National Security correspondent, Washington DC
Missy's Feed
Jan 24, 2014

Iraq politician warns elections may further alienate Sunnis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The speaker of Iraq’s parliament warned on Friday that upcoming elections might be used to further marginalize already-frustrated Sunni Muslims, who have chafed against what they call unfair treatment from the country’s Shi’ite prime minister.

Usama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni, said in an interview during a visit to Washington that he feared attempts to discourage voting or “provoke the situation” in Sunni areas, or to sideline certain would-be candidates, were designed “to weaken Sunni representation in parliament.”

Jan 22, 2014

U.S. eyes options for Afghanistan after Congress cuts aid

WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – The Obama administration is
considering ways to ensure future financial assistance for
Afghanistan after U.S. lawmakers halved development aid to the
country.

In a massive spending bill signed into law on Friday by
President Barack Obama, lawmakers provided $1.12 billion to
Afghanistan for fiscal 2014 for overall civilian assistance, a
50 percent reduction from the previous fiscal year. It was still
unclear, however, how much aid the country would actually
receive for 2014.

Jan 16, 2014

Top Iraq lawmaker to visit Washington next week

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The speaker of Iraq’s parliament, Usama al-Nujaifi, will visit Washington next week to meet with senior Obama administration officials as Iraq seeks to fend off a surge in violence.

A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Nujaifi, one of most senior politicians from Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority, would make the visit in response to an invitation made last fall by Vice President Joe Biden.

Jan 10, 2014

U.S. could train elite Iraqi forces in Jordan

WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – The Obama administration is
considering providing new training to elite Iraqi forces in
Jordan as U.S. officials seek ways to help the government of
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki repel an al Qaeda campaign
near its western border.

Earlier this week, U.S. officials said the United States was
in discussions with Iraq about training its elite forces in a
third country, which would allow Washington to provide a modest
measure of new support against militants in the absence of a
troop deal allowing U.S. soldiers to operate within Iraq.

Jan 8, 2014

U.S. fears grow about Iraq, but response remains limited

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is considering expanding its support to Iraqi forces as they fight off a renewed al Qaeda threat, but Washington’s ability to significantly increase security assistance to Baghdad will remain limited.

U.S. officials say they are in discussions with the Iraqi government about training its elite forces in a third country, which would allow the United States to provide one modest measure of new assistance against militants in the absence of a troop deal that allows U.S. soldiers to operate within Iraq.

Jan 8, 2014

Analysis: U.S. fears grow about Iraq, but response remains limited

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is considering expanding its support to Iraqi forces as they fight off a renewed al Qaeda threat, but Washington’s ability to significantly increase security assistance to Baghdad will remain limited.

U.S. officials say they are in discussions with the Iraqi government about training its elite forces in a third country, which would allow the United States to provide one modest measure of new assistance against militants in the absence of a troop deal that allows U.S. soldiers to operate within Iraq.

Dec 28, 2013

U.S. military personnel released after being held by Libya government

WASHINGTON/TRIPOLI, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Four American
military personnel were detained by the Libyan government on
Friday and held in custody for several hours before being
released, U.S. officials said.

The Americans were near Sabratha, a town located some 70 km
(45 miles) west of Tripoli that is home to well-known Roman
ruins, “as part of security preparedness efforts when they were
taken into custody,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said
in a statement.

Dec 26, 2013

If U.S. troops leave Afghanistan, much civilian aid may go too

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For years, U.S. officials have pointed to the improvements in the everyday lives of Afghans made possible by billions of dollars in aid from the United States and elsewhere.

In Afghanistan, people now live 20 years longer on average than under Taliban rule, they say; 7 million more children attend school and women are 80 percent less likely to die in childbirth.

Dec 23, 2013

U.S. moves Marines to Africa as South Sudan violence rages

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military on Monday deployed about 150 Marines to a base in the Horn of Africa to prepare for possible further evacuations of American citizens from the deepening conflict in South Sudan, U.S. officials said on Monday.

The deployment of a special crisis-response team of Marines, who are normally stationed at Moron Air Base in Spain, follows a thwarted evacuation attempt in South Sudan over the weekend in which four U.S. soldiers were wounded by gunfire.

Dec 23, 2013

Analysis: Even if foreign troops leave Afghanistan, U.S. has some options

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials have warned of the potential for catastrophe if Afghan President Hamid Karzai fails to sign a security pact to permit foreign forces to stay in Afghanistan beyond 2014.

Unless a deal is reached to enable a modest U.S. force of perhaps 8,000 to stay in the country, the Taliban might stage a major comeback, al Qaeda might regain safe havens and Afghan forces might find themselves starved of funding, the officials say. The post-2014 U.S. force envisioned would train and assist Afghan soldiers and go after the most dangerous militants.

    • 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