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Jun 19, 2014

Obama sends U.S. military advisers to Iraq as battle rages over refinery

TIKRIT Iraq (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday he was sending up to 300 U.S. military advisers to Iraq but stressed the need for a political solution to the Iraqi crisis as government forces battled Sunni rebels for control of the country’s biggest refinery.

Speaking after a meeting with his national security team, Obama said he was prepared to take “targeted” military action later if deemed necessary, thus delaying but still keeping open the prospect of U.S. air strikes against a militant insurgency. But he insisted that U.S. troops would not return to combat in Iraq.

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 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 14, 2014

Insight – Obama faces limited options in Iraq crisis, doubts over air strikes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Two and a half years after President Barack Obama disentangled America from a long, unpopular war in Iraq, his options for helping the Iraqi government stave off a militant onslaught are slim as doubts simmer over whether even punishing air strikes would be effective.

He will announce in coming days how far he is willing to go in responding to the crisis in Iraq, where militants are sweeping south towards the capital Baghdad in a campaign to recreate a large mediaeval Islamic caliphate spanning Iraq and Syria.

Jun 14, 2014

Obama faces limited options in Iraq crisis, doubts over air strikes

WASHINGTON, June 13 (Reuters) – Two and a half years after
President Barack Obama disentangled America from a long,
unpopular war in Iraq, his options for helping the Iraqi
government stave off a militant onslaught are slim as doubts
simmer over whether even punishing air strikes would be
effective.

He will announce in coming days how far he is willing to go
in responding to the crisis in Iraq, where militants are
sweeping south towards the capital Baghdad in a campaign to
recreate a large mediaeval Islamic caliphate spanning Iraq and
Syria.

Jun 3, 2014

For fallen soldiers’ families, Bergdahl release stirs resentment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Robert Andrews believes his own son might still be alive if U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl had not gone missing from his Afghan guard post on June 30, 2009.

As Bergdahl emerges from five years of Taliban captivity, former comrades are accusing him of walking away from his unit and prompting a massive manhunt they say cost the lives of at least six fellow soldiers, including Andrews’ 34-year-old son, Darryn, a second lieutenant.

Jun 2, 2014

Freed from Taliban captivity, Bergdahl’s ordeal far from over

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – In 2008, when he joined the army, he was a bookish athlete from rugged Idaho with a passion for fencing. A year later, he was a captive of the Afghan Taliban. Today, he is on the way home, a free man at last.

But a new ordeal for Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, 28, is just beginning.

Held alone for nearly five years, without any contact with fellow soldiers, Bergdahl likely suffered deep psychological scars that could take years to heal, possibly a lifetime, say experts who have studied prisoners held for long periods of time at war.

May 30, 2014

Legacy at risk, Obama struggles to redefine foreign policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s second term was supposed to be a crowning opportunity to make his mark on the world stage, but instead he’s leading an intense effort to redefine his foreign policy record – and the odds look stacked against him.

An administration-wide public relations blitz, which Obama launched with a big foreign policy speech this week, has done little to quell critics who frequently pan his global approach as rudderless, as the White House lurches from crisis to crisis.

May 23, 2014

Despite Obama’s new rules, no end in sight for drone war

WASHINGTON/SANAA, May 23 (Reuters) – When a barrage of
drone-fired missiles hit al Qaeda cells in Yemen in mid-April
and killed dozens of militants, the results were strikingly
different from a mistaken U.S. attack on a Yemeni wedding convoy
just four months earlier.

But even though the drones apparently found their targets
this time, they were still blamed for a number of civilian
deaths.

May 17, 2014

Obama’s Asia pivot tested by China’s bold maritime claims

WASHINGTON/MANILA (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama sought to reassure allies in Asia last month that the United States would support them in the face of a more assertive China.

But after one of Beijing’s boldest moves in years to lay claim to contested waters off Vietnam, some Asia countries are asking a simple question: Where is Washington?

May 16, 2014

Violence abates in Vietnam as U.S. warns China for ‘provocation”

HANOI/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Anti-China violence subsided in Vietnam on Friday after the prime minister called for calm, but the United States said China’s “provocative” actions in maritime disputes were dangerous and had to stop.

Thousands of people attacked businesses and factories in Vietnam’s industrial parks earlier in the week, targeting Chinese workers and Chinese-owned businesses after Beijing parked an oil rig in a part of the South China Sea claimed by Hanoi. Many Taiwanese-owned firms bore the brunt because the crowds believed they were owned by mainland Chinese.

    • About Matt

      "White House correspondent who has covered news on four continents for Reuters, from Latin American coups and drug wars to the O.J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles to the Balkans conflict to the second Palestinian Intifada to the Iraq war. He has covered George W. Bush and is now covering President Barack Obama."
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