National Security correspondent, Washington DC
Missy's Feed
Jun 30, 2014

U.S. sends 300 more troops to Iraq, narrows options for second operations center

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is again ramping up its military presence in Iraq, sending around 300 additional troops into the country as well as a detachment of helicopters and drone aircraft, the Pentagon said on Monday.

Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said about 200 forces arrived on Sunday in Iraq to reinforce security at the U.S. embassy, its support facilities and Baghdad International Airport. Another 100 personnel were also due to move to Baghdad to “provide security and logistics support.”

Jun 24, 2014

As Libya teeters near chaos, U.S. keeps hands-off policy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Among all countries swept by the Arab Spring uprisings, few today are as dysfunctional as Libya.

Heavily armed militias outgun its fledgling army. A renegade former general has launched a purge of radical Islamists. Weapons looted from arsenals of ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi help fuel the bloody conflict in Syria. And an estimated $30 billion in oil revenue has been lost in the past 11 months.

Jun 20, 2014

U.S. seeks Iraqi legal safeguards for military advisers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States expressed confidence on Friday it would secure legal safeguards for U.S. forces arriving in Iraq over the next week to shield them from the possibility of prosecution in Iraqi courts, despite America’s inability do so three years ago.

President Barack Obama announced on Thursday he will deploy up to 300 military advisers to Iraq in the face of advances by an al Qaeda splinter group and would consider targeted strikes against insurgents.

Jun 16, 2014

Pentagon: U.S. could discuss Iraq with Iran, but won’t coordinate military action

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials may hold discussions with Iran about Iraq’s security crisis on the sidelines of nuclear talks this week, but Washington will not coordinate potential military action in Iraq with its longtime adversary Tehran, the Pentagon said on Monday.

“It’s possible that on the sidelines of those discussions there could be discussions surrounding the situation in Iraq,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said, referring to talks in Vienna this week between world powers and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Jun 15, 2014

U.S. bolsters Baghdad embassy security, orders some staff evacuated

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States ordered military personnel to boost security for its diplomatic staff in Baghdad on Sunday and said some staff were being evacuated from the embassy as the Iraqi government battled to hold off insurgent forces.

“A small number of DOD (Department of Defense) personnel are augmenting State Department security assets in Baghdad to help ensure the safety of our facilities,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. A U.S. military official said fewer than 100 people would be involved, including marines and other soldiers.

Jun 13, 2014

Analysis – Iraqi military breakdown fueled by corruption, politics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Iraqi army that disintegrated under an onslaught by Islamist fighters this week was a hollow force, riven by corruption, poor leadership and sectarian splits – a shadow of the military Washington had hoped to leave in the war-ravaged country.

The United States dismantled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s military after invading in 2003 and spent $20 billion to build up a new 800,000-strong force, banking on its ability to keep the peace when the U.S. military withdrew in 2011.

Jun 13, 2014

Iraqi military breakdown fueled by corruption, politics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Iraqi army that disintegrated under an onslaught by Islamist fighters this week was a hollow force, riven by corruption, poor leadership and sectarian splits – a shadow of the military Washington had hoped to leave in the war-ravaged country.

The United States dismantled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s military after invading in 2003 and spent $20 billion to build up a new 800,000-strong force, banking on its ability to keep the peace when the U.S. military withdrew in 2011.

Jun 12, 2014

U.S. quietly moves detainees out of secretive Afghanistan prison

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has quietly repatriated a dozen detainees from a small U.S. military prison in Afghanistan, moving a modest step closer toward winding down the United States’ controversial post-9/11 detainee system.

President Barack Obama, in a letter to Congress released on Thursday, informed U.S. lawmakers that about 38 third-country, or non-Afghan, prisoners remained at the Parwan detention center outside of Kabul, down from 50 a few months ago.

Jun 1, 2014

U.S. insists Assad must go, but expects he will stay

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.

Jun 1, 2014

Exclusive: Shift by hard-line Taliban factions may have sealed prisoner exchange

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.

    • 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."
    • Follow Missy