Pentagon Correspondent
Phil's Feed
Aug 29, 2013

Insight:Syria crisis tests U.S. defense chief wary of war

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (Reuters) – Since U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel left for Southeast Asia last week, he has been wrestling with a dilemma at the heart of Washington’s policy on Syria and Hagel’s own guiding philosophy – when and how to go to war.

“I think the world has had enough war,” Hagel told a forum in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia.

Aug 25, 2013

U.S. says ready to carry out military options, if Obama chooses

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – The Pentagon is prepared to carry out military options on Syria should President Barack Obama order them, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Sunday.

Hagel echoed White House statements cautioning that America was still gathering the facts about the Syrian government’s alleged use of poison gas against civilians.

Aug 24, 2013

U.S. defense chief hints at asset positioning ahead of Syria decision

MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel strongly suggested on Friday the United States was positioning naval forces and assets in anticipation of any decision by President Barack Obama to order military action on Syria after apparent chemical weapons use.

Hagel’s comments to reporters traveling with him to Malaysia came after a defense official said the Navy would expand its presence in the Mediterranean with a fourth cruise-missile armed warship because of the escalating civil war in Syria.

Aug 23, 2013

In small American town, a window into Egyptian general’s past

CARLISLE, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – Unlike today’s ubiquitous images of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in crisp uniform decorated with medals, the U.S. Army War College yearbook shows the officer who would one day seize power in Egypt smiling at a party in a small Pennsylvania town, looking relaxed in a yellow polo shirt.

There is a picture of Sisi visiting a U.S. Civil War battleground and another of his family taken at a Halloween party they attended, with his wife and daughter grinning next to a woman dressed like the Egyptian pharaoh Cleopatra.

Aug 23, 2013

Insight: In small American town, a window into Egyptian general’s past

CARLISLE, Pennsylvania (Reuters) – Unlike today’s ubiquitous images of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in crisp uniform decorated with medals, the U.S. Army War College yearbook shows the officer who would one day seize power in Egypt smiling at a party in a small Pennsylvania town, looking relaxed in a yellow polo shirt.

There is a picture of Sisi visiting a U.S. Civil War battleground and another of his family taken at a Halloween party they attended, with his wife and daughter grinning next to a woman dressed like the Egyptian pharaoh Cleopatra.

Aug 21, 2013

U.S. military chief sees more room to boost moderate Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military could – if asked – significantly boost American support to Syria’s moderate opposition, the top U.S. military officer said, suggesting moderates were still unable to shape events should President Bashar al-Assad fall from power.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, made the comments in a letter to a congressman seen by Reuters on Wednesday, in which he renewed his concerns about the limits of U.S. military power to steer events in Syria’s war.

Aug 15, 2013

U.S. mission in Jordan could last years as Syria war rages: Dempsey

AMMAN (Reuters) – The top U.S. military officer told American troops in Jordan on Thursday that their mission to help the kingdom contain the fallout from Syria’s war would likely last years, as the United States bolsters support for the key regional ally.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed a group of mostly U.S. planners who have arrived over the past several months as America expands assistance that now includes stationing F-16 fighter jets and Patriot missiles there.

Aug 14, 2013

Jordan seeks U.S. surveillance aircraft as Syria war rages

AMMAN (Reuters) – Jordan on Wednesday asked the United States to provide manned U.S. surveillance aircraft to help keep an eye on its border with Syria, the top U.S. military officer said, as the kingdom struggles to contain fallout from Syria’s civil war.

The request came during a visit by General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and would further bolster the U.S. military support to Jordan after U.S. decisions to station F-16 aircraft and Patriot missiles there.

Aug 12, 2013

U.S. eyeing Syrian opposition alliances, chemical weapons moves

TEL AVIV (Reuters) – The United States is gaining more insight into Syria’s moderate opposition but must watch carefully to determine when occasional collaboration with Islamist radicals might turn into real alliances, the top U.S. military officer said on Monday.

The comments by General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, came at the start of a trip to close U.S. allies Israel and Jordan likely to be dominated by discussions about Syria’s conflict and broader regional unrest.

Aug 9, 2013

U.S. and Russia seek to keep working ties despite Snowden, summit fuss

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. and Russian officials will seek to maintain a working relationship when they meet in Washington on Friday, even though the political mood between their countries has hit one of its lowest points since the end of the Cold War.

President Barack Obama’s cancellation this week of a summit in Moscow with President Vladimir Putin finally put to rest any notion that a much-vaunted “reset” of ties sought by the United States in recent years is alive.

    • 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