Blog Posts by Olivier Knox, Yahoo News

  • Obama’s war on ISIS could reach beyond Iraq into Syria

    Even before President Barack Obama announced a limited escalation of America’s military role in battling al-Qaida-inspired extremists in Iraq, one of his top allies in Congress openly worried that the U.S. involvement could spiral out of control.

    “You have to be careful sending special forces, because it's a number that has a tendency to grow,” Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters.

    Pelosi, one of four top congressional leaders who heard Obama’s Iraq plans on Wednesday at the White House, said, “I'd like to see the context, purpose, timeline and all the rest for anything like that.” She added, “I would say let's proceed cautiously in that regard, without thinking that a hundred is a hundred.”

    Obama, who has built much of his presidency on American war-weariness, acknowledged those concerns a few hours later in the White House briefing room as he unveiled plans to send up to 300 elite U.S. troops to Iraq as “advisers.”

    “We always have to guard against mission

    Read More »from Obama’s war on ISIS could reach beyond Iraq into Syria
  • Hillary Clinton: Captured Benghazi figure may help with ‘unanswered questions’

    Hillary Clinton on Tuesday warmly welcomed the capture of a suspected ringleader of the deadly Benghazi terrorist attacks, and predicted that he could help shed light on “unanswered questions” from the bloody September 11, 2012, assault.

    “We want to know who was behind it, what the motivation of the leaders and the attackers happened to be. There are still some unanswered questions. It was, after all, the fog of war,” she said in a CNN-hosted, town hall-style meeting.

    Clinton also indirectly addressed Republican criticisms about the year-and-a-half gap between the terrorist strike on the U.S. facilities in the eastern Libyan city and the weekend U.S. Special Operations raid that netted the suspected ringleader, Ahmed Abu Khatalla.

    “It took, as you know, 10 years to bring Osama bin Laden to justice,” said Clinton, who was secretary of state when terrorists blitzed the American compound in Benghazi and killed four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens.

    Clinton noted that the

    Read More »from Hillary Clinton: Captured Benghazi figure may help with ‘unanswered questions’
  • Obama: Captured key Benghazi suspect will face ‘full weight’ of U.S. justice

    President Obama promised Tuesday that one of the suspected ringleaders of the deadly Benghazi attack will face “the full weight” of American justice after his capture over the weekend by U.S. special operations forces.

    “With this operation, the United States has once again demonstrated that we will do whatever it takes to see that justice is done when people harm Americans,” Obama said in a written statement. “We will continue our efforts to bring to justice those who were responsible for the Benghazi attacks.”

    Earlier, the Pentagon confirmed a Washington Post report that elite U.S. commandos, working with FBI agents, had nabbed Ahmed Abu Khatalla over the weekend, roughly a year and a half after the September 11, 2012, attack.

    “He is in U.S. custody in a secure location outside of Libya. There were no civilian casualties related to this operation, and all U.S. personnel involved in the operation have safely departed Libya,” the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Rear Admiral John Kirby,

    Read More »from Obama: Captured key Benghazi suspect will face ‘full weight’ of U.S. justice
  • Obama to decide on Iraq strikes ‘in the days ahead’

    But he rules out sending U.S. ground troops

    Acknowledging that hard-won American gains in Iraq are at risk, President Barack Obama said on Friday that he won’t be sending U.S. ground troops back there to battle al-Qaida-inspired extremists but warned he could soon unleash military strikes there.

    “We have enormous interests there, and obviously our troops and the American people and the American taxpayers made huge investments and sacrifices in order to give Iraqis the opportunity to chart a better course, a better destiny,” Obama said.

    “We will not be sending U.S. troops back into combat in Iraq,” he promised on the South Lawn of the White House, with his Marine One helicopter as the carefully chosen backdrop. “But I have asked my national security team to prepare a range of other options that could help support Iraq's security forces. And I'll be reviewing those options in the days ahead.”

    Obama sternly warned the government in Baghdad that America needs Iraq's leaders — notably Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki — to embrace

    Read More »from Obama to decide on Iraq strikes ‘in the days ahead’
  • George H.W. Bush makes 90th birthday parachute jump

    George H.W. Bush, you’re just the fifth American president to live to 90! How are you going to celebrate?

     It was Bush’s eighth parachute jump — his inaugural leap from an airplace came September 2, 1944, when he was shot down over the Pacific during World War Two.

    Bush, who is often in a wheelchair now, jumped from a helicopter over Kennebunkport, Maine, home to his family compound at Walker’s Point. It will be a tandem jump with members of the All Veteran Group, former members of the U.S. Army Golden Knights, according to the 41st president’s office.

    Bush’s last parachute jump was on his 85th birthday.

    Read More »from George H.W. Bush makes 90th birthday parachute jump
  • Obama on mass shootings: ‘We should be ashamed’

    By turns angry and anguished, President Barack Obama declared on Tuesday that his “biggest frustration” since taking office has been America’s failure to take even modest steps to curb mass shootings so frequent that they threaten to become routine.

