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Nov 26, 2012

Analysis: For Obama, could 10,000 troops in Afghanistan be too many?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama publicly scoffed at the idea of keeping 10,000 troops in Iraq. So could he really be persuaded to keep that many in Afghanistan after the war formally ends in 2014?

The 10,000 figure is well within a preliminary range put forward by the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, and which is informing deliberations by the Obama administration, one U.S. official said.

Nov 15, 2012

With top brass under scrutiny, Pentagon chief orders ethics review

BANGKOK, Nov 15 (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta
has ordered the U.S. military’s top brass to look for any gaps
in ethics training as he lamented lapses in judgment by officers
that could “erode public confidence in our leadership,” a
Pentagon spokesman said on Thursday.

Questions over the conduct of U.S. generals has come into
sharp focus over the past week as retired General David Petraeus
lost his job as CIA director over an affair and General John
Allen, who leads the Afghan war effort, was placed under
investigation for potentially inappropriate emails with a
Florida socialite.

Nov 15, 2012

No other top brass ensnared in Petraeus scandal: Panetta

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday he knew of no other military officials beyond the top commander in Afghanistan drawn into the investigation surrounding former CIA Director and retired four-star general David Petraeus.

Panetta, on a visit to Thailand, acknowledged that further revelations were possible in the case. But his comments suggested that, at least for now, questions about email traffic with a Florida socialite had ensnared no other officers.

Nov 15, 2012

No other top brass ensnared in Petraeus scandal-Pentagon chief

BANGKOK, Nov 15 (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary Leon
Panetta said on Thursday he knew of no other military officials
beyond the top commander in Afghanistan drawn into the
investigation surrounding former CIA Director and retired
four-star general David Petraeus.

Panetta, on a visit to Thailand, acknowledged that further
revelations were possible in the case. But his comments
suggested that, at least for now, questions about email traffic
with a Florida socialite had ensnared no other officers.

Nov 14, 2012

Don’t jump to conclusions over US general, Pentagon chief says

PERTH, Australia, Nov 14 (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary
Leon Panetta warned on Wednesday against jumping to conclusions
over the actions of the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, a day
after placing him under investigation in a widening scandal that
already cost CIA Director David Petraeus his job.

Marine General John Allen, who denies any wrongdoing, is
being investigated for potentially inappropriate communications
with a woman at the center of the Petraeus case, Jill Kelley, a
Florida socialite.

Nov 13, 2012

Petraeus scandal widens, snares US commander in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – The scandal involving former
CIA Director David Petraeus widened on Tuesday as U.S. defense
officials said they were looking into “flirtatious” e-mails
between General John Allen, the top U.S. commander in
Afghanistan, and a woman at the center of the affair.

Defense Department officials said they were sifting through
30,000 pages of email and other communications between Allen and
Jill Kelley, a Florida socialite whose complaints about
harassing messages led to the discovery of Petraeus’ affair with
his biographer.

Nov 13, 2012

Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan under investigation, scandal widens

MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) – The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, is under investigation for allegedly inappropriate communication with a woman at the center of the scandal involving former CIA Director David Petraeus, a senior U.S. defense official said on Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The shocking revelation threatens to fell another one of the U.S. military’s biggest names and suggests that the scandal involving Petraeus – a former four-star general who had Allen’s job in Afghanistan before moving to the CIA last year – could expand much further than previously imagined.

Nov 12, 2012

Will he stay in job? Pentagon chief says: “Who the hell knows?”

MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Leon Panetta refused to speculate on Monday about how soon he might step down and even joked that he couldn’t rule out spending another term in the job, saying: “Who the hell knows?”

There is intense speculation at the Pentagon that Panetta might retire within months following President Barack Obama’s re-election, spurring a guessing game about a successor.

Nov 9, 2012

Iran fired on U.S. drone over Gulf: Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iranian warplanes fired at an unarmed U.S. drone in international airspace last week but did not hit the aircraft, the Pentagon said on Thursday, disclosing details of an unprecedented incident that triggered a formal warning to Tehran through diplomatic channels.

The November 1 intercept was the first time Tehran had fired at an unmanned American aircraft, in a stark reminder of how tensions between the United States and Iran could escalate quickly into violence.

Nov 8, 2012

Iranian warplanes fired on U.S. drone over Gulf: Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iranian warplanes fired at an unarmed U.S. drone in international airspace last week but did not hit the aircraft, the Pentagon said on Thursday, an unprecedented incident that triggered a sharp warning to Tehran through diplomatic channels.

The Pentagon said the November 1 intercept appeared to be the first time Tehran has fired at an unmanned American aircraft, in this case an MQ-1 “Predator.”

    • 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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