Sunday, February 24, 2008

Meet the Jensens!

Click here to learn more about them from their website

We will be Skypeing with the Jensens this Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. from Kabul, Afghanistan.

This will be a great experience for us to connect with people actually making a difference half way around the world. If you get a chance read some of their story. It is really interesting.

Mr. Keller

Friday, February 15, 2008

Drugs and Terror

February 9, 2008 · Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visited Afghanistan last week with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to try to rally more support from NATO allies for the war in Afghanistan. Meantime, the U.N. reported a bumper crop of opium in Afghanistan in 2008. Profits from the drug trade fund the Taliban.

Click Here for Audio File

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Issue of the Week: The Iraq War

U.S.-Iraqi relations have been strained since the 1991 Gulf War when the United States led the UN coalition to drive Iraqi troops from Kuwait. While previous administrations used economic sanctions and no-fly zones to attempt to contain Saddam Hussein, President George W. Bush pursued a more aggressive approach. Although President Bush lobbied for international support for a military campaign to oust Hussein, he also stated that the U.S. was willing to act unilaterally in a preemptive strike against Iraq. He declared that action was necessary to prevent Hussein from acquiring weapons of mass destruction or providing terrorists with such weapons to use against the U.S. or its allies. After diplomacy failed, the United States and a “coalition of the willing” unilaterally invaded Iraq in 2003 to impose regime change. A quick successful military campaign ousted Hussein and his regime from power, but found no evidence of an active WMD program. The military campaign severely damaged the Iraqi infrastructure, and a power vacuum ensued when the old regime collapsed. Instability wracked the country in the form of car bombings, kidnappings and tensions between the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis. In June 2004, the U.S. coalition transferred authority back to the Iraqi people. While Iraqis now control all government agencies, U.S. and coalition forces remain in Iraq to assist the interim government in stabilizing the country. Insurgents carry out terrorist attacks against the U.S. forces almost daily and contribute to the sectarian tensions that threaten to plunge Iraq into civil war. Meanwhile the American people have grown weary of President Bush’s plan to “stay the course,” and they have called for the troops to come home. President Bush announced a plan to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq, but many military strategists say troops will probably remain in the country for at least the next few years.
Proponents of the war in Iraq point to the threat posed by Saddam Hussein developing or possessing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) when defending the invasion of Iraq. In the article It's Their Country: A Conversation with Kanan Makiya, the author conducts an interview with Makiya, an Iraqi exile and supporter of the George W. Bush administration’s decision to oust Hussein. The author of The Threat Saddam Posed argues that just because no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq does not mean Hussein did not pose a threat. He claims that Hussein had the means to restart his WMD program. Some military analysts say the United States has a moral obligation to finish the job it started in Iraq. In Moral Stakes of Exiting Iraq, some argue that withdrawing the troops now would do more harm than good.
Opponents of the war in Iraq note that no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq—a key point in the George W. Bush administration’s case for war. They also criticize the president’s decision to escalate the number of troops in Iraq. The former national security adviser to President Carter says the troop escalation is futile in Brzezinski on Bush Escalation: The President is Detached from Reality. In the article Why I Refused to Go Back to Iraq, Camilo Mejia—a former U.S. soldier—calls the U.S. presence in Iraq “a deceitful and illegitimate occupation." Mejia served time in an Army jail for refusing to return to his National Guard unit. The author of Intelligence, Policy, and the War in Iraq, a former CIA officer, argues that the Bush Administration used pre-war intelligence to justify a decision it had already made, instead of using the intelligence to guide its decision making.

Afghanistan Part 2

Sunday, February 10, 2008