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Jul 17, 2014

U.S. asks Israel to do more to protect Gaza civilians

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States on Thursday called on Israel to do more to prevent Palestinian civilian casualties in its conflict with Hamas militants after four children were killed on a beach in the Gaza Strip.

Even while stepping up U.S. pressure for Israeli restraint, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki reasserted Washington’s condemnation of Hamas’s “indiscriminate rocket attacks” targeting Israeli civilians and affirmed U.S. support for Israel’s right to defend itself.

Jun 26, 2014

U.S. drone strikes risk ‘slippery slope’ to endless war, panel says

WASHINGTON, June 26 (Reuters) – The Obama administration’s
reliance on drone strikes abroad threatens to create a “slippery
slope” toward endless war and sets a dangerous precedent that
other countries could follow, former senior U.S. officials said
in a report on Thursday.

The report acknowledged that the armed unmanned aircraft are
a useful tool in the U.S. counterterrorism arsenal and are “here
to stay,” but it called on President Barack Obama to allow
increased public scrutiny and tighter oversight for the
secretive program while developing international norms.

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.

    • 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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