Susan's Feed
Mar 23, 2012

Clinton to let military aid to Egypt continue: State Department official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will allow U.S. military aid to Egypt to continue despite Cairo’s failure to meet pro-democracy conditions, a senior State Department official said on Thursday, a move sharply criticized on Capitol Hill.

The office of Senator Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate subcommittee on foreign aid, revealed Clinton’s decision and made clear his deep unhappiness with it, arguing that Clinton should now limit the amount of military aid that is released.

Mar 22, 2012

Clinton to let military aid to Egypt go ahead, Leahy says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton plans to allow some U.S. military assistance to Egypt to go forward despite its failure to meet pro-democracy conditions, a Democratic senator said on Thursday, while sharply criticizing the move.

The office of Patrick Leahy, who chairs the Senate subcommittee on foreign aid, announced the decision and made clear his deep unhappiness with it, arguing Clinton should now limit the amount of military aid that is released.

Mar 21, 2012

U.S. to determine Afghanistan troop pull-out by end-2012

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s top commander in Afghanistan will make recommendations about how quickly the United States should pull out of that long and costly war late this year, probably after November’s elections, according to a timetable given on Tuesday.

General John Allen, who commands U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said he would present recommendations for Obama on troop levels in 2013 and beyond during the last three months of this year, after assessing the military campaign following the departure of 33,000 U.S. troops due by October.

Mar 20, 2012

Afghan “allies” killed 13 NATO soldiers in 2012: Allen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Thirteen members of the NATO-led Western military coalition in Afghanistan have been killed this year in what appear to be “insider” attacks by members of the Afghan security forces, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces there said on Tuesday.

U.S. General John Allen said that despite a series of recent setbacks the United States and its allies remain on track to ensure Afghanistan will not once again be a safe haven for al Qaeda and will not be terrorized by the Taliban.

Mar 15, 2012

Lawmakers grill Pentagon on Afghan massacre suspect

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. congressman asked the Pentagon on Tuesday to explain why the soldier accused in the massacre of 16 Afghan villagers was sent back into combat after earlier suffering a traumatic brain injury in Iraq, as lawmakers questioned how seriously the military deals with the mental health of troops.

The Army staff sergeant accused in Sunday’s shooting served three deployments to Iraq before he was sent to Afghanistan last year. The soldier, whose name has not been disclosed publicly, was treated for a traumatic brain injury suffered in a vehicle rollover in 2010 in Iraq, according to a U.S. official.

Mar 14, 2012

Lawmakers press Pentagon on massacre suspect’s brain injury

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A congressman asked the Pentagon on Tuesday to explain why the soldier accused in the massacre of 16 Afghan villagers was sent back into combat after earlier suffering a traumatic brain injury in Iraq, as lawmakers questioned how seriously the military deals with the mental health of troops.

The Army staff sergeant accused in Sunday’s shooting served three deployments to Iraq before he was sent to Afghanistan last year. The soldier, whose name has not been disclosed publicly, was treated for a traumatic brain injury suffered in a vehicle rollover in 2010 in Iraq, according to a U.S. official.

Mar 9, 2012

U.S. aid agency prepares switch to Afghan security

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The main U.S. foreign aid agency is preparing to switch from private security contractors in Afghanistan to Afghan government-provided security this month under a new policy mandated by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, raising concern in Washington that this could put U.S. civilians at greater risk.

U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah says the agency may be able to negotiate waivers from the policy for some major infrastructure projects, so that they could continue to have access to private security.

Mar 7, 2012

House panel votes sanctions on Syria energy sector

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. House committee on Wednesday voted to impose new sanctions on Syria’s energy sector and called for referring its president, Bashar al-Assad, to a war crimes tribunal.

The legislation would help bring about Assad’s downfall by “tightening the financial noose around Assad’s neck – already tied very tight by the Obama Administration,” said Representative Howard Berman, a Democrat who co-sponsored it.

Mar 6, 2012

Obama, Republican candidates clash over Iran nuclear standoff

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama clashed with Republican presidential contenders on Tuesday over how to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambitions, accusing them in the harshest terms yet of “beating the drums of war” while failing to consider the consequences.

The Republicans, competing to be the most hawkish on Iran and favorable to Israel before the powerful pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC, blasted Obama for a policy they said was too weak in backing the Jewish state and confronting Tehran.

Mar 6, 2012

Republican candidates bid to be toughest on Iran

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican presidential candidates competed to be the most hawkish on Iran and favorable to Israel before the powerful pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC on Tuesday, telling Iran it would be in real danger if it goes nuclear while they are in the White House.

“If Iran doesn’t get rid of nuclear facilities, we will tear them down ourselves,” said Rick Santorum, the conservative former senator whose views on the subject already were well known. In January, Santorum said he would be in favor of launching U.S. air strikes against Iran’s nuclear facilities.