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.
During his run for the presidency, Barack Obama promised Americans change we could believe in. Little, however, has changed in domestic policy from the George W. Bush era, except to accelerate the already breakneck pace of government growth. And in foreign policy, the one area where Obama seemed to offer some significant contrast to his predecessor, there has been even greater continuity.
On September 22, Voice of America and other media outlets cited material from Obama's Wars — a new book by Washington, D.C.-based journalist Bob Woodward — stating: “Key members of the Obama administration were divided about the president's Afghan war strategy, with some top national security advisors doubting Mr. Obama's plan will work.”
The White House has announced that a 25-year-old soldier who braved enemy fire to rescue two comrades during a 2007 military operation in Afghanistan will become the first living American serviceman since the Vietnam War to receive the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest military award.
Suppose you’re the President of the United States at a time when your country is facing a $1.3 trillion annual budget deficit and a $13 trillion national debt. Meanwhile, a country on the other side of the world is running a budget surplus but could potentially end up slightly in debt if it pays for its own security instead of depending on U.S. taxpayers to do so. What would you do?
The China Daily US Edition reported on September 7 that "China will 'vigorously' expand its imports of key products as the nation strives to cut its trade surplus amid growing protectionism against the world's largest exporter."
The September 8 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, often described as the most "liberal" in the nation, came down on the side of national security at the expense of human rights.