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Jun 20, 2014

U.S. seeks Iraqi legal safeguards for military advisers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States expressed confidence on Friday it would secure legal safeguards for U.S. forces arriving in Iraq over the next week to shield them from the possibility of prosecution in Iraqi courts, despite America’s inability do so three years ago.

President Barack Obama announced on Thursday he will deploy up to 300 military advisers to Iraq in the face of advances by an al Qaeda splinter group and would consider targeted strikes against insurgents.

Jun 19, 2014

Iraq asks United States for air support to counter rebels

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraq has asked the United States for air support in countering Sunni rebels, the top U.S. general said on Wednesday, after the militants seized major cities in a lightning advance that has routed the Shi’ite-led government’s army.

However, General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave no direct reply when asked at a Congressional hearing whether Washington would agree to the request.

Jun 18, 2014

Iraq asks United States for air support to counter rebels – U.S

BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Iraq has asked the United States for air support in countering Sunni rebels, the top U.S. general said on Wednesday, after the militants seized major cities in a lightning advance that has routed the Shi’ite-led government’s army.

However, General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, gave no direct reply when asked at a Congressional hearing whether Washington would agree to the request.

Jun 17, 2014

U.S. captures suspected ringleader of 2012 attack in Benghazi

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States said on Tuesday it had captured a suspected ringleader of the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, a raid that killed four Americans including the U.S. ambassador and ignited a political firestorm in Washington.

President Barack Obama said in a statement that he had authorized the operation in Libya on Sunday in which U.S. military troops, working with law enforcement personnel, captured Ahmed Abu Khatallah.

Jun 16, 2014

Pentagon: U.S. could discuss Iraq with Iran, but won’t coordinate military action

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials may hold discussions with Iran about Iraq’s security crisis on the sidelines of nuclear talks this week, but Washington will not coordinate potential military action in Iraq with its longtime adversary Tehran, the Pentagon said on Monday.

“It’s possible that on the sidelines of those discussions there could be discussions surrounding the situation in Iraq,” Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said, referring to talks in Vienna this week between world powers and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program.

Jun 9, 2014

Bergdahl describes harsh treatment, solitary confinement – U.S. officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl suffered harsh treatment at the hands of his Taliban captors, including long periods of solitary confinement, according to U.S. military officials who also said the soldier was struggling emotionally and had not yet called his parents.

Bergdahl, released in Afghanistan on May 31 in exchange for five Taliban detainees from the Guantanamo Bay prison, is being treated at the U.S. Army hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.

Jun 8, 2014

Bergdahl held in solitary confinement for weeks: U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl has said he was held in solitary confinement for long periods during five years in Taliban captivity, according to a U.S. military official who said he has skin and gum disorders and has not yet spoken to his parents.

Bergdahl, who was released on May 31 to American forces in exchange for five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay prison, is being treated at the U.S. military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany.

Jun 7, 2014

Americans split on prisoner swap of Taliban for U.S. soldier

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans are deeply divided over whether the Obama administration did the right thing by swapping five Taliban leaders to win the freedom of Afghanistan prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl, according to Reuters/Ipsos survey released on Friday.

Americans strongly agree the United States should make every effort to free prisoners of war like Bergdahl, an Army Sergeant who was captured in eastern Afghanistan in 2009. But they also think the prisoner swap deal set a dangerous precedent.

Jun 6, 2014

Americans split on prisoner swap of Taliban for U.S. soldier: poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Americans are deeply divided over whether the Obama administration did the right thing by swapping five Taliban leaders to win the freedom of Afghanistan prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl, according to Reuters/Ipsos survey released on Friday.

Americans strongly agree the United States should make every effort to free prisoners of war like Bergdahl, an Army Sergeant who was captured in eastern Afghanistan in 2009. But they also think the prisoner swap deal set a dangerous precedent.

Jun 6, 2014

Chinese military spending exceeds $145 bln, drones advanced -U.S.

WASHINGTON, June 5 (Reuters) – China’s military spending
exceeded $145 billion last year as it advanced a program
modernizing an arsenal of drones, warships, jets, missiles and
cyber weapons, the Pentagon said on Thursday, offering a far
higher figure than Beijing’s official tally.

The Pentagon’s estimate, using 2013 prices and exchange
rates, was 21 percent above the $119.5 billion figure announced
by China. It was detailed in an annual report to Congress that
cited steady progress in Chinese defense capabilities.

    • 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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