Voice of America reported on March 29 that President Barack Obama had returned to Washington from a brief, unannounced trip to Afghanistan, during which he pressed Afghan President Hamid Karzai to crack down on corruption and make his government more effective.
VOA News reported on March 25 that the United States and Russia have announced that a new strategic arms agreement will be formally announced when the presidents of both countries have spoken with one another about it. White House and Russian Foreign Ministry spokesmen say the conversation is expected soon.
Citing White House aides and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, the New York Times reported on February 28 that President Obama is in the process of deciding on a new nuclear strategy for the United States, a strategy that “will permanently reduce America’s arsenal by thousands of weapons.”
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates complained in his February 23 speech at the National Defense University that our European NATO allies are not spending enough money on defense. These nations spend a much smaller percentage of the GDP and national budget on national defense than America does. Gate’s complaint, though, raises a more fundamental question: why is the United States still in NATO?
U.S. torture tactics have endangered relations with Great Britain in the wake of a decision by a British court to release a summary of the torture of British citizen Binyam Muhamad. “Diplomats and security officials said Wednesday,” Reuters wire service reported February 11, that “intelligence ties between London and Washington have been jeopardized by a British court's disclosure that a terrorism suspect was beaten and shackled in U.S. custody.”
When Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) vented his frustration at further involvement by the United States in foreign countries despite constitutional limitations against such involvement, he declared: “Stay out of Yemen!” Unfortunately, almost no one is listening.
A Los Angeles Times report on January 27 noted that the Afghan government, U.S. officials, and NATO are working to prepare a new initiative to convince mid- and low-level Taliban fighters to come back into mainstream Afghan society.
In a January 26 report, the New York Times revealed newly obtained additional details from transcripts of diplomatic cables sent by U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl W. Eikenberry to his superiors last November, in which he warned about the inadequacies of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and took a position against the U.S. troop buildup favored by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
In the wake of a nearly fatal display of U.S. security and intelligence agencies inability to protect the United States from airborne terrorists, the White House has joined forces with its equally befuddled British counterpart and announced a roster of responses aimed at preventing similar slip-ups in the future.