A bipartisan commission last week reiterated its warning that the U.S. government is responding inadequately to the threat of bioterrorism. Shortly before last fall’s national election, the U.S. Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation and Terrorism issued its major report (.pdf), “World at Risk.” It included detailed guidance to the next U.S. presidential administration about what steps to take to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction or their potential use by terrorists. The commission’s latest report (.pdf), affirms that, “Progress has been made, but the clock is ticking.” Like “World at Risk,” the October […]
Various forms of cancer kill roughly 565,000 Americans per year, while tobacco kills around 440,000, and obesity causes perhaps another 400,000 or more deaths. Approximately 1.7 million patients develop infections annually while undergoing treatment in U.S. hospitals, resulting in an estimated 99,000 deaths. These four causes account for roughly 1.5 million U.S. deaths per year, every year. A single organism, Clostridium difficile, causes some 450,000 infections and between 15,000 and 20,000 deaths per year. Meanwhile, throughout the entire 20th century, bioterrorism killed a grand total of zero U.S. citizens, and just five to date in the 21st century. Nevertheless, following […]
Charlie Rose interviewed the New York Times’ David Rohde who was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan for seven months before escaping.
The U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime released a report detailing the effects of a $15 billion industry – the Afghan opium trade. The report connects instability in Central Asia and global heroin addiction to the Taliban-taxed drug. The UNODC explains that insurgent groups derive anywhere from $90-160 million in revenue from opium taxes and that the trade could be financing insurgents across borders. Paradoxically, as the drug is globally smuggled, leaving a trail of addiction in places such as India and China, wealthier nations are intercepting less of the drug at their borders.
After Indonesian authorities gunned down Southeast Asia’s most-wanted terrorist, Noordin Mohammad Top, last month, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono remained cautiously optimistic, stating at the time that Jakarta had “just won a battle” in its broader war against terrorism. Yudhoyono was probably right to strike such a balanced tone in his remarks. While Top’s death is a major blow to Islamic militancy in Southeast Asia, it is hardly the final nail in its coffin. And even as Jakarta’s “law and order approach” to eradicating terrorism continues to net key terrorist operatives, it has come under increasing scrutiny for eroding the […]
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Wednesday terrorists are in retreat in his country and the Taliban are in disarray. The foreign minister made his comments during an address in Washington. Voice of America correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
On Worldfocus, Daniel Markey of the Council on Foreign Relations saysthis week’s bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul could haveimplications for India-Pakistan relations, as well as for Pakistan’sfocus on its internal Taliban threat. “The potential for a broaderregional destabilization is certainly there,” he said.
As Pakistan prepares to launch an offensive against the Taliban inSouth Waziristan, and in the wake of the bombing of the headquarters ofthe World Food Program in Islamabad, a new video appeared thatpurported to demonstrate that Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud is stillalive. Al Jazeera reports below that the person in the video is indeedHakimullah, though Pakistani officials claim the person in the video isHakimullah’s brother, who strongly resembles the allegedly deceasedfighter. These officials believe Hakimullah was killed in a powerstruggle in the wake of the death of another Taliban leader, BaitullahMehsud, in August, by a U.S. drone strike.
Worldfocus interviews the Middle East Institute’s Marvin Weinbaum onwhat the Taliban’s Monday attack on a World Food Program office inIslamabad means for U.S. policy in Afghanistan, and for U.S. andPakistani strategy against the Taliban.