Briefing Skipper: Brussels, Pakistan, Taliban, Abyei, Oh Canada…
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Thursday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left Brussels late Thursday and returned to Washington follow her European tour. The last leg included the NATO ministerial conference, where she ...
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department's daily presser so you don't have to. These are the highlights of Thursday's briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
In which we scour the transcript of the State Department’s daily presser so you don’t have to. These are the highlights of Thursday’s briefing by spokesman P.J. Crowley:
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left Brussels late Thursday and returned to Washington follow her European tour. The last leg included the NATO ministerial conference, where she was joined by Defense Secretary Bob Gates and warned about the risks of British defense cuts. Clinton also had several meetings, including with EU Council President Van Rompuy, EU Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton.
Ashton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will host the Friends of Democratic Pakistan meeting Friday in Brussels, where the U.S. will be represented by Special Representative Richard Holbrooke. They will also be preparing for the third round of the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue consultations, which will take place late next week here in Washington.
Crowley didn’t get into the details of reports of U.S. and NATO involvement in new talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, but said, "We recognize that, not always, but insurgencies frequently are resolved not by military means alone, but a combination of military means and a viable political process. That is precisely — it is incorporated in our strategy. We are following that strategy. We are supporting the government of Afghanistan in pursuing reconciliation with those elements that are currently part of the insurgency."
Crowley said the U.S. still wants to see referendum votes both in South Sudan and in Abyei go off on time and as scheduled, despite that the last round of preparation talks ended last week with resolution of key issues and now some top Sudanese officials are openly calling for a delay. "We recognize that this is a challenge. But the parties themselves are committed to hold referenda on southern Sudan and Abyei on January 9th, and they clearly have work to do to be able to accomplish that on time," Crowley said. Talks resume Oct. 27.
No confirmation of reports that U.N. Representative Susan Rice instructed her team not to do anything to support Canada’s failed bid for a seat on the U.N. Security Council. "Our votes are secret," Crowley said, not even addressing the issue of U.S. public or private support for Canada. "We love Canada. We support Canada — except in the Gold Medal Game," he joked.
No comment on reports that there is a plea deal in the works for Omar Khadr, the Guantanamo prisoner who has been jailed there since age 15. Your humble Cable guy attended one of Khadr’s hearings during a trip to Gitmo in January, 2006.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
More from Foreign Policy
Saudi-Iranian Détente Is a Wake-Up Call for America
The peace plan is a big deal—and it’s no accident that China brokered it.
The U.S.-Israel Relationship No Longer Makes Sense
If Israel and its supporters want the country to continue receiving U.S. largesse, they will need to come up with a new narrative.
Putin Is Trapped in the Sunk-Cost Fallacy of War
Moscow is grasping for meaning in a meaningless invasion.
How China’s Saudi-Iran Deal Can Serve U.S. Interests
And why there’s less to Beijing’s diplomatic breakthrough than meets the eye.