Sue's Feed
Oct 8, 2009

Afghan envoy urges 40,000 more U.S. troops

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United States urged the American public on Thursday to back proposals to send an additional 40,000 U.S. troops to his country, saying any less would not do the job.

Ambassador Said Jawad said he met senior U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and General David Petraeus — who oversees the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq — to give his government’s views on what was needed as President Barack Obama considers his options for Afghan strategy.

Oct 8, 2009

Pakistan wants U.S. “‘trust”, drones, market access

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As President Barack Obama discusses the U.S. strategy toward Pakistan with his top advisers Wednesday, Pakistan’s foreign minister appealed for market access, military technology — and above all, trust.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi dismissed concerns that expanded U.S. aid to Pakistan had too many strings attached, but said the country’s wobbling economy needed more, in particular access for its goods to Western markets.

Oct 7, 2009

INTERVIEW: Pakistan wants U.S. “trust”, drones, market access

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As President Barack Obama discusses the U.S. strategy toward Pakistan with his top advisers on Wednesday, Pakistan’s foreign minister appealed for market access, military technology — and above all, trust.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi dismissed concerns that expanded U.S. aid to Pakistan had too many strings attached, but said the country’s wobbling economy needed more, in particular access for its goods to Western markets.

Oct 5, 2009

Pakistan shows progress but gains tenuous: experts

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – While much of the focus in Washington is a review of strategy in Afghanistan, the Obama administration also is assessing what Pakistan’s fragile civilian government has achieved so far and what must change.

Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is set to meet U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday on a visit to Washington where he will also see key lawmakers who control the purse strings for billions of dollars in future U.S. aid.

Oct 1, 2009

U.S. Congress puts pressure on Obama over Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Leading Republican lawmakers on Thursday raised the pressure on President Barack Obama to make a decision on Afghanistan strategy, demanding his generals testify in Congress as the president weighs his next move.

But Defense Secretary Robert Gates flatly rejected the request and said it was inappropriate as Obama decides how to turn around an increasingly unpopular war that his generals say will be lost without a clearer strategy and greater resources.

Sep 29, 2009

Fighting corruption key to future U.S. ties to Karzai

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Concerned that its war strategy will be undermined by doubts over Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s credibility, the Obama administration will put fighting corruption at the core of its future dealings with Kabul, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

Mounting Western casualties, fading American public support for the war and last month’s fraud-marred presidential election have exposed rifts within the U.S. administration over what strategy will work best to stem Taliban gains in the eight-year conflict.

Aug 4, 2009
via Tales from the Trail

Bill grabs spotlight from Hillary

Photo

For months, Bill Clinton has stayed out of the diplomatic spotlight in deference to his wife.But the former U.S. president has dominated the news since he turned up in North Korea seeking the release of two American journalists, while Hillary Clinton headed to Africa for her first major trip there as the top U.S. diplomat.Secretary of State Clinton stayed out of sight from reporters traveling with her on the 15-hour flight to Kenya. Her staff said she would not comment on her husband’s mission to Pyongyang, which the White House billed as private.“While the mission is in progress, we will have no comment. Our interest here is the successful completion of the mission and the safe return of the journalists,” said a senior U.S. official traveling with her.There has been talk in the State Department for weeks over who to send to North Korea to see leader Kim Jong-il and try to free the reporters.Most bets were on the other Bill — New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson — or Clinton’s vice president Al Gore. The reporters — Euna Lee and Laura Ling — worked for Gore’s California-based media outlet Current TV.¬†Reuters photo by Thomas Mukoya (¬†Hillary Clinton greeted by Kenya’s foreign minister in Nairobi on Aug. 4)

    • About Sue

      "Sue Pleming covers foreign policy, with a focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan. She joined Reuters in London in 1990 and was based in Brussels before moving to Washington, where her most recent post was covering the State Department. She started her journalism career in southern Africa and has also done reporting stints in Somalia, Rwanda and Burundi."
    • Follow Sue