National Security correspondent, Washington DC
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May 22, 2012

U.S. ambassador in Kabul to leave because of health

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker confirmed on Tuesday that he plans to step down this summer because of ill health and sources said he was held in high regard and was not pushed out.

“Today, Ambassador Ryan Crocker confirmed to the Afghan Government, U.S. Mission Afghanistan, and the ISAF community that he intends to depart his post for health reasons in mid-summer,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, referring to the International Security Assistance Force.

May 22, 2012

NATO endorses strategy to end Afghan war but risks remain

CHICAGO (Reuters) – NATO set an “irreversible” course out of Afghanistan on Monday but President Barack Obama admitted the Western alliance’s plan to end the deeply unpopular war in 2014 was fraught with peril.

A landmark NATO summit in Chicago endorsed an exit strategy that calls for handing control of Afghanistan to its own security forces by the middle of next year but left questions unanswered about how to prevent a slide into chaos and a Taliban resurgence after allied troops are gone.

May 21, 2012

Exclusive: U.S. envoy to Afghanistan to step down shortly

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Veteran U.S. diplomat Ryan Crocker is expected to step down soon from his post as President Barack Obama’s envoy to Afghanistan, departing the U.S. mission in Kabul as the United States negotiates a host of challenges on its course out of the long, costly war.

The Obama administration is considering Deputy Ambassador James Cunningham to replace Crocker when he leaves the post as early as this month, sources familiar with the matter said.

May 21, 2012

NATO sets ‘irreversible’ but risky course to end Afghan war

CHICAGO, May 21 (Reuters) – NATO set an “irreversible”
course out of Afghanistan on Monday but President Barack Obama
admitted the Western alliance’s plan to end the deeply unpopular
war in 2014 was fraught with peril.

A landmark NATO summit in Chicago endorsed an exit strategy
that calls for handing control of Afghanistan to its own
security forces by the middle of next year but left questions
unanswered about how to prevent a slide into chaos and a Taliban
resurgence after allied troops are gone.

May 21, 2012

NATO to endorse Afghan exit plan, seeks routes out

CHICAGO (Reuters) – NATO leaders will endorse plans to hand over combat command in Afghanistan by mid-2013 on Monday and seek practical progress in opening routes to bring an international army of more than 130,000 back home from an unpopular, resource-draining war.

The strategy for a gradual exit from Afghanistan is aimed at holding together the multinational force and maintaining security in spite of France’s decision to withdraw its troops earlier than scheduled.

May 21, 2012

Zardari may face friction over supply routes at NATO summit

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari arrived in Chicago on Saturday for a NATO summit to what could be a chilly reception if a hoped-for deal allowing trucks to again supply alliance troops in Afghanistan fails to materialize.

While Western officials sought to portray Zardari’s presence as a sign of improving NATO-Pakistan ties, possible friction at the meeting underscores the challenges NATO countries face as they struggle to ensure a stable future for Afghanistan after Western toops withdraw.

May 20, 2012

NATO to embrace pivot to Afghanistan support role in 2013

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Western leaders gathering this weekend to define their path out of Afghanistan will announce a pivot in the NATO mission next year, formally putting Afghan soldiers in charge of combat operations across the country, U.S. officials said on Sunday.

The leaders are expected to endorse a U.S. decision – telegraphed by the Pentagon earlier this year – to shift foreign troops to a support role by mid- or late 2013, a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.

May 20, 2012

NATO leaders map strategy for Afghanistan exit

CHICAGO, May 20 (Reuters) – NATO leaders gathered in Chicago
on Sunday to chart a path out of Afghanistan as war-weary
Western nations seek to fend off dissent in their alliance and
ensure Afghanistan can hold a still-potent Taliban at bay when
foreign troops withdraw.

President Barack Obama hosts the summit in his home town,
Chicago, a day after leaders of major industrialized nations
tackled Europe’s debt crisis, backing keeping Greece in the euro
zone and vowing to take steps necessary to revitalize the world
economy.

May 20, 2012

NATO leaders seek common path out of Afghanistan

CHICAGO (Reuters) – NATO leaders gather in Chicago on Sunday for a summit that will chart a path out of Afghanistan, as Western nations seek to fend off fissures in their alliance and ensure Afghanistan can hold a still-potent Taliban at bay when foreign troops withdraw.

President Barack Obama hosts the summit in his home town, Chicago, a day after leaders of major industrialized nations tackled Europe’s debt crisis, backing keeping Greece in the euro zone and vowing to take steps necessary to revitalize the world economy.

May 20, 2012

Pakistani leader may face friction over supply routes at NATO summit

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari arrived in Chicago on Saturday for a NATO summit to what could be a chilly reception if a hoped-for deal allowing trucks to again supply alliance troops in Afghanistan fails to materialize.

While Western officials sought to portray Zardari’s presence as a sign of improving NATO-Pakistan ties, possible friction at the meeting underscores the challenges NATO countries face as they struggle to ensure a stable future for Afghanistan after Western troops withdraw.

    • 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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