Matt's Feed
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.

May 16, 2014

U.S. warns China its actions in sea disputes are straining relations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China’s “provocative” actions in maritime disputes with its neighbors are straining ties with the United States, raising questions over how the world’s two biggest economies can work together, a senior U.S. official said.

The strong comments from Washington on Thursday come after deadly anti-China riots broke out in Vietnam in response to China towing an oil rig into a part of the South China Sea claimed by both Hanoi and Beijing.

May 13, 2014

No nuclear deal with Iran unless actions ‘verifiable’ – Obama aide

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iran must agree to “verifiable action” to satisfy U.S. concerns about its nuclear program or else there will be no final deal, President Barack Obama’s top national security aide said on Monday on the eve of a new round of talks between Iran and world powers in Vienna.

Addressing an Israeli Independence Day celebration in Washington, U.S. national security adviser Susan Rice sought to reassure a pro-Israel audience that Washington would take a tough line with Tehran, despite Israeli worries that the Obama administration is giving up too much in the negotiations.

Apr 29, 2014

Obama reassures allies, but doubts over “pivot” to Asia persist

MANILA, April 29 (Reuters) – From the elaborate details of a
Japanese state visit to the more mundane question of how much
face-time to give each of his Asian hosts, President Barack
Obama’s aides spent months meticulously scripting his
four-country tour of the region.

But as the week-long trip wrapped up on Tuesday it was clear
that, while Obama scored points with sceptical allies simply by
showing up, not everything followed the White House plan.

Apr 29, 2014

Obama says U.S. commitment to defend Philippines “ironclad”

MANILA, April 28 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
said on Monday a new military pact between the United States and
the Philippines is testimony to America’s “ironclad” commitment
to defend the southeast Asian nation.

The U.S. president’s comments came against the backdrop of
tensions between the Philippines and an increasingly powerful
China over remote uninhabited islands in the South China Sea.

    • 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."
    • Follow Matt