    “The country has to do some soul-searching about this,” Obama said gravely in a town-hall question-and-answer session led by Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp in the White House’s State Dining Room.

    “This is becoming the norm. And we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me,” he said. “I am prepared to work with anybody, including responsible sportsmen and gun owners, to craft some solutions. But right now, it's not even possible to get even the mildest restrictions through Congress. And we should be ashamed of that.”

    Obama, who did not stifle his profoundly emotional response to the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, lamented that politicians “terrified of the NRA” have blocked limited

    Read More »from Obama on mass shootings: ‘We should be ashamed’
  • Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Bowe Bergdahl, Hillary Clinton and his call to national service

    Retired General Stanley McChrystal, in an exclusive interview with Yahoo News, reflected in unusually personal terms on the controversy that cost him his command of the Afghan war and praised Hillary Clinton as “great to work with.”

    Would Clinton make a good president? “I know she made a good secretary of state,” he replied.

    “I found her great to work with, and so I have huge regard for her,” the former general said during a wide-ranging conversation in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. “I don’t handicap the presidential race, but I certainly enjoyed working with her.”

    McChrystal also weighed in on President Obama’s decision to win Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s freedom by exchanging him for five Taliban detainees, his plan for winding down the war in Afghanistan, and the widespread failures at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

    The former general sat down with Yahoo News on the sidelines of the Franklin Project’s summit on national service at Gettysburg, where the tide of the Civil War turned in

    Read More »from Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Bowe Bergdahl, Hillary Clinton and his call to national service
  • McChrystal: I’m not the right person to run Veterans Affairs

    Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal told Yahoo News in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that he is not “the best person” to run the troubled Department of Veterans Affairs.

    “That’s a job that I think is going to be very difficult. And it’s going to take some specific expertise. I don’t think I have that expertise, and so I don’t think I’m the best person for it,” McChrystal said, effectively taking himself out of the running for the job.

    “I care enough about what happens there that I hope they seek someone with just the right combination [of skills] and they let that individual have enough freedom of action so he can do the right thing,” he said.

    The former general’s name had been floated as a possible replacement for retired General Eric Shinseki. President Obama accepted Shinseki’s resignation last week after reports of dramatic and widespread failures at Veterans Affairs health care facilities.

    “When I heard about this, I said, ‘You know, we’re not doing our part,’” said McChrystal,

    Read More »from McChrystal: I’m not the right person to run Veterans Affairs
  • McChrystal on Bergdahl: ‘We don’t leave Americans behind. That’s unequivocal’

    And don't judge freed soldier yet, retired general says

    Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Wednesday urged Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s critics not to “judge” him until all the facts are in and sharply defended the extensive and risky search efforts that claimed the lives of some of his fellow soldiers.

    “We did a huge number of operations to try to stop the Taliban from being able to move him across the border into Pakistan,” McChrystal told Yahoo News in an exclusive interview. “And we made a great effort and put a lot of people at risk in doing that, but that’s what you should do. That’s what soldiers do for each other.”

    Bergdahl’s release as part of a prisoner swap involving five Taliban commanders has drawn angry scrutiny in Congress. It has also prompted some of his former comrades in arms to paint him as a deserter unworthy of the frantic search efforts on his behalf.

    McChrystal, who commanded the war effort in Afghanistan at the time of Bergdahl’s June 2009 vanishing, declined to shed any more light on the circumstances of his

    Read More »from McChrystal on Bergdahl: ‘We don’t leave Americans behind. That’s unequivocal’
  • Obama accepts Shinseki's resignation amid Veterans Affairs scandal

    U.S. President Barack Obama announces the resignation of U.S. Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric Shinseki after meeting with Shinseki at the White House in Washington, May 30, 2014. (REUTERS/Larry Downing)U.S. President Barack Obama announces the resignation of U.S. Secretary of Veteran Affairs Eric Shinseki after meeting with Shinseki at the White House in Washington, May 30, 2014. (REUTERS/Larry Downing)
    A day after calling Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki “an American hero,” President Barack Obama on Friday announced he had accepted the retired general’s resignation amid a political firestorm over his agency’s dramatic and sometimes deadly failure to care for wounded vets.

    “A few minutes ago, Secretary Shinseki offered me his own resignation. With considerable regret, I accepted,” Obama said in a hastily arranged appearance in the White House briefing room.

    The president and the former Army chief of staff had met an hour earlier in the Oval Office to discuss the agency’s widespread lapses and efforts to remedy them.

    Shinseki “does not want to be a distraction, because his priority is to fix the problem and make sure our vets are getting the care that they need,” the president said. “That was Ric's judgment on behalf of his fellow veterans. And I agree. We don't have time for distractions; we need to fix the problem.”

    Obama announced that Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs

    Read More »from Obama accepts Shinseki's resignation amid Veterans Affairs scandal

Pagination

(1,273 Stories)