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Jun 18, 2014

U.S. defense officials press Congress to back Pentagon spending plans

WASHINGTON, June 18 (Reuters) – Senior defense officials
urged U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday to accept Pentagon plans to
cut troop levels and weapons systems to meet tight federal
budgets, saying excessive tinkering could increase risk to the
military and leave it poorly prepared for war.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told a Senate panel that
budget caps requiring nearly a trillion dollars in Pentagon
spending cuts over a decade made it impossible to keep the
current military force “adequately ready and modernized.”

Jun 18, 2014

In Washington, growing chorus calls for Iraq’s Maliki to go

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama came under pressure from U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday to persuade Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to step down over what they see as his failed leadership in the face of an insurgency threatening his country.

As Obama held an hour-long meeting with congressional leaders on U.S. options in Iraq, administration officials joined a chorus of criticism of Maliki, faulting him for failing to heal sectarian rifts that militants have exploited.

Jun 18, 2014

In Washington, growing chorus calls for removal of Iraq’s Maliki

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama came under pressure from U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday to persuade Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to step down over what they see as his failed leadership in the face of an insurgency threatening his country.

As Obama prepared to meet congressional leaders to discuss U.S. options in the Iraq crisis, senior administration officials joined the chorus of criticism against Maliki, faulting him for failing to heal sectarian rifts that militants have exploited.

Jun 13, 2014

Freed war prisoner Bergdahl arrives at Army medical center in Texas -Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who spent five years as a Taliban prisoner of war before being released on May 31, has arrived at an Army medical center in Texas where he will receive further treatment, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said Bergdahl left Ramstein Air Base in Germany aboard a military plane on Thursday afternoon and arrived early on Friday in San Antonio, where he will receive additional care at the Brooke Army Medical Center.

Jun 12, 2014

Freed war prisoner Bergdahl leaves Germany for U.S.: Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who spent five years as a Taliban prisoner of war before being released on May 31, left a U.S. military hospital in Germany on Thursday headed to San Antonio, where he will receive further treatment, the Pentagon said.

Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said Bergdahl left Ramstein Air Base in Germany aboard a military plane on Thursday afternoon and was due to arrive early on Friday in San Antonio, where he will receive additional care at the Brooke Army Medical Center.

Jun 11, 2014

U.S. defence chief defends Taliban prisoner swap before Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday defended the U.S. decision to trade five Taliban leaders at Guantanamo for war prisoner Bowe Bergdahl, insisting it was the right move but admitting failure to tell lawmakers hurt trust with Congress.

Hagel told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee the Obama administration felt a growing sense of urgency in recent weeks about freeing Bergdahl because of concerns that his health was deteriorating and warnings from Qatari intermediaries that “time was not on our side.”

Jun 11, 2014

U.S. defense chief defends swap of Taliban for war prisoner

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday defended the U.S. decision to trade five Taliban leaders at Guantanamo for war prisoner Bowe Bergdahl, insisting it was the right move but admitting failure to tell lawmakers hurt trust with Congress.

Hagel told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee the administration felt a growing sense of urgency about freeing Bergdahl in recent weeks due to concerns that his health was deteriorating and warnings from Qatari intermediaries that “time was not on our side.”

Jun 11, 2014

Hearing fails to calm anger over deal to free Bergdahl

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A closed-door congressional hearing on the release of Bowe Bergdahl failed to calm Republican anger on Tuesday over the administration’s secretive deal to trade five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo for the U.S. prisoner of war.

But a group of former soldiers defended the exchange and accused lawmakers of stoking the furor over the prisoner swap for political gain.

Jun 7, 2014

Americans split on prisoner swap of Taliban for U.S. soldier

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans are deeply divided over whether the Obama administration did the right thing by swapping five Taliban leaders to win the freedom of Afghanistan prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl, according to Reuters/Ipsos survey released on Friday.

Americans strongly agree the United States should make every effort to free prisoners of war like Bergdahl, an Army Sergeant who was captured in eastern Afghanistan in 2009. But they also think the prisoner swap deal set a dangerous precedent.

Jun 6, 2014

Americans split on prisoner swap of Taliban for U.S. soldier: poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans are deeply divided over whether the Obama administration did the right thing by swapping five Taliban leaders to win the freedom of Afghanistan prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl, according to Reuters/Ipsos survey released on Friday.

Americans strongly agree the United States should make every effort to free prisoners of war like Bergdahl, an Army Sergeant who was captured in eastern Afghanistan in 2009. But they also think the prisoner swap deal set a dangerous precedent.

    • 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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