WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Since Syrians rose up more than three years ago against longtime President Bashar al-Assad, U.S. President Barack Obama has had a clear message: Assad must go.
Now, even as the United States seeks to increase support to moderate rebels to fight his regime, U.S. officials privately concede Assad isn’t going anywhere soon.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The breakthrough leading to Saturday’s surprise exchange of a U.S. prisoner of war for five Guantanamo detainees suddenly became possible after harder-line factions of the Afghan Taliban apparently shifted course and agreed to back it, according to U.S. officials.
The United States had tried diplomacy since late 2010 to free Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, held captive in Afghanistan for nearly five years. But the efforts came to little until now.
WASHINGTON, May 31 (Reuters) – The breakthrough leading to
Saturday’s surprise exchange of a U.S. prisoner of war for five
Guantanamo detainees suddenly became possible after harder-line
factions of the Afghan Taliban apparently shifted course and
agreed to back it, according to U.S. officials.
The United States had tried diplomacy since late 2010 to
free Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, held captive in Afghanistan
for nearly five years. But the efforts came to little until now.
ABOARD A MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) – The Taliban should take advantage of what may be a shrinking window of opportunity to seek a negotiated end to the conflict in Afghanistan, the top U.S. military official said on Thursday.
“I don’t give military advice to the Taliban, but if I were giving them advice, I’d say, ‘Your negotiating position is not going to improve; it’s going to erode’,” said Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The future of U.S. military ties with Egypt, curtailed after a crackdown on opponents by the army-backed leaders, will depend on the actions of the future government, the top U.S. military officer said ahead of Egyptian elections next week.
“I think we should maintain a relationship with the U.S. military and Egyptian military. I think that that relationship will be affected by their actions and whether they make progress on their political transition,” said General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Despite resuming some military aid, the United States appears unlikely to quickly restore the close ties with Egypt that framed U.S. Middle East policy for decades, as concerns persist over the authoritarian crackdown since last year’s military takeover.
Even as Egypt prepares for elections this month that could give new legitimacy to the country’s military-backed leaders, many Obama administration officials question the need to restore Egypt to its place as the premier U.S. partner in the Arab world.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is resuming training for elite Iraqi soldiers in Jordan, a U.S. official said on Wednesday, as Washington seeks to bolster U.S. support for the Iraqi government’s battle against Islamist militants.
A small number of U.S. special forces will take part in a training exchange in Jordan with Iraqi counterterrorism forces beginning in early June, a U.S. defense official said on condition of anonymity.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some of them have been locked up for a dozen years. Some are suspected fighters from Yemen, Russia or Pakistan, arrested by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere. Several have been linked to al Qaeda.
As the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan winds down, the White House will soon provide Congress a dossier on about 50 non-Afghan detainees in a U.S. military prison north of Kabul. Their uncertain fate presents sensitive security and legal problems for the Obama administration in an echo of Guantanamo Bay.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan may drop well below 10,000 – the minimum demanded by the U.S. military to train Afghan forces – as the longest war in American history winds down, Obama administration officials briefed on the matter say.
Since Afghanistan’s general election on April 5, White House, State Department and Pentagon officials have resumed discussions on how many American troops should remain after the current U.S.-led coalition ends its mission this year.
WASHINGTON, April 17 (Reuters) – The United States said on
Thursday it would send Ukraine’s armed forces medical supplies,
sleeping mats and other non-lethal aid, seeking to signal
support for Kiev while stopping far short of adding any U.S.
weaponry to a deepening standoff with Russia.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made the announcement at the
Pentagon as Kiev grapples with a pro-Russia uprising that has
seen fighters seize whole swathes of Ukraine while Moscow masses
tens of thousands of troops on the frontier.