Warren's Feed
Oct 21, 2014

Exclusive: Ex-spy chief’s private firm ends deal with U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former National Security Agency director Keith Alexander has ended a deal with a senior U.S. intelligence official allowing the official to work part-time for his firm, an arrangement current and former officials said risked a conflict of interest.

Reuters reported on Friday that the U.S. National Security Agency had launched an internal review of the arrangement between NSA Chief Technical Officer Patrick Dowd and IronNet Cybersecurity Inc, which is led by Alexander, his former boss.

Oct 17, 2014

Exclusive: NSA reviewing deal between official, ex-spy agency head

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency has launched an internal review of a senior official’s part-time work for a private venture started by former NSA director Keith Alexander that raises questions over the blurring of lines between government and business.

Under the arrangement, which was confirmed by Alexander and current intelligence officials, NSA’s Chief Technical Officer, Patrick Dowd, is allowed to work up to 20 hours a week at IronNet Cybersecurity Inc, the private firm led by Alexander, a retired Army general and his former boss.

Oct 9, 2014

Special Report: How Syria policy stalled under the ‘analyst in chief’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Throughout 2012, as signs mounted that militants in Syria were growing stronger, the debate in the White House followed a pattern. In meeting after meeting, as officials from agencies outside the executive residence advocated arming pro-Western rebels or other forms of action, President Barack Obama’s closest White House aides bluntly delivered the president’s verdict: no.

“It became clear from the people very close to the president that he had deep, deep reservations about intervening in Syria,” said Julianne Smith, who served as deputy national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden. “And the likelihood of altering those views was low, very low.”

Sep 24, 2014

Analysis – Obama forges anti-ISIL coalition, but will it hang together?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Arabs are in. Turkey is on the fence. Britain, still smarting from an earlier Iraq war, is cautiously edging toward expanded action. Even Greece wants to help – if someone would tell it how.

Two weeks after he announced plans to form a “broad coalition” to fight the militant group Islamic State, President Barack Obama’s hopes for international support for actions in Iraq and Syria appear to be gelling.

Sep 24, 2014

Obama forges anti-ISIL coalition, but will it hang together?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Arabs are in. Turkey is on the fence. Britain, still smarting from an earlier Iraq war, is cautiously edging toward expanded action. Even Greece wants to help – if someone would tell it how.

Two weeks after he announced plans to form a “broad coalition” to fight the militant group Islamic State, President Barack Obama’s hopes for international support for actions in Iraq and Syria appear to be gelling.

Sep 10, 2014

Obama shifts on Syrian rebels, but is it too late?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Struggling Syrian rebels that President Barack Obama once derided as “former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth” now form a key pillar of the U.S. leader’s strategy to beat back the militant insurgency known as Islamic State.

For over three years, Obama has kept the so-called moderate rebels at arm’s length. While giving verbal and limited material support, he and his spokesmen often said publicly that adding more weaponry to the civil war would only make things worse.

Sep 3, 2014

Despite dangers, U.S. journalist Sotloff was determined to record Arab Spring’s human toll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Even for a freelance journalist covering the tumult in the Arab world, Steven Sotloff’s travels seemed nonstop.

In October 2012, the American reporter was in Benghazi, Libya, covering the aftermath of the deadly raid on the U.S. diplomatic compound there. In December, he was in northern Syria, writing about the lives of destitute, displaced Syrians and the war, according to his published reports and his communications with colleagues and editors.

Aug 30, 2014

Captives held by Islamic State prove tough quandary for Obama

WASHINGTON, Aug 30 (Reuters) – After Islamic State’s
beheading of journalist James Foley, President Barack Obama’s
administration is making little headway in efforts to secure the
release of three other Americans held by the insurgent group in
Syria, officials said.

Journalist Steven Sotloff and two others whom Reuters is not
naming are among fewer than 10 Westerners that Islamic State
(IS) is holding in kidnappings that until recently were aimed at
simply raising ransoms, they said. The U.S. government has said
it does not pay ransoms or negotiate with IS.

Aug 21, 2014

In case of slain journalist, negotiations, silence, then a chilling warning

WASHINGTON/PARIS (Reuters) – After months of silence from the captors of American journalist James Foley, on the night of Aug. 13, his family received a chilling message: Foley would be executed in retaliation for U.S. air strikes on the militant group Islamic State.

The family passed the message on to the U.S. government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which handles cases involving kidnapped American citizens, helped craft a response, pleading for mercy, said Phil Balboni, chief executive of GlobalPost, the Boston-based online news publication that employed Foley.

Jul 29, 2014

Special Report – Where Ukraine’s separatists get their weapons

DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – On the last day of May, a surface-to-air rocket was signed out of a military base near Moscow where it had been stored for more than 20 years.

According to the ornate Cyrillic handwriting in the weapon’s Russian Defence Ministry logbook, seen by Reuters, the portable rocket, for use with an Igla rocket launcher, was destined for a base in Rostov, some 50 km (31 miles) from the Ukrainian border. In that area, say U.S. officials, lies a camp for training Ukrainian separatist fighters.