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Oct 22, 2013

U.S., NATO officials expect approval for Afghan troop deal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Senior U.S. and NATO officials said on Tuesday they were confident Afghanistan’s elders and parliament would back a deal allowing American troops to stay there after 2014, playing down lingering concerns over the accord.

The Afghan president’s spokesman Aimal Faizi had told Reuters on Sunday Kabul and Washington had not yet agreed on several issues in a bilateral security pact, raising the prospect that the U.S. might still have to pull all its troops from the war-ravaged nation by the deadline.

Oct 11, 2013

U.S. Air Force fires general overseeing nuclear missiles

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The two-star general overseeing the U.S. arsenal of intercontinental missiles was fired on Friday for personal misbehavior, the Air Force said, adding the matter was not tied to the readiness or security of America’s nuclear missiles.

The removal of Major General Michael Carey from his job as commander of the 20th Air Force was the latest in a string of recent high-profile firings of top U.S. generals.

Oct 10, 2013

Pentagon No. 2 to step down after four years in top defense jobs

WASHINGTON, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Deputy Defense Secretary
Ashton Carter, known for his deep knowledge of U.S. defense
spending and the defense industry, said on Thursday he was
stepping down in December after four years in top Pentagon jobs.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said he “reluctantly accepted”
Carter’s decision to leave the post.

Oct 9, 2013

During shutdown, U.S. charity to ensure fallen troops’ death benefits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A private U.S. charity struck a deal with the Pentagon on Wednesday to advance a “death gratuity” to families of American troops who die during the government shutdown, after the Defense Department determined it was legally unable to make the $100,000 payment.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the agreement after returning from Dover Air Force Base, where he attended a ceremony marking the return of the bodies of four U.S. soldiers killed by insurgents in Afghanistan on Sunday.

Oct 8, 2013

No time constraints for U.S. in holding Libyan on ship: experts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A terrorism suspect grabbed in Libya by U.S. special forces will likely be held on a Navy ship until interrogators decide he has provided as much information as he is going to, and there are no legal constraints on how long that may be, experts said Tuesday.

But while the U.S. government is not running against a legal clock to hold al Qaeda suspect Nazih al-Ragye, it will not want to keep him too long on board the USS San Antonio at sea, which could prompt accusations of flouting Geneva Conventions, U.S. experts say.

Oct 8, 2013

Shutdown slows aid to families of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – For the families of four U.S. soldiers killed by insurgents in Afghanistan on Sunday, the partial U.S. government shutdown will take a particularly personal toll.

The Pentagon says it is not allowed to pay these families a “death gratuity,” as long as the shutdown continues. The same goes for the family of a Marine who died in Afghanistan on Saturday and any others who die during the budget impasse.

Oct 7, 2013

Elite U.S. team questions seized al Qaeda leader on Navy ship

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An elite American interrogation team is questioning the senior al Qaeda figure who was seized by special operations forces in Libya and then whisked onto a Navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea, U.S. officials said on Monday.

Nazih al-Ragye, better known by the cover name Abu Anas al-Liby, is being held aboard the USS San Antonio, an amphibious transport dock ship, the officials said.

Oct 7, 2013

U.S. elite team questions seized al Qaeda leader on Navy ship

WASHINGTON, Oct 7 (Reuters) – An elite U.S. interrogation
team is questioning the senior al Qaeda figure who was captured
in Libya and then taken onto a Navy ship in the Mediterranean
Sea, U.S. officials said on Monday.

Nazih al-Ragye, better known by the cover name Abu Anas
al-Liby, is being held aboard the USS San Antonio, an amphibious
transport dock ship, the officials said.

Oct 6, 2013

U.S. says captures al Qaeda leader in Libya, also raids Somalia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. forces launched raids in Libya and Somalia on Saturday, two weeks after the deadly Islamist attack on a Nairobi shopping mall, capturing a top al Qaeda figure wanted for the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, U.S. officials said.

Senior al Qaeda figure Anas al Liby was seized in the raid in Libya, but no militant was captured in the raid on the Somali town of Barawe, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Oct 5, 2013

Pentagon to recall most furloughed workers, easing shutdown pain

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Pentagon said on Saturday it would recall most of the roughly 400,000 civilian Defense Department employees sent home during the government shutdown, in a move that could greatly lessen the impact of the shutdown on America’s armed forces.

The exact number to be recalled remained uncertain. Civilian Pentagon employees comprise about half the 800,000 federal employees currently furloughed.

    • 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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