National Security correspondent, Washington DC
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Dec 20, 2011

Key senator warns against Taliban talks, transfer

By Missy Ryan

(Reuters) – A key Republican U.S. senator warned against negotiating with the Taliban on Monday, illustrating the political risk the Obama administration is taking by considering a prisoner transfer as part of a bid to end the Afghan war.

U.S. officials told Reuters a transfer of Taliban prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay military prison into Afghan government custody could be one confidence-building measure critical to making progress on a peace deal between the Taliban and the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

Dec 19, 2011

Secret U.S., Taliban talks reach turning point

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After 10 months of secret dialogue with Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents, senior U.S. officials say the talks have reached a critical juncture and they will soon know whether a breakthrough is possible, leading to peace talks whose ultimate goal is to end the Afghan war.

As part of the accelerating, high-stakes diplomacy, Reuters has learned, the United States is considering the transfer of an unspecified number of Taliban prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay military prison into Afghan government custody.

Dec 19, 2011

Exclusive: Secret U.S., Taliban talks reach turning point

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After 10 months of secret dialogue with Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents, senior U.S. officials say the talks have reached a critical juncture and they will soon know whether a breakthrough is possible, leading to peace talks whose ultimate goal is to end the Afghan war.

As part of the accelerating, high-stakes diplomacy, Reuters has learned, the United States is considering the transfer of an unspecified number of Taliban prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay military prison into Afghan government custody.

Dec 17, 2011

Panetta says Libya faces long, difficult transition

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told Libya Saturday it faced a “long and difficult” road in moving on from 42 years of one-man rule and uniting the fractious rebel groups that overthrew Muammar Gaddafi.

Panetta became the first U.S. defense secretary to visit Libya when he arrived in the capital Tripoli to meet an interim leadership struggling to assert control two months after Gaddafi was captured and killed.

Dec 17, 2011

Panetta in Libya after UN lifts bank sanctions

TRIPOLI (Reuters) – U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in Libya on Saturday where a weak interim government is struggling to assert control two months after the capture and killing of dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

The visit follows a decision by the U.N. Security Council on Friday to lift sanctions on Libya’s central bank and a subsidiary, clearing the way for tens of billions of dollars they hold overseas to be unfrozen to ease an acute cash crisis.

Dec 15, 2011

U.S. military marks end of its war in Iraq

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The U.S. military officially ended its war in Iraq on Thursday, packing up a military flag at a ceremony with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta nearly nine years after the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

The last 4,000 American troops will withdraw by the end of the year, leaving Iraq still tackling a weakened but stubborn insurgency, sectarian tensions and political uncertainty.

Dec 15, 2011

Panetta in Iraq to close U.S. war

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The U.S. military officially ended its war in Iraq on Thursday, packing up a military flag at a ceremony with U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta nearly nine years after the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

The last 4,000 American troops will withdraw by the end of the year, leaving Iraq still tackling a weakened but stubborn insurgency, sectarian tensions and political uncertainty.

Dec 14, 2011

West winning in Afghanistan – Pentagon chief

(Adds Karzai, additional Panetta comments)

By Missy Ryan

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHARANA, Afghanistan, Dec 14
(Reuters) – The United States and its allies are winning in
Afghanistan, the U.S. defense chief said on Wednesday, despite
spreading violence, a resilient insurgency and uncertain
prospects for a peace deal the West had hoped might end a decade
of war.

“I really think that for all the sacrifice that you’re
doing, the reality is that it’s paying off,” Defense Secretary
Leon Panetta told U.S. soldiers at Forward Operating Base
Sharana, an outpost in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province.

Dec 14, 2011

West winning in Afghanistan, says U.S. defense chief

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SHARANA, Afghanistan (Reuters) – The United States and its allies are winning in Afghanistan, the U.S. defense chief said on Wednesday, despite spreading violence, a resilient insurgency and uncertain prospects for a peace deal the West had hoped might end a decade of war.

“I really think that for all the sacrifice that you’re doing, the reality is that it’s paying off,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told U.S. soldiers at Forward Operating Base Sharana, an outpost in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province.

Dec 13, 2011

Politics won’t determine Afghan drawdown: U.S. general

KABUL (Reuters) – The United States will make decisions about when and how fast to withdraw troops from Afghanistan based on military strategy rather than political mandates, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces there said on Tuesday.

The United States and its NATO allies are gradually drawing forces out of Afghanistan, and handing over security responsibilities to Afghan forces, as they seek to curtail their involvement in a long, costly war.

    • 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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