AFP news reported on August 25 that Iran's recent unveiling of new missile-firing assault boats and an aerial drone is a source of concern for U.S. officials. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley told reporters: "This is ... something that is of concern to us and ... concern to Iran's neighbors."

DroneA strike from an unmanned aerial vehicle killed 20 people in Pakistan on August 23. According to Reuters news service, "missiles fired from a U.S. pilotless drone aircraft killed 13 militants and 7 civilians in Pakistan's North Waziristan." The attack, and the deaths, illustrate how the unintended consequences of policy decisions and operations conducted decades ago continue to shape events of the present.

China militaryCommunist China remains passive in pointing the finger at North Korea over the the sinking of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan, seemingly giving the benefit of the doubt to the North. If a shooting war flares up on the Korean Peninsula, would China intervene militarily on behalf of the North, as it did in the Korean War?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on August 20 that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have been invited to Washington on September 2 to start talks related to the Middle East peace process. Clinton said this will be the first time in 20 months that Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resume direct negotiations.

Hillary Clinton with the troopsThe much ballyhooed withdrawal of “combat troops” from Iraq by the Obama administration has revealed another uncomfortable truth: The U.S. Army soldiers and Marines that are being sent home from Iraq in August (less the 50,000 “non-combat” soldiers that will remain behind) are being replaced by a new U.S. “civilian” contract army under the control of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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