13 Apr 2010
Although the concept of using unmanned drones to attack terrorism suspects in Pakistan came about during the Bush era, the Obama administration has continued these efforts and made it a centerpiece for national security policy. While the use of unmanned drones has been controversial, where many criticize these efforts as being illegal assassinations, or “unlawful extrajudicial killing,” one State Department legal adviser — who was a unflinching Bush critic — came out with a speech that robustly defend these efforts. In a speech to the before the American Society of International law, Harold Koh cited domestic and international law as foundations for the program. According to Mr. Kohl, the US is engaged in an “armed conflict” with al-Qaeda and its affiliates. He also asserted that “individuals who are part of such an armed group are belligerents and, therefore, lawful targets under international law.” Check out this Washington Post editorial for more on Mr. Kohl’s perspective on the use of unmanned drones.
27 Jan 2010
U.S. military teams and intelligence agencies are deeply involved in secret joint operations with Yemeni troops who in the past six weeks have killed scores of people, among them six of 15 top leaders of a regional al-Qaeda affiliate, according to senior administration officials. The operations, approved by President Obama and begun six weeks ago, involve several dozen troops from the U.S. military’s clandestine Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), whose main mission is tracking and killing suspected terrorists. The American advisers do not take part in raids in Yemen, but help plan missions, develop tactics and provide weapons and munitions. Highly sensitive intelligence is being shared with the Yemeni forces, including electronic and video surveillance, as well as three-dimensional terrain maps and detailed analysis of the al-Qaeda network. Read the full Washington Post article here.
03 Dec 2009
We were able to find the video of General Stanley McChrystal, Commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, briefing his troops right after President Obama’s big speech about the troop surge in Afghanistan. And, Gen. McChrystal has welcomed President Obama’s revised strategy and his decision to add 30,000 troops to the effort, even though the general was reported to have wanted at least 10,000 more.
19 Nov 2009
Our reader may recall that we did a post a while back on the mapping of America’s sins. And, as expected, our nation was full of sinners. Now, we have come across study from Transparency International who has created a corruption index and map for gauging the corruption level of every nation. The big surprise is that the U.S. did not fare as well as other first world nations including Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Australia and Ireland. According to Wired Magazines coverage of this index, the U.S. rated below these countries because of the influence of lobbying on our lawmaking and the ongoing controversy over how we’ve prosecuted the war on terror. You can read the Wired article here, as well as see the actual index here.
09 Feb 2009
Hope everyone had a relaxing weekend. Before we post our upcoming Podcast with Jack Pellicci of Intergraph, we wanted to do a quick roundup of noteworthy news to get the week started. As always, we welcome your thoughts and opinions. Last week were received a number of very cogent comments from many folks surrounding Panetta’s qualifications and Google Latitude. Thank you all for that!