January 5, 2012 |
Outlining new military priorities after a costly decade of war, President Obama called for shrinking the Army and Marines and refocusing Pentagon spending to counter dangers from China and Iran. Declaring that the "tide of war is receding," Obama outlined the shift in strategy in a rare appearance Thursday at the Pentagon, underscoring the White House desire to pivot away from the unpopular and costly conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in an election year. In a sign of concern about China, and a new emphasis on the Asia Pacific region, the Navy is expected to keep its current fleet of 11 aircraft carriers and accompanying warships.
November 21, 2011
Mexican President Felipe Calderon's most enduring legacy may well turn out to be the death toll from his country's bloody drug war. Since 2006, some 45,000 civilians have died, and the body count continues to rise. The homicide rate increased by more than 260% between 2007 and 2010. And a new report by Human Rights Watch indicates that drug cartels and organized crime aren't solely responsible for the bloodletting. The military, deployed to protect civilians, may have caused many of their deaths, according to the group's study.
August 21, 2011 |
During the men's European runway shows this summer, I overheard a fashion editor describing a military history book he'd read. "The commanding officers in the British army at the time of the Crimean War were dandy aristocrats who were more concerned with one-upping each other with over-the-top uniforms and military regalia than they were with military strategy," he said. With the cardinal-red military jacket, blue sash and chest full of medals worn by Prince William during his April nuptials to Kate Middleton fresh in my mind, I was intrigued and inquired further.
March 29, 2011
Before President Obama's address to the nation about Libya, three questions about U.S. involvement there loomed large: Why, among all the places with vulnerable civilian populations, did the U.S. and its allies choose to intervene in Libya? Was the mission designed to prevent civilian suffering or to topple Moammar Kadafi? How (and how quickly) would the U.S. extricate itself from this engagement? In his speech Monday, Obama addressed these thorny questions and many others with cogency and clarity, though not all of the answers were persuasive.
December 16, 2010 |
A long-awaited White House review of the U.S. troop buildup in Afghanistan lays claim to progress in the fight against the Taliban insurgency, but it also acknowledges challenges to building a stable Afghan government and in eliminating militant sanctuaries in Pakistan. The review, released Thursday, says President Obama's military strategy is "setting the conditions" for a reduction of U.S. forces beginning in July 2011 and affirms the policy that Obama implemented just over a year ago. It suggests no changes to American troop levels in the region, according to an early summary released by the White House.
December 10, 2009 |
Progress will come more slowly from the U.S. troop escalation in Afghanistan than it did during a similar move in Iraq, the top American commander in the Middle East told Congress on Wednesday, predicting intensified combat in coming months. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, said Afghanistan was beset by problems that would challenge the new U.S. strategy, including government corruption, insurgent sanctuaries along the Pakistani border and the strength of the Taliban movement.