Chief correspondent, India
Ross's Feed
Nov 29, 2010

“Cut off head of snake” Saudis told U.S. on Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia repeatedly exhorted the United States to “cut off the head of the snake” by launching military strikes to destroy Iran’s nuclear program, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables.

A copy of the cable dated April 20, 2008, was published in the New York Times website on Sunday after being released by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. The classified communication between the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh and Washington showed the Saudis feared Shi’ite Iran’s rising influence in the region, particularly in neighboring Iraq.

Nov 28, 2010

“Cut off the head of the snake” Saudis told US on I

WASHINGTON, Nov 28 (Reuters) – King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
repeatedly exhorted the United States to “cut off the head of
the snake” by launching military strikes to destroy Iran’s
nuclear program, according to leaked U.S. diplomatic cables.

A copy of the cable dated April 20, 2008, was published in
the New York Times website on Sunday after being released by
the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks. The classified
communication between the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh and Washington
showed the Saudis feared Shi’ite Iran’s rising influence in the
region, particularly in neighboring Iraq.

Nov 28, 2010

Top Republican denies blocking START treaty

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A top Republican in the Senate denied on Sunday he was obstructing ratification of a new nuclear arms deal with Russia, saying Congress had bigger issues to work on before its Christmas recess.

Jon Kyl, the lead Republican negotiator on the New START treaty in the Senate, has exasperated the Obama White House by raising a series of challenges to the deal despite widespread support for it, including from the Pentagon, former Republican national security officials, European allies and arms control experts.

Nov 21, 2010

Obama sees end to Afghan combat mission by end of 2014

LISBON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said for the first time on Saturday his goal was to end the U.S. combat mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and to significantly reduce the number of U.S. troops deployed there by then.

His remarks, made at the end of a NATO summit in Lisbon, surprised, as earlier in the day top aides had told reporters that Washington was not yet ready to commit to such a target.

Nov 20, 2010

Obama, Medvedev urge Senate to ratify START

LISBON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama used the international stage on Saturday to press his Republican opponents in Congress to ratify a new nuclear arms deal with Russia.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also urged U.S. lawmakers to approve the START treaty swiftly, and six European foreign ministers echoed the appeal in a joint appearance at a NATO summit in Lisbon.

Nov 20, 2010

U.S. says can’t commit to cease Afghan combat by 2015

LISBON (Reuters) – The United States said on Saturday it could not yet commit to the head of NATO’s aim of ending the foreign combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 but would make its own decision based on security conditions.

“We’re the United States. We want to make our own decision based on our own read on the situation,” a senior U.S. official told reporters during a NATO summit in Lisbon.

Nov 19, 2010

Obama, Republicans head towards START showdown

LISBON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama moved closer on Friday to a showdown with Republicans in Congress who have rebuffed his calls for the Senate to approve a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia by the end of the year.

Obama warned that failure to ratify the treaty would put at risk warming ties with Russia, which has helped impose tougher sanctions on Iran and allowed equipment destined for NATO forces in Afghanistan through its territory.

Nov 17, 2010

Obama interviews Altman as new economic adviser

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Tuesday interviewed investment banker Roger Altman, a former Treasury official, as a candidate to replace departing economic adviser Larry Summers, a White House official said.

Altman, 64, is a veteran of both Washington and Wall Street, steeped in the ways of politics and finance and potentially able to act as a bridge to the private sector that business observers say the Obama White House badly needs.

Nov 15, 2010

Q+A: Afghan war to top NATO summit in Lisbon

WASHINGTON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO leaders meet in Lisbon this week to sketch a roadmap that could pave the way for the alliance to wind down its involvement in the nine-year-old Afghan war.

HOW WILL SUMMIT ADDRESS SHORTFALL IN TRAINERS?

Building up Afghan security forces as quickly as possible is central to NATO’s withdrawal strategy. U.S. targets call for expanding the Afghan army and police to 306,000 by next October from more than 260,000 now.

Nov 9, 2010

Afghan review will influence U.S. troop pullout

WASHINGTON, Nov 9 (Reuters) – A White House review of the
Afghan war will help President Barack Obama decide just how
fast to withdraw U.S. troops and hand over responsibility to
Afghan security forces, a U.S. official said on Tuesday.

The administration expects to unveil at least some findings
of its review in the second half of December or possibly the
first weeks of the new year, the senior official said, speaking
on condition of anonymity.