A View from the Battlefield

WPR’s David Axe provides raw footage of Soldiers from the 82nd Airborne, attached to Task Force Gladius at Bagram as they patrol Parwan province. Axe’s most recent column discusses the challenges that face troops on the ground as the Afghanistan “surge” pushes forward.

Violence in Nigeria Draws Attention to Mounting Instability

The most recent outburst of violence in Nigeria’s city of Jos calls attention to mounting sectarian instability in the absence of a credible, stable government. Though clashes between Muslim and Christian groups in Nigeria have long been a problem, President Umaru Yar’Adua’s disappearance from his leadership role following illness has left Africa’s most populous nation vulnerable to larger scale violence.

Gen. Odierno: A Coalition Government is the Only Way

Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, talks to NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer about the recent elections in Iraq and the possibilities for security and democracy in the immediate future. Odierno stresses that decision-making is solely with the Iraqi government and that U.S. forces are in the country in an advisory role. He also says that it looks as if the timetable for troop withdrawal is on schedule after the overall success of relatively non-violent elections.

The United States, a ‘Pacific Nation’

Kurt M. Campbell, Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, recently referred to the United States as a “Pacific nation,” a new approach to global positioning — unlike that of the traditional Atlanticist orientation — drawing attention to a new era in U.S. foreign policy. Campbell says: “There should be no doubt that the United States, itself, is a Pacific nation. In every regard — geopolitically, militarily, diplomatically, and economically — Asia and the Pacific are indispensable to addressing the challenges and seizing the opportunities of the 21st century. As the Asia-Pacific century emerges, defining the […]

U.S. Focuses on Latin America

As Brazil’s influence on the global stage climbs, the United States’ influence in Latin America may be waning. A recent visit to Latin America by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton highlights the weaknesses and strengths in the relationship the Obama administration has forged with its southern partners. Experts say there has been a noticeable strain in diplomatic relations, but that not all hope is lost, should the U.S. refocus their priorities in the region.

U.S.-Turkey Relations On Thin Ice After Genocide Resolution

A U.S. congressional panel voted in favor of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, a non-binding decision by U.S. lawmakers branding mass killings of Armenians by Turkey during World War One as genocide. The resolution comes at a time of renewed efforts toward normalization between Turkey and Armenia — a process that could be interrupted by Congress’ vote. Though President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton have shied away from the term “genocide” for fear of disrupted relations with strategic partner Turkey, the Armenian-American diaspora is celebrating the vote.

Will Sudan As We Know It Be No More?

Time is almost up on a 2005 comprehensive peace agreement in Sudan that slated this to be the year for a referendum on South Sudan’s independence. International Crisis Group Africa Analyst Zach Vertin says that though one of the aims of the original agreement was to make unity between the North and South attractive, that effort has failed and South Sudanese will most likely vote in favor of secession from Khartoum. Key issues such as demarcation of the North/South border, wealth sharing and a timely referendum will be the focus of this democratic process unfolding in Sudan, Vertin says.

Open Voting In Iraq Sparks