President Barack Obama may have publicly stated that U.S. troops will begin withdrawing from Afghanistan in July 2011, but according to reporter Bob Woodward, both Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus have other ideas. The Huffington Post reports that Woodward’s new book, Obama’s Wars, portrays Gates and Petraeus as anticipating — in Gates’s case, perhaps even desiring — a long-term U.S. presence in the “graveyard of empires.”
When the book The $3 Trillion War debuted in 2008, it was roundly criticized by such notables as John Lott, Richard Zerbe and Edgar Browning, who held that estimates of the cost of the war in Iraq were overstated. But in a conference call earlier this week, authors Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel Prize winner) and Linda Bilmes (Harvard University professor), said they underestimated those costs by at least one third.
The British Daily Mail reported on September 29 that U.S. CIA-directed forces had launched “a devastating series of missile strikes against militants in Pakistan to help foil Mumbai-style attacks on cities in Europe.”
Voice of America News reported on September 27 that Afghan and NATO forces engaged in Operation Dragon Strike are conducting a major push to drive Taliban militants out of their stronghold around the southern city of Kandahar.