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May 27, 2014

Obama to announce plans to leave 9,800 U.S. troops in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama will announce on Tuesday that he wants to leave 9,800 American troops in Afghanistan after the formal troop drawdown at the end of this year, senior administration officials said.

The number emerged after Obama held talks with U.S. military commanders at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan on Sunday as the United States winds down a war begun in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

May 26, 2014

Obama, in Afghanistan, hopeful on security pact

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan (Reuters) – President Barack Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan on Sunday to visit U.S. forces who are wrapping up a 13-year mission and signaled that he intends to keep a small number of troops in the country for training and counter-terrorism operations.

Cheers erupted among the hundreds of U.S. troops gathered in a Bagram hangar when Obama said that at the end of this year, “America’s war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end.”

May 25, 2014

Obama’s Afghanistan trip planned with ‘maximum discretion’

BAGRAM AIR BASE (Reuters) – It takes a combination of careful planning and cloak-and-dagger secrecy to transport the president of the United States halfway around the world into a danger zone while making sure almost nobody knows about it in advance.

Barack Obama’s visit on Sunday with U.S. troops at Bagram Air Base – unannounced ahead of time – has been in the works for several weeks as White House officials looked for an opportunity for him to make his fourth and most likely last trip here as president.

May 25, 2014

Obama, in Afghanistan, says he will make troop announcement soon

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan (Reuters) – President Barack Obama, on a visit to Afghanistan, said on Sunday his administration would likely announce soon how many troops the United States will keep in the country, as it winds down its presence after nearly 13 years of war.

Speaking at a briefing by military commanders at Bagram Air Base, Obama said one of the reasons for his visit was to discuss the U.S. footprint for the rest of this year – when the bulk of troops are scheduled to be withdrawn – and afterward.

May 25, 2014

Obama lands in Afghanistan on surprise visit to U.S. troops

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Afghanistan on Sunday for a surprise Memorial Day weekend visit to meet with U.S. troops who are preparing to withdraw after nearly 13 years of war.

Spirited out of Washington aboard Air Force One, Obama flew for more than 13 hours for the brief visit to Bagram Air Base, the main U.S. base in the country.

May 25, 2014

Obama lands in Afghanistan for visit with U.S. troops

BAGRAM AIR BASE Afghanistan (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama traveled to Afghanistan on Sunday for a surprise Memorial Day weekend visit to meet with U.S. troops who are preparing to withdraw after nearly 13 years of war.

Spirited out of Washington aboard Air Force One, Obama flew for more than 13 hours for the brief visit to Bagram Air Base, the main U.S. base in the country.

May 24, 2014

Obama to lay out defense of foreign policy in West Point speech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Stung by criticism, President Barack Obama will use a speech on Wednesday to launch a sweeping defense of his approach to foreign policy, one that he will say is reliant on multilateral diplomacy instead of military interventions.

Obama is to deliver the commencement address at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, the first in a series of speeches that he and top advisers will use to explain U.S. foreign policy in the aftermath of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and lay out a broad vision for the rest of his presidency.

May 23, 2014

With HUD choice, Obama brings Latino Castro on to national stage

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama elevated fast-rising Latino politician Julian Castro to the national stage on Friday, nominating the San Antonio mayor as the next secretary of housing and urban development.

The move automatically puts the 39-year-old Mexican-American in the mix of speculation about who might be the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee in 2016.

May 21, 2014

Obama says he will get to the bottom of Veterans mess

WASHINGTON, May 21 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
vowed on Wednesday to get to the bottom of allegations of
neglect of veterans’ healthcare and made clear Veterans Affairs
Secretary Eric Shinseki’s job may be on the line as he scrambled
to contain a budding controversy.

“If these allegations prove to be true, it is dishonorable,
it is disgraceful, and I will not tolerate it, period,” an
angry-sounding Obama said.

May 20, 2014

Obama criticizes Republicans for focusing on Benghazi, Obamacare

WASHINGTON, May 19 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama
chastised his Republican opponents on Monday for focusing
criticism on the events surrounding the deaths of four Americans
in Benghazi, Libya, and on his signature healthcare law.

“The debate we’re having now is about what, Benghazi?
Obamacare? And it becomes this endless loop. It’s not serious.
It’s not speaking to the real concerns that people have,” Obama
said.

    • About Steve

      "A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Steve has worked for Reuters in Washington for 20 years, and spent 16 of those years at the White House covering Presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush. He covered the 2008 presidential campaign."
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