National Security correspondent, Washington DC
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Apr 17, 2014

U.S. to send Ukraine’s military medical supplies, helmets

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.

Apr 4, 2014

U.S. finalizing plan to boost support for Syrian rebels: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government is finalizing a plan to increase training and small-arms shipments for Syrian rebels, two U.S. security sources said on Friday, as Syrian government troops gain momentum following the collapse of U.S.-backed peace talks.

The United States would increase assistance and send the shipments to moderate rebel factions mostly based in Jordan, along Syria’s southern border, the officials familiar with the plan told Reuters.

Apr 2, 2014

Analysis – U.S., eyeing exit and mindful of past, keeps distance from Afghan election

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ahead of Afghanistan’s last presidential election in 2009, the United States used its diplomatic and military muscle to try to pull off a successful vote in a nation expected to define the foreign policy of President Barack Obama.

Fast-forward to today: the Obama administration is taking an arms-length approach to Afghanistan’s April 5th elections. U.S. soldiers are no longer taking the lead in safeguarding voters across the central Asian country. U.S. officials have steered clear of appearing to pick sides among rival candidates.

Apr 2, 2014

U.S., eyeing exit and mindful of past, keeps distance from Afghan election

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ahead of Afghanistan’s last presidential election in 2009, the United States used its diplomatic and military muscle to try to pull off a successful vote in a nation expected to define the foreign policy of President Barack Obama.

Fast-forward to today: the Obama administration is taking an arms-length approach to Afghanistan’s April 5th elections. U.S. soldiers are no longer taking the lead in safeguarding voters across the central Asian country. U.S. officials have steered clear of appearing to pick sides among rival candidates.

Mar 28, 2014

Syria refugee crisis poses major threat to Lebanese stability: UN

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An influx of almost 1 million refugees from Syria into neighboring Lebanon poses a serious threat to the already fragile country, but donor nations may not grasp the potential impact of further destabilization, a U.N. official said on Thursday.

“There is not a single country in the world today that is shouldering as much in proportion to its size as Lebanon,” said Ninette Kelley, regional representative for Lebanon for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Mar 13, 2014

‘Toxic stew’ of militants lurk in Afghanistan as NATO heads home

KABUL, (Reuters) – The soldiers were asleep when attackers struck their outpost, tucked in the mountains of Afghanistan’s eastern province of Kunar and on the front lines of a deepening war between the army and a potent mix of militants.

Afghan officials say scores of militants killed 21 soldiers as they overran the tiny fortified base on February 23.

Mar 7, 2014

U.S. special forces sent to train Iraqi special forces in Jordan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States recently sent a small number of special forces soldiers to Jordan to train with counterparts from Iraq and Jordan, a new step in the Obama administration’s effort to help Baghdad stamp out a resurgent al Qaeda threat, a U.S. defense official said on Friday.

The U.S. contingent was dispatched to take part in a training exchange with counterterrorism forces from Iraq and Jordan, allowing the administration to provide a modest new measure of support to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

Feb 25, 2014

Eyeing Afghan exit, U.S. intensifies campaign against Haqqani militants

KABUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has intensified its drive against the Taliban-linked Haqqani network in an attempt to deal a lasting blow to the militants in Afghanistan before foreign combat forces depart this year, according to multiple U.S. officials.

The effort is taking on added urgency as the clock ticks down on a NATO combat mission in Afghanistan set to end in December, and as questions persist about whether Pakistan will take action against a group some U.S. officials believe is quietly supported by Pakistani intelligence.

Feb 18, 2014

U.S. moves to revive stalled Afghan peace talks: officials

KABUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is taking steps it hopes could lead to a resumption of peace talks to end the Afghan conflict, including reviving a proposed swap of Taliban detainees held at Guantanamo Bay in return for a U.S. prisoner of war.

According to Western officials familiar with the matter, President Barack Obama’s senior aides in late December resolved to renew attempts to arrange the prisoner exchange with the goal of jump-starting negotiations stalled since last June.

Feb 17, 2014

Exclusive: Afghan peace team seeks Dubai meeting with Taliban figures

KABUL (Reuters) – A delegation from Afghanistan’s High Peace Council has traveled to Dubai to meet former and current Taliban figures, in the hope of laying the groundwork for peace talks to end Afghanistan’s long conflict, sources familiar with the move told Reuters.

Officials led by Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, a senior aide to President Hamid Karzai, traveled on Sunday to the United Arab Emirates, officials from the High Peace Council and the Afghan government confirmed.

    • 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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