The Internet-based watchdog site WikiLeaks began releasing more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables in batches beginning November 28, earning the condemnation of the Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The documents, which include frank assessments of foreign political officials, have already embarrassed U.S. diplomats to a variety of countries.
M1A1 Abrams tanks will be put to use in Afghanistan’s Helmand province by early spring. It is the first time in the nine-year Afghan war that the United States has made use of what CNN describes as “the fastest and most deadly ground combat weapons system available.”
Only a few days have passed since President Obama’s return from an expensive overseas jaunt in which he traveled from India to Indonesia praising Islam, but the scandal which his statements on Islam and Jihad evoked did not cause him to shirk what he apparently views as his duty to greet Hajj pilgrims. In a November 15 press release, Obama declared:
AP reported on November 17 that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, speaking to reporters after a 90-minute breakfast meeting with members of Congress, was exerting pressure on the Senate to vote on a new U.S.-Russian nuclear weapons treaty. Clinton asserted that postponing the vote until the next session of Congress would undermine national security.
Voice of America news reported a statement made by Defense Secretary Robert Gates on November 9 that the United States is willing to keep troops in Iraq past the current 2011 deadline, if Iraq's leaders request an extension of U.S. troop presence. VOA noted that Gates made the comment to reporters in Kuala Lumpur following a meeting with Malaysia's Defense Minister.