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Jun 25, 2015

Putin not done in eastern Ukraine, NATO’s top general says

BRUSSELS, June 25 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir
Putin is not done in eastern Ukraine, NATO’s top commander said
on Thursday, cautioning that Russia has been building up
supplies on its border with Ukraine and keeping its military
options open.

U.S. General Philip Breedlove, NATO’s supreme allied
commander, said the border between Ukraine and Russia was “wide
open,” allowing free movement of equipment and supplies.

Jun 25, 2015

NATO warns of risk of return to heavy fighting in Ukraine

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO’s head warned on Thursday of a risk of a return to heavy fighting in Ukraine but said it would be unwise to declare a ceasefire agreement dead, despite repeated violations, because it remained the best hope for peace.

The Ukrainian military on Tuesday accused pro-Russian rebels of conducting long-range artillery attacks on villages in the east and said one of its serviceman was killed and 12 wounded in clashes in the previous 24 hours.

Jun 24, 2015

U.S., eyeing Russia, urges NATO allies to harden cyber defenses

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter urged NATO allies on Wednesday to strengthen their cyber defenses, a senior U.S. defense official said, citing an advanced threat from Russia.

Cyber vulnerabilities within NATO have come into focus following Russia’s annexation of Crimea last year, which raised concerns about unconventional warfare techniques that can range from use of unidentified troops to information campaigns.

Jun 23, 2015

U.S. to pre-position tanks, artillery in Baltics, eastern Europe

TALLINN (Reuters) – The United States will pre-position tanks, artillery and other military equipment in eastern and central Europe, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Tuesday, moving to reassure NATO allies unnerved by Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.

Carter, during a trip to Tallinn, said the Baltic states – Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia — as well as Bulgaria, Romania and Poland agreed to host elements of this equipment. Some of the equipment would also be located in Germany.

Jun 22, 2015

US pledges high-end equipment for NATO rapid response force

MUENSTER, Germany, June 22 (Reuters) – The United States
said on Monday it would contribute special operations forces,
intelligence and other high-end military assets to a new NATO
rapid response force that aims in part to deter any future
actions by Russia.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter made the announcement
during a trip to Germany, where he delivered an address accusing
Moscow of trying to re-create a Soviet-era sphere of influence.

Jun 22, 2015

U.S. won’t let Russia “drag us back to the past” – Pentagon chief

BERLIN, June 22 (Reuters) – The United States and its allies
won’t let Russia “drag us back to the past”, U.S. Defense
Secretary Ash Carter said in an address in Berlin on Monday, as
he accused Moscow of trying to re-create a Soviet-era sphere of
influence.

Russia’s intervention in Ukraine has put NATO allies in
eastern Europe on edge and triggered a series of military moves
by the NATO alliance, including an acceleration of exercises and
the creation of a NATO rapid response force.

Jun 22, 2015

Pentagon chief planning for longer-term rift with Russia

BERLIN (Reuters) – The United States and its NATO allies are preparing militarily for the prospect that their rift with Russia could outlast President Vladimir Putin, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Sunday.

Russia’s intervention in Ukraine has put NATO allies in eastern Europe on edge and triggered a series of military moves by the alliance, including an acceleration of exercises and the creation of a NATO rapid response force.

Jun 21, 2015

Pentagon chief to push U.S. allies to ditch ‘Cold War playbook’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter will urge NATO allies to “dispose of the Cold War playbook” during a trip to Europe this week, as the alliance adapts to a new kind of threat from Russia in the east and Islamic State to the south, U.S. officials said.

Carter heads first to Berlin, where he is expected to call for a more muscular global security role from Germany, Europe’s largest economy. Germany remains hesitant to deploy troops abroad, seven decades after the end of World War Two.

Jun 17, 2015

U.S. weighs near-term Assad military retrenchment in Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and its allies are weighing the possibility that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, under growing military pressure, may soon narrow his focus on defense of more limited areas of the country, the top U.S. general said on Wednesday.

Losses in the north, east and south have put Assad under more military strain than at any point in the four-year-old war, which has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions, according to United Nations data.

Jun 17, 2015

U.S. urges ‘greater commitment’ to war effort from Baghdad

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States called for a “greater commitment” from Iraq’s government on Wednesday in the fight against Islamic State as it lamented Baghdad’s failure to deliver enough soldiers for training and underscored the need to empower Sunni tribesmen.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told a congressional hearing that the U.S. military had hoped to train 24,000 Iraqi security forces by this fall but had only received enough recruits to train about 9,000 so far.

    • About Phil

      "Phil Stewart has worked for Reuters since 1998 and reported from more than 30 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Egypt. Before becoming a Washington D.C.-based military affairs and intelligence reporter, Phil covered terrorism, foreign affairs and the Vatican from Rome from 2004 until mid-2009. He has also previously been based in Colombia and Brazil as a foreign correspondent. Before joining Reuters, Phil covered U.S. politics out of Washington D.C. for States News Service. He earned his BS in international relations from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. He speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. ..."
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