According to a recent opinion survey, one in three U.S. veterans of the post-9/11 military believe the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not worth fighting, and a majority of those questioned said that after 10 years of military engagement in the Middle East, the United States should focus less on foreign wars and more on some of its own internal problems.
The government of Pakistan, which receives billions in U.S. government aid each year, is using its intelligence services to support attacks on American military and diplomatic personnel in Afghanistan, top U.S. officials said last week in the most direct accusations to date. Pakistani authorities denied the charges.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced recently that the Palestinian Authority intended to seek official recognition of statehood by the United Nations. The UN Security Council president announced Monday that the council would meet today to begin formal consideration of the Palestinian request for membership in the world body.
President Obama lavished praise on the United Nations and its controversial military interventions during his September 21 address to the UN General Assembly, promoting big-government policies and even more international “cooperation” on everything from protests in Syria and the global economic crisis to healthcare, climate, and poverty.
During his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama (left, at podium) boasted about the alleged successes of U.S. and international military interventions from Libya and Iraq to the Ivory Coast and Afghanistan — even calling on the UN to wage more wars to promote peace if necessary. But according to critics, the results and justifications for the operations Obama cited leave much to be desired.
Observers might think that the largest, most expensive embassy ever built — the $750 million, heavily fortified U.S. embassy in Baghdad — would be more than sufficient to sustain the diplomatic corps that will remain in Iraq after U.S. troops are withdrawn. In fact, however, that 1.5-square-mile walled complex is, according to the Huffington Post’s Dan Froomkin, “turning out to be too small for the swelling retinue of gunmen, gardeners and other workers the State Department considers necessary to provide security and ‘life support’ for the sizable group of diplomats, military advisers and other executive branch officials who will be taking shelter there once the troops withdraw from the country.”
The results of an annual survey of U.S. troops show the already-dismal approval rates for President Obama’s performance dropped to just 25 percent among the military respondents. Support for his strategy in Afghanistan plummeted further, and less than one fourth of those surveyed said they approved of American intervention in Libya.
A former U.S. Marine Cpl. who disregarded orders, fighting five times through an enemy ambush in an Afghan valley to help rescue three dozen comrades and recover four fallen American soldiers, received the Medal of Honor, America’s highest military award, in a September 15 White House ceremony. The Marine Corps Times reported that 23-year-old Dakota Meyer was honored “for his actions in the infamous Battle of Ganjgal, a six-hour ambush and firefight that killed some of his best friends on Sept. 8, 2009, in Kunar province, Afghanistan.”
"At 8:46 on the morning of September 11, 2001, the United States became a nation transformed," the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9-11 Commission) said, noting the time at which the first of two planes attacking the World Trade Center struck the north tower. The "transformation" seemed real and dramatic at the time. Even before the shock wore off, the America that some accused of having been on a "holiday from history" since the end of the Cold War was suddenly aroused and united in purpose. The seemingly feckless President became both symbol and spokesman of that new resolve as he stood amid the rubble at "ground zero" at New York, bullhorn in hand, and promised that the people responsible for knocking down the Twin Towers would soon hear from all of us and feel the power of our righteous retribution. Most of the nations of the world, including many that had long been critical of the United States, poured out their sympathy and support. Even the left-wing French newspaper Le Monde published a headline proclaiming, "We Are All Americans."
The U.S. is leaning on the government in Baghdad for a new Status of Forces Agreement that will keep American troops in Iraq beyond the end of the year. The current agreement, signed by the U.S. and Iraq in 2008, requires the removal of all U.S. military forces by December 31, 2011. If nothing changes, Americans will adhere to that deadline, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told the New York Times.
U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker told Reuters that American forces must continue the fight against the Taliban and for a stable Afghanistan as "the ultimate guarantee that there will not be another 9/11."