Warren's Feed
Jan 22, 2015

Coalition needs 2 years to expel Islamic State from Iraq, says UK

LONDON (Reuters) – The U.S.-led coalition could take up to two years to expel Islamic State from Iraq, and Baghdad’s own forces will be incapable of proper combat operations for months, Britain’s foreign minister warned on Thursday.

Speaking before he hosted a meeting of 21 coalition members in London, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said the task of pushing the Islamist militants back would be slow.

Dec 24, 2014

As U.S. troops return to Iraq, more private contractors follow

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government is preparing to boost the number of private contractors in Iraq as part of President Barack Obama’s growing effort to beat back Islamic State militants threatening the Baghdad government, a senior U.S. official said.

How many contractors will deploy to Iraq – beyond the roughly 1,800 now working there for the U.S. State Department – will depend in part, the official said, on how widely dispersed U.S. troops advising Iraqi security forces are, and how far they are from U.S. diplomatic facilities.

Dec 23, 2014

Without help, Libya could become next Syria, foreign minister says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Libya, torn by a growing political divide that threatens to engulf its oilfields, could become the next Syria if it does not patch its divided government and get help battling Islamic militants, the country’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.

“If we don’t do the right thing now, in two years’ time we could have – hopefully not – a repeat of what happened in Syria in 2014 because the international community didn’t react adequately,” Foreign Minister Mohamed Dayri told Reuters in an interview.

Dec 19, 2014

How Syria policy stalled under the ‘analyst in chief’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – (In Oct. 9 story, corrects paragraph 12 to clarify that size of Obama’s National Security Council staff has continued to grow, rather than “has nearly doubled”, after the White House clarified numbers it had provided to 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.

Dec 17, 2014

Secret talks in Canada, Vatican City led to Cuba breakthrough

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The historic breakthrough in U.S.-Cuban relations began in spring 2013, when President Barack Obama authorized secret talks with Cuba, the same tactic he used to open nuclear negotiations with Iran.

Months of talks in Canada and at the Vatican, involving one of Obama’s closest aides, culminated on Tuesday, when Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro spoke by phone for nearly an hour and gave final assent to steps that could end a half-century of enmity and reshape Western Hemisphere relations.

Dec 10, 2014

For CIA, fallout from Senate report looks far from over

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As outcry grows over its now-defunct brutal interrogation program, America’s spy agency appears caught in the crossfire of debate over its methods in the ongoing U.S. battle against Islamic militants and whether it has changed its ways.

Inside the Central Intelligence Agency, intelligence officials expressed resentment over what they said was the unfairness of a Senate Intelligence Committee report released on Tuesday that harshly criticized the spy agency’s detention and questioning of militant suspects.

Dec 9, 2014

Prosecutions for CIA torture still seem unlikely after Senate report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Minutes after a U.S. Senate intelligence panel released details of the CIA’s torture of terrorism suspects, President Barack Obama suggested the country should move on.

The U.S. Department of Justice, which has the power to bring criminal charges, looks set to take him at his word.

Dec 7, 2014

Despite failures, U.S. likely to continue raids to free hostages

WASHINGTON/KUWAIT CITY (Reuters) – Despite three failed raids to free U.S. hostages held by militants, the United States will continue to conduct such operations, officials indicated on Sunday, as President Barack Obama grapples with a spate of kidnappings and killings of American citizens.

The latest setback came in a remote area of Yemen early on Saturday, when al Qaeda militants shot American photo journalist Luke Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie during a rescue attempt led by U.S. Special Forces.

Dec 4, 2014

Warily, U.S. learns to live with more muscular Iran role in Iraq

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and Iran, which dueled viciously over Iraq during the years of U.S. occupation, suddenly seem to be working in tandem as they confront what both see as a common, even mortal enemy: Islamic State.

Air strikes by Iran inside Iraq in recent days are only the latest manifestation of an increasingly muscular role by Tehran in Baghdad’s war against Sunni militants. During the administration of George W. Bush, such actions would be denounced as meddling.

Nov 21, 2014

Exclusive: U.S. increasing non-lethal military aid to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States plans to increase non-lethal military assistance to Ukraine, including deliveries of the first Humvee vehicles, having decided for now not to provide weapons, U.S. officials said.

The increase in non-lethal aid to Ukraine, which is grappling with a Russian-backed separatist movement in its east, is expected to be announced on Thursday during a visit to Kiev by Vice President Joe Biden.