Executives at the private North Carolina-based U.S. security firm Blackwater approved secret payments of about one million dollars to Iraqi officials to "silence their criticism" after its privately contracted guards killed 17 civilians in Baghdad in 2007, the New York Times reported on November 11.
The U.S. Navy has unveiled a new recruitment video commercial boasting that it is now a “global force for good.” Apparently, the U.S. Navy isn't just for America any more. The implication in the video is that the U.S. Navy is no longer just for protecting the nation's shores, but has a much more vast mandate for global service and foreign military interventionism.
Eight years after the war in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, in response to the September 11 attacks, President Obama is busy consulting with his national security team to assess our presence there.
With a population of approximately 178,000 people residing on an island roughly one-seventh the size of Rhode Island, the smallest state in the union, the U.S. territory of Guam rarely captures much attention in the minds of the average American. However, as the government prepares to expand a military base in Guam at a cost of $15 billion, that situation may change.
President Obama met with U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, aboard Air Force One at the Copenhagen, Denmark, airport on October 2. The pair continued discussions of war strategy begun during a three-hour brainstorming session at the White House Situation Room on September 30. McChrystal had participated in that meeting from Afghanistan by means of a video link.
Speaking at London’s International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) on October 1, U.S. Army General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, warned that success in Afghanistan is not assured.
U.S. military commander for Afghanistan General Stanley McCrystal told CBS's 60 Minutes that the situation in Afghanistan is worsening. Asked if things are worse or better than he expected, he said in the television news show aired September 27: “They're probably a little worse.... In some areas the breadth of the violence, the geographic spread of violence … are a little more than I would have gathered."
The UN Security Council, acting during an unprecedented summit chaired by President Barack Obama, unanimously approved a U.S.-drafted resolution on September 24 calling on states that possess nuclear weapons to scrap their arsenals.
President Obama delivered his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, employing impassioned rhetoric reminiscent of his presidential campaign's theme of "change":
President Obama made a solemn and mostly non-political speech on the anniversary of the September 11 bombings that will have politicos guessing about his policies in Iraq and Afghanistan for weeks to come. “Let us renew our resolve against those who perpetrated this barbaric act and who plot against us still,” Obama told an audience in front of the Pentagon memorializing the attacks of September 11, adding that “in pursuit of al Qaeda and its extremist allies, we will never falter.”