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Feb 28, 2012

Some September 11 victims’ remains ended in landfill

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Partial remains from some victims of the September 11 attacks in 2001 ended up in a landfill, according to a Pentagon-commissioned report released on Tuesday that revealed previously undisclosed blunders at the U.S. military’s main mortuary.

The remains came from two of the three sites of the September 11 attacks: the Pentagon and the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash site of one of the hijacked airliners. The World Trade Center in New York City, which was leveled in the attacks, was not cited.

Feb 24, 2012
via FaithWorld

Can the United States defuse the Koran burning uproar in Afghanistan?

Photo

(Afghan men stand near tyres, set on fire by the protesters, during a demonstration in Jalalabad province February 22, 2012. REUTERS/Parwiz)

After a third day of bloody protests over the burning of the Koran, there is a sense that America is lurching from one image crisis to the next in Afghanistan, with no clear path for U.S. officials to defuse the latest uproar.

Feb 24, 2012

Can United States defuse Koran burning uproar?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After a third day of bloody protests over the burning of the Koran, there is a sense that America is lurching from one image crisis to the next in Afghanistan, with no clear path for U.S. officials to defuse the latest uproar.

President Barack Obama apologized on Thursday for the burning of copies of the Koran on a U.S. base in Afghanistan, an incident that has triggered far more outcry than another shocking incident: the emergence of a video last month showing Marines urinating on the corpses of what appear to be dead Taliban fighters.

Feb 24, 2012

Analysis: Can United States defuse Koran burning uproar?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – After a third day of bloody protests over the burning of the Koran, there is a sense that America is lurching from one image crisis to the next in Afghanistan, with no clear path for U.S. officials to defuse the latest uproar.

President Barack Obama apologized on Thursday for the burning of copies of the Koran on a U.S. base in Afghanistan, an

Feb 16, 2012

U.S. military chief argues against Egypt aid cut-off

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. military officer forcefully argued against a cut-off in aid to Egypt on Thursday but acknowledged there needed to be “consequences” after a crackdown on U.S. pro-democracy activists that has strained ties between Cairo and Washington.

Washington has said $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid is at risk due to an Egyptian probe into civil society groups that has resulted in charges against 43 activists, including 19 Americans who have been barred from leaving the country. Some have taken refuge at the U.S. embassy.

Feb 15, 2012

Pentagon chiefs grilled over possible nuclear cuts

WASHINGTON, Feb 15 (Reuters) – U.S. Defense Secretary
Leon Panetta tried to defuse concerns in Congress on Wednesday
about potential cuts to America’s nuclear arsenal, as details
emerged about options under consideration that include an 80
percent reduction in the number of warheads.

Panetta, without confirming any figures, said no decisions
had been made. He added that although a range of options were
under review, the “status quo” – a ceiling of 1,550 long-range,
deployed warheads agreed upon under the current U.S. treaty with
Russia – was one of the options being weighed.

Jan 26, 2012

U.S. Army chief at ease with smaller force, eyes Asia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Army chief told Reuters on the eve of a major Pentagon budget announcement that he’s comfortable with plans to shrink the size of his force and shift the military’s focus to Asia, saying the Army will remain relevant and capable.

General Raymond Odierno, chief of staff of the Army, declined to disclose figures the Pentagon is due to unveil that envision a smaller Army and the withdrawal of two brigade combat teams from Europe. Those fixed brigades will be replaced by rotational units.

Jan 25, 2012

Obama saw window of opportunity to free hostages

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – When President Barack Obama mysteriously congratulated his defense chief while making his way through the crowd awaiting the State of the Union address Tuesday night, the secret hostage rescue mission in Somalia was still being wrapped up.

After days of planning, a U.S. assault team — including some forces drawn from the same elite Navy SEAL unit that killed Osama bin Laden last year — freed the American and Danish hostages and killed the kidnappers. But they were still moving to safety when Obama spoke to a joint session of Congress, U.S. officials said.

Jan 22, 2012

U.S. won’t cut carrier fleet to fix budget, Panetta says

ABOARD THE USS ENTERPRISE (Reuters) – The United States will not cut America’s fleet of 11 aircraft carriers to help trim the budget deficit, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Saturday, citing tensions with Iran as an example of why the massive ships are so critical to national security.

Panetta was addressing about 1,700 sailors headed to the Gulf this spring aboard the USS Enterprise, which after a half-century of service is about to embark on its final tour before being taken offline in November.

Jan 21, 2012

U.S. carrier to test limits of Iranian rhetoric

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy has been moving its massive aircraft carriers in and out of the Gulf for decades, but when it sails through the Strait of Hormuz again, there will be extraordinary attention on what the Navy considers a mostly ordinary maritime maneuver.

Iranian officials earlier this month bluntly warned a U.S. carrier not to return to the Gulf and have threatened to block the strait, spooking oil markets and raising the specter of a U.S.-Iranian confrontation.

    • 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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