National Security, Terrorism, and the Military
Two botched attacks since December 2009 have brought the threat of terrorism back into the spotlight. After a failed attempt to bomb a U.S. airliner heading for Detroit on Christmas day, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano acknowledged holes in the security system. Five months later, authorities seized a would-be car bomb in a car parked in New York City’s Times Square. Both incidents prompted the Obama administration to sharpen their focus on a defense strategy aimed at al Qaeda-radicalized Americans and to release a 52-page outline of their strategy in May 2010.
Almost nine years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks that hit lower Manhattan and the Pentagon, the Afghanistan War continues, its resolution uncertain. In December 2009, President Obama authorized an additional 30,000 troops for the Afghanistan effort. In June 2010, the commander in charge of the Afghanistan war, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, resigned after he and his staff were quoted in Rolling Stone making inappropriate remarks about Obama and administration officials. Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, known for his successful military policies in the Iraq war, took command in Afghanistan. A couple months later, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he was considering retirement in 2011. The Pentagon chief, carried over from the Bush administration, had called for a bigger defense budget but also took steps to reign in Pentagon spending. He was popular on Capitol Hill, where the Senate passed a $60 billion war funding bill to finance additional troops to Afghanistan. Sen. Russ Feingold has been opposed to funding more troops without a withdrawal time line. In August 2010, nearly seven years after the beginning of the Iraq war, the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq. Still, thousands of noncombat troops and military personnel remain in the country.
The latest news on National Security, Terrorism, and the Military
Public officials should resist this pressure to take action in the charged atmosphere immediately following a terrorist attack.
Caution in asserting American power may turn out to be self-defeating.
What would Ike make of the modern military budget?
We must not turn on each other, or our institutions, or our own freedoms, whatever the truth behind these terrible attacks proves to be.
I'm proud to be a Beantown gal and an American, and no bombs will change that.
Conservatives are being hypocrites in their praise of Rand Paul's filibuster.
It's time for the United States to make clear they will increase military assistance in Sudan if the North and South can't come to an agreement.
The U.S. Senate is not where we typically find the best leadership for the national security and foreign policy departments of the executive branch of our government.
Western leaders must recognize the threat of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in North Africa.