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.
Reuters 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.
China never fails to top itself when it comes to human rights violations. Even as Michael Moore attempts to defend communist regimes, world-wide media networks continue to report on the harsh practices of the Communist Chinese government, most recently forced sterilizations of Puning County parents and the torture of Falun Gong practitioners.
As the world’s leading economies gathered this week for a “Group of Eight” summit, government leaders urged the international community to increase pressure on the Iranian regime over its nuclear program. But not everybody is on board.
Item: In an article entitled “China’s military bluster camouflages toothless bite,” Reuters reported on March 8, "China’s military has far to go before its bite begins to approach its increasingly loud, and for some fearsome, bark.... While China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) looks increasingly fierce on paper, analysts — and even Chinese army officers — say it will be a long time before the country has the means to effectively challenge U.S. power, if ever."
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki's party, the State of Law Coalition, lost the March 7 parliamentary elections in a fractured vote, but appears to have embarked upon a course of using political violence as a means of erasing the election results. “At least four Sunni Muslim candidates who appear to have won parliamentary seats in Iraq on the winning ticket of secular leader Ayad Allawi have become targets of investigation by security forces reporting to the narrowly defeated Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki,” McClatchy news service reported March 27.
The Washington Post has reported that Afghan President Hamid Karzai has met with representatives of Hizb-i-Islami — a major Taliban-linked insurgent group — in a step toward national reconciliation, citing a presidential spokesman’s March 22 statement.
The quartet — a group comprised of the United States, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations that focuses on Middle East peace — met in Moscow on March 19. At the meeting, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the proposals offered by the Israeli government to reduce diplomatic tensions with the United States were “useful and productive,” and that the Obama administration would continue talks with Israel in Jerusalem and Washington.