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Jan 11, 2012

U.S. military moves carriers, denies Iran link

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military said on Wednesday that a new aircraft carrier strike group had arrived in the Arabian Sea and that another was on its way to the region, but denied any link to recent tensions with Iran and portrayed the movements as routine.

The shift in the powerful U.S. naval assets comes at a moment of heightened tensions with Iran, which has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz – the world’s most important oil shipping lane – if U.S. and EU sanctions over its nuclear program cut off its oil exports.

Jan 10, 2012

No big U.S. naval buildup in Asia, top officer says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s decision to reorient the U.S. military’s focus to the Asia-Pacific region will not lead to a major naval buildup there, the top U.S. Navy officer said on Tuesday, adding that the United States already has a robust presence in the area.

Obama last week unveiled a new military strategy shifting attention to Asia over the next decade while downsizing the overall force, moves that will accommodate significant cuts in projected U.S. defense spending.

Jan 10, 2012

Iran strait “keeps me awake at night” – U.S. Navy boss

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The chief of the U.S. Navy acknowledged on Tuesday that preparing for a potential conflict in the Strait of Hormuz is the kind of thing he loses sleep over.

“If you ask me what keeps me awake at night, it’s the Strait of Hormuz and the business going on in the Arabian Gulf,” said Admiral Jonathan Greenert, who became the chief of naval operations in September.

Jan 6, 2012

Navy rescues Iranians held by pirates

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Just days after Iran warned them not to return to the Gulf, U.S. naval forces in the nearby Arabian Sea rescued 13 Iranian fishermen who were held hostage by pirates for more than a month, the Navy said on Friday.

Forces with the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier strike group – the target of threats by Tehran on Tuesday amid heated tensions with the United States – said they freed the Iranians without firing a shot. Fifteen pirates believed to be from Somalia were taken prisoner.

Jan 6, 2012

New Pentagon strategy stresses Asia, cyber, drones

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama unveiled a defense strategy on Thursday that would expand the U.S. military presence in Asia but shrink the overall size of the force as the Pentagon seeks to slash spending by nearly half a trillion dollars after a decade of war.

The strategy, if carried out, would significantly reshape the world’s most powerful military following the buildup that was a key part of President George W. Bush’s “war on terrorism” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jan 5, 2012

Analysis: Will Panetta stave off deeper cuts to military?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Six months into his tenure as U.S. defense secretary, Leon Panetta has simultaneously been branded an unreasonable defender of Pentagon spending and an ax-man who is forging ahead with dangerous cuts to the American military.

In Washington’s power corridors, there are plenty of people who make one charge or the other about Panetta – and maybe even both at the same time.

Jan 5, 2012

Will Panetta stave off deeper cuts to US military?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Six months into his tenure as U.S. defense secretary, Leon Panetta has simultaneously been branded an unreasonable defender of Pentagon spending and an ax-man who is forging ahead with dangerous cuts to the American military.

In Washington’s power corridors, there are plenty of people who make one charge or the other about Panetta – and maybe even both at the same time.

Jan 5, 2012

New Pentagon defense strategy puts more focus on Asia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama unveiled a defense strategy on Thursday that calls for greater U.S. military presence in Asia and envisions cutting troops in Europe as the Pentagon seeks to reduce spending by nearly half a trillion dollars after a decade of war.

Obama, in a Pentagon news conference alongside Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, released a strategy document that calls for the United States to maintain a force that can win one war while still having the capability to deter the objectives of an adversary in a second conflict.

Dec 22, 2011

U.S., Pakistan share blame in border deaths – U.S. probe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. probe on Thursday found both American and Pakistani forces were to blame for a border incident that killed 24 Pakistani troops last month, inflaming already strained ties and deepening doubts about whether Pakistan will help or hinder the U.S. fight in Afghanistan.

The U.S. military blamed Pakistani soldiers for firing at NATO forces as they prepared for a mission in a remote area near Afghanistan’s eastern border with Pakistan close to midnight on November 25.

Dec 22, 2011

U.S. probe sees shared blame in Pakistan air strike

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. probe on Thursday found that both American and Pakistani forces were to blame for an incident that killed 24 Pakistani troops in a remote area along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border last month, inflaming already strained bilateral ties.

The U.S. military blamed Pakistani soldiers for firing at NATO forces across the border in Afghanistan, triggering the incident, which took place overnight between November 25-26.

    • 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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