Pentagon Correspondent
Phil's Feed
Mar 15, 2013

U.S. to bolster missile defenses to counter North Korea threat: source

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will announce at 3 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Friday a plan to bolster U.S. missile defenses in Alaska to counter the growing North Korean threat, a U.S. defense official said.

The official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, did not offer additional details.

Mar 15, 2013

U.S. to bolster missile defenses to counter N.Korea threat -source

WASHINGTON, March 15 (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Chuck
Hagel will announce at 3 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Friday a plan to
bolster U.S. missile defenses in Alaska to counter the growing
North Korean threat, a U.S. defense official said.

The official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of
anonymity, did not offer additional details.

Mar 11, 2013

As Afghan trip goes badly off script, Hagel opts for caution

KABUL (Reuters) – It was a harrowing international debut for Chuck Hagel, whose first trip to Afghanistan as U.S. defence secretary went dramatically off-script and challenged the American narrative about the 11-year-old war.

His first full day in Afghanistan began with the sound of suicide bomb attack about a kilometre away from his morning meetings at a NATO facility. But the real damage came the next day when Washington’s mercurial ally in the war, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, accused the United States of colluding with the Taliban hours before the two met.

Mar 11, 2013

As Afghan trip goes badly off script, cautious Hagel focuses on U.S. troops

KABUL (Reuters) – It was a harrowing international debut for Chuck Hagel, whose first trip to Afghanistan as U.S. defense secretary went dramatically off-script and challenged the American narrative about the 11-year-old war.

His first full day in Afghanistan began with the sound of suicide bomb attack about a kilometer away from his morning meetings at a NATO facility. But the real damage came the next day when Washington’s mercurial ally in the war, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, accused the United States of colluding with the Taliban hours before the two met.

Mar 11, 2013

Afghanistan’s Karzai blasts U.S., marring Hagel visit

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai ratcheted up his criticism of the United States on Sunday, marring a debut visit by the new U.S. defense secretary, Chuck Hagel, and highlighting tensions that could undermine Washington’s strategy to wind down the unpopular war.

A day after two Taliban bombings killed 17 people, Karzai accused the United States and the Taliban of colluding to convince Afghans that foreign forces were needed beyond 2014, when NATO is set to wrap up its combat mission and most troops withdraw.

Mar 10, 2013

Afghanistan’s Karzai criticizes U.S., exposing tension

KABUL (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday ratcheted up his criticism of Washington during a visit of the U.S. defense secretary, underscoring tension between allies struggling to stabilize the country ahead of a NATO troop withdrawal.

Karzai accused the United States and the Taliban of colluding to convince Afghans that foreign forces were needed to maintain peace in the country beyond next year, when most foreign combat forces are due to leave.

Mar 9, 2013

Hagel’s re-introduction to Afghan war begins with bombing

KABUL (Reuters) – Chuck Hagel’s first full day in Afghanistan as U.S. defence secretary began with the sound of a suicide bombing about a kilometre away from one of his morning briefings.

“I wasn’t sure what it was,” Hagel said, asked about his initial reaction to the blast that killed nine civilians outside the Afghan defence ministry.

Mar 9, 2013

Suicide bomber kills nine Afghans in Kabul during Hagel visit

KABUL (Reuters) – A suicide bomber blew himself up at a Defence Ministry gate in Kabul on Saturday killing nine civilians during a visit to Afghanistan by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, underlining the insurgent threat as NATO troops prepare to leave.

Hagel was nowhere near the explosion, said a spokesman for Afghanistan’s NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). A U.S. defense official said Hagel was in a safe location at an ISAF facility.

Mar 8, 2013

Pakistan supply routes open, but move gear slowly into Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It is the least expensive way to get food and fuel to U.S. troops in Afghanistan. But eight months after Pakistan reopened its ground supply routes for the NATO war effort, hardly any new cargo has taken that path into the landlocked country.

Instead, supplies have been moving almost entirely along far more expensive routes, one of several factors that have prompted senior Pentagon officials to warn that Afghan war costs are higher than projected at a time of increasingly tight budgets.

Mar 8, 2013

Hagel makes first Afghan trip as U.S. defence chief

KABUL (Reuters) – Chuck Hagel arrived in Afghanistan on Friday for his first trip abroad as U.S. defence secretary, seeking to make his own assessment of America’s longest war as it enters its final stretch.

Hagel said he would meet U.S. commanders and troops, and hold talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, whose recent orders to curtail U.S. military activity underscore an often tense relationship with the 66,000 American forces there.

    • 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. ..."
    • Contact Phil

    • Follow Phil