Pentagon Correspondent
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Jun 26, 2013

U.S. military chief recommends bolstering Lebanon, Iraq forces

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. military officer said on Wednesday he has recommended bolstering Lebanese forces grappling with the fallout from Syria’s civil war by sending in military trainers and accelerating arms sales.

General Martin Dempsey also said he had recommended helping Iraq better deal with the re-emergence of al Qaeda.

Jun 23, 2013

U.S. seeks Snowden’s extradition, urges Hong Kong to act quickly

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Saturday it wants Hong Kong to extradite Edward Snowden and urged it to act quickly, paving the way for what could be a lengthy legal battle to prosecute the former National Security Agency contractor on espionage charges.

Legal sources say Snowden, who is believed to be hiding in Hong Kong, has sought legal representation from human rights lawyers since leaking details about secret U.S. surveillance activities to news media.

Jun 22, 2013

Snowden in a ‘safe place’ as U.S. prepares to seek extradition

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Edward Snowden was in a “safe place” in Hong Kong, a newspaper reported on Saturday, as the United States prepared to seek the extradition of the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor after filing espionage charges against him.

The South China Morning Post said Snowden, who has exposed secret U.S. surveillance programs including new details published on Saturday about alleged hacking of Chinese phone companies, was not in police protection in Hong Kong, as had been reported elsewhere.

Jun 19, 2013

Pentagon unveils plans for moving women into combat roles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top U.S. military official declared “the days of Rambo are over” as the Pentagon unveiled its plans on Tuesday for integrating women into combat infantry positions following 12 years of war in which they fought and died in Iraq and Afghanistan while barred from front-line fighting jobs.

The plans, which call for gender-neutral job requirements like scaling walls and lifting 55-pound (25-kg) tank ammunition, will require more years of study, education and training before some services open combat jobs to women.

Jun 14, 2013

U.S. military options in Syria remain challenging

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration is promising to step up assistance to Syrian rebels after concluding Damascus used chemical weapons against opponents of President Bashar al-Assad, but the military options facing the United States are no easier than before.

President Barack Obama has been slow to move toward military assistance for Syria’s opposition in the past and is likely to continue to move judiciously, looking to work with allies in any intervention in the country’s civil war.

Jun 4, 2013

U.S. military chiefs face grilling over sexual assault

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – America’s top military officers told Congress on Tuesday that sexual assault represented a crisis in the armed forces but warned lawmakers against going too far with legislation stripping commanders of power within the military justice system.

The hearing comes after a wave of sexual assault scandals and new Pentagon data showing a steep rise in unwanted sexual contact, from groping to rape, that have deeply embarrassed the military.

Jun 4, 2013

U.S. military chiefs to draw line on sexual assault law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – America’s top military officers are likely to advise Congress not to go too far overhauling the U.S. military’s justice system to address the problem of sexual assault when they testify at a Senate hearing on Tuesday.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, and top officers from each branch of the military will comment on legislation meant to stem a rise in sexual assault cases.

May 31, 2013

U.S. Naval Academy football players investigated for sexual assault

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Three members of the U.S. Naval Academy football team are being investigated for the alleged sexual assault of a female student, the Pentagon said on Friday, the latest in a string of scandals that have thrown a spotlight on sex crimes in the military.

The alleged incident took place in April 2012, when the student attended a party at the off-campus “football house” in Annapolis, Maryland and became intoxicated, her attorney, Susan Burke, said in a statement.

May 24, 2013

Veterans’ claims put pressure on Obama even as backlog dips

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A long-growing backlog of U.S. military veterans’ disability claims, which has stoked congressional anger, has dipped in recent weeks, however tentatively.

But that is not taking any pressure off President Barack Obama, his Department of Veterans Affairs or the Pentagon to fix a system that has left veterans waiting – sometimes for years – to get answers from the U.S. government about their disability claims.

May 22, 2013

Pentagon looks to private market for health records fix

WASHINGTON, May 22 (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck
Hagel will ask the private sector to develop software to track
troops’ health records, part of an ambitious plan to create a
system that is fully integrated with the one used by the
nation’s military veterans, a U.S. official told Reuters on
Wednesday.

Hagel’s decision is complicated and technical but goes to
the core of President Barack Obama’s goal to create an easier
transition for troops as they leave the military and seek care
at the VA.

    • 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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