with Egyptian officials.

Apr 24, 2013

U.S. judgment on Syrian chemical arms report won’t be rushed: Hagel

CAIRO (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday the U.S. effort to determine whether Syria has used chemical weapons is a “serious business” that cannot be decided in a rush just because several countries believe evidence supports that conclusion.

“Suspicions are one thing, evidence is another,” Hagel told reporters as he wrapped up a visit to Egypt that included talks about Syria and other regional issues.

Apr 24, 2013

Crossing Obama’s ‘red line’ on Syria will require concrete proof

WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) – While President Barack Obama has declared a “red line” over Syrian use of chemical weapons, U.S. officials suggested on Tuesday that Washington was unlikely to respond without clear-cut evidence of such use – evidence that may be very hard to come by.

Israel’s top military intelligence analyst said in Tel Aviv on Tuesday that Syrian government forces had used chemical weapons – probably the nerve gas sarin – in their fight against rebels trying to force out President Bashar al-Assad.

Apr 24, 2013

Analysis: Crossing Obama’s “red line” on Syria will require concrete proof

WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) – While President Barack Obama has declared a “red line” over Syrian use of chemical weapons, U.S. officials suggested on Tuesday that Washington was unlikely to respond without clear-cut evidence of such use – evidence that may be very hard to come by.

Israel’s top military intelligence analyst said in Tel Aviv on Tuesday that Syrian government forces had used chemical weapons – probably the nerve gas sarin – in their fight against rebels trying to force out President Bashar al-Assad.

    • About David

      "David has been a journalist for 30 years, based in Washington, London, New Delhi, Jerusalem and Philadelphia. He covered the first Gulf war, the Palestinian intifada and the conflict in Kashmir. Since 1998 he has been an editor and reporter in Washington, covering politics, the White House and other stories."
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