Warren's Feed
Jul 31, 2015

How Pentagon war fund became a budget buster Washington can’t resist

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of U.S. troops deployed in battle zones is at its lowest level since before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Still, Congress has authorized a 38 percent increase in the war budget over last year.

The contradiction is the legacy of an emergency war fund, started in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, that has become a favorite Washington way to sidestep the impact of fiscal constraints on military spending.

Jul 31, 2015

Insight – How Pentagon war fund became a budget buster Washington can’t resist

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of U.S. troops deployed in battle zones is at its lowest level since before the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Still, Congress has authorized a 38 percent increase in the war budget over last year.

The contradiction is the legacy of an emergency war fund, started in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, that has become a favourite Washington way to sidestep the impact of fiscal constraints on military spending.

Jul 28, 2015

U.S., Turkey weigh which Syrian rebels to support in border area

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Turkey have not yet agreed which Syrian opposition fighters they will support in a joint effort to help clear Islamic State from an area along the Turkish border, officials said on Tuesday, underscoring uncertainty surrounding the campaign plan.

Washington and Ankara this week announced their intention to provide air cover for Syrian rebels and jointly sweep Islamic State fighters from a strip of land along the border, with U.S. warplanes using bases in Turkey for strikes.

Jul 15, 2015

U.S.-Iran diplomatic forecast: more contacts, but breakthroughs unlikely

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Iran are likely to continue cautious diplomatic contacts following Tuesday’s historic nuclear accord, but a broader blossoming of relations like the one U.S. President Barack Obama engineered with Cuba is years off at best, current and former U.S. officials said.

At crossed swords over issues from Israel to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s legitimacy, the two countries nonetheless share some concerns, including a threat from the militant Sunni group Islamic State.

Jul 14, 2015

Obama sending defense chief to Middle East to reassure on Iran

WASHINGTON, July 14 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
is sending his defense chief next week to the Middle East, where
he faces the unenviable job of reassuring allies such as Israel
that a nuclear deal with Iran will not undermine America’s
commitment to their security.

It could be a very hard sell.

So far, the White House has only disclosed one stop on the
trip – to Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
condemned Tuesday’s deal as “a stunning, historic mistake”.

Jul 1, 2015

In emails, Hillary’s outside advisers pushed hawkish Afghan line

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In the fall of 2009, as U.S. President Barack Obama conducted a long, divisive review of whether to pour more U.S. troops into Afghanistan, an influential group of advisors were quietly pushing a hawkish line.

The advisors didn’t work for Obama’s White House, however. They were veterans of President Bill Clinton’s administration and they peppered Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, with messages urging a robust counter-insurgency effort in Afghanistan and a tougher U.S. stance toward Pakistan, according to emails released by the State Department late on Tuesday.

Jun 30, 2015

U.S. court rules NSA can temporarily resume bulk phone data collection

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. court has ruled that the
eavesdropping National Security Agency can temporarily resume
its bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records, according
to documents made public on Tuesday.

The controversial program, exposed by former NSA contractor
Edward Snowden, was rocked in May by an appeals court decision
ruling that the USA Patriot Act had never authorized the NSA to
collect Americans’ phone records in bulk.

Jun 30, 2015

Efforts to build more diverse CIA have stalled, report finds

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The CIA has consistently failed to promote minorities into its leadership ranks and progress in building diversity at the top of the spy agency has largely stalled in the last decade, according to a CIA-commissioned report released on Tuesday.

“Agency leaders, managers and supervisors do not prioritize diversity in leadership,” the report said.

Jun 24, 2015

For Kerry, Iran deal would be a legacy hit after many misses

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pulls off a nuclear deal with Iran, it will be a singular achievement in a long career in which the grand prize has eluded him.

His 2004 presidential election loss, lack of legislative monuments despite 28 years in the Senate, and failure, like many before, to bring peace to Israelis and Palestinians have contributed to a view that he struggles to seal major successes.

Jun 19, 2015

Terror attacks, deaths up sharply in 2014 – U.S. State Department

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Terrorist attacks worldwide surged by more than a third and fatalities soared by 81 percent in 2014, a year that also saw Islamic State eclipse al Qaeda as the leading jihadist militant group, the U.S. State Department said on Friday.

In its annual report on terrorism, the department also charts an unprecedented flow of foreign fighters to Syria, often lured by Islamic State’s use of social media and drawn from diverse social backgrounds.