The United States invaded Afghanistan in October 2001. Six years later then-Senator Barack Obama, in a speech entitled “The War We Need to Win,” called Afghanistan “the right battlefield” in the Global War on Terror and pledged to “deploy at least two additional brigades to Afghanistan” if elected President. Since taking office he has made good on that promise, increasing troop levels by 17,000 in February 2009 and an additional 30,000 in December 2009.

Reuters news reported on May 7 that Israel does not plan to review its nuclear policies, despite efforts by the United States and other world powers at the current UN conference of Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to promote a Middle East free of nuclear arms.

Iraqi-run prisonThe New York-based Human Rights Watch reported April 27 that a secret Iraqi prison maintained by the current lame-duck Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki engaged in “routine” torture against detainees.

Cheonan Korean ShipReuters cited an April 22 Yonhap News Agency report that the South Korean military believes a torpedo fired from a North Korean submarine sank its navy corvette, the ROKS Cheonan, on March 26. The findings were based on intelligence gathered jointly with the United States.

The Iraqi government has run a secret prison where minority Sunni Muslims were kept outside of the ordinary Iraqi system of justice and tortured, according to various press reports.