National Security correspondent, Washington DC
Missy's Feed
Mar 29, 2012

U.S. mulls less-stringent controls for Taliban detainees

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has signaled a willingness to accept less-stringent controls on former Taliban leaders who could be transferred to Qatar as part of a deal between the United States and the Afghan militants to kick-start Afghan peace talks, U.S. officials said.

The administration, in negotiations led by the Defense Department, has indicated to Qatar that it would be willing to transfer five Taliban detainees now at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison to the Gulf emirate on condition that Qatari authorities provide assurances the men would not be allowed to leave Qatar, the officials said.

Mar 29, 2012

Amid fresh diplomacy, US still wary of direct Syria role

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton departs on Thursday for fresh diplomacy aimed at
halting Syria’s bloodshed, but there is little sign the Obama
administration is ready to deviate from its hands-off approach.

Clinton’s talks in Riyadh with foreign ministers from Gulf
states will likely be anchored by a new peace proposal from
U.N.-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan. It is the latest bid
to broker a diplomatic end to more than a year of fighting
between President Bashar al-Assad’s troops and opponents to his
family’s decades-long rule.

Mar 29, 2012

Amid fresh diplomacy, US remains wary of direct Syria role

WASHINGTON, March 29 (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton departs on Thursday for fresh diplomacy aimed at
halting Syria’s bloodshed, but there is little sign the Obama
administration is ready to deviate from its hands-off approach.

Clinton’s talks in Riyadh with foreign ministers from Gulf
states will likely be anchored by a new peace proposal from
U.N.-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan. It’s the latest bid
to broker a diplomatic end to over a year of fighting between
President Bashar al-Assad’s troops and opponents to his family’s
decades-long rule.

Mar 22, 2012

U.S. sees Taliban talks suspension as tactical move

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Taliban’s suspension of preliminary peace talks is a tactical move reflecting internal tensions, U.S. officials believe, rather than a definitive halt to discussions the White House hopes will bring a peaceful end to the war in Afghanistan.

U.S. officials had been bracing themselves for backlash from the militant group following a string of public setbacks that have scandalized and angered Afghans, notably U.S. soldiers’ burning of copies of the Koran and the killing of 16 Afghan villagers for which a U.S. soldier is in custody.

Mar 21, 2012

U.S. to determine Afghanistan troop pull-out by end-2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan will make recommendations about how quickly the United States should pull out of that long and costly war late this year, probably after November’s elections, according to a timetable given on Tuesday.

General John Allen, who commands U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said he would present recommendations for Obama on troop levels in 2013 and beyond during the last three months of this year, after assessing the military campaign following the departure of 33,000 U.S. troops due by October.

Mar 20, 2012

Afghan “allies” killed 13 NATO soldiers in 2012: Allen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Thirteen members of the NATO-led Western military coalition in Afghanistan have been killed this year in what appear to be “insider” attacks by members of the Afghan security forces, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces there said on Tuesday.

U.S. General John Allen said that despite a series of recent setbacks the United States and its allies remain on track to ensure Afghanistan will not once again be a safe haven for al Qaeda and will not be terrorized by the Taliban.

Mar 20, 2012

U.S. mulls concessions on flashpoint Afghan nightraids

WASHINGTON/KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai may have won a major concession from the United States following a deadly shooting spree by a U.S. soldier, with the Obama administration considering curbs on contentious night raids.

With Karzai demanding a stop to night raids hated by Afghans, but seen by NATO as one of their most effective anti-insurgent tactics, a U.S. official said the United States was looking at modifying them and giving Afghans more oversight.

Mar 17, 2012

Afghan massacre suspect identified, arrives at Kansas base

/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Army identified the soldier implicated in the massacre of 16 villagers in Afghanistan this week as Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, and said he arrived on Friday at a Kansas base where he will be held in a solitary cell.

Bales, a four-tour veteran, is suspected of walking off his base in southern Afghanistan on Sunday and gunning down the 16 civilians, including nine children and three women, in a massacre that sent American-Afghan relations into a tailspin.

Mar 16, 2012

Afghan massacre suspect identified, due at Kansas base

TACOMA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The soldier implicated in the massacre of 16 villagers in Afghanistan this week – an incident that sent American-Afghan relations into a tailspin – is U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, a U.S. official said on Friday.

The official declined to provide additional details about Bales, who is suspected of walking off his base in southern Afghanistan on Sunday and gunning down 16 villagers.

Mar 16, 2012

Few options for Afghan, U.S. leaders after Kandahar massacre

KABUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Hamid Karzai exploded in anger when he learned last week that an American soldier had massacred 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children.

When Karzai discovered that an aide had kept the news from him until after he had addressed the nation on television, the anger turned to rage.

    • About Missy

      "Prior to heading the Mexico bureau, Missy was deputy bureau chief in Baghdad. She has also covered commodities in Washington, DC and worked in Peru, Argentina and Egypt for Reuters."
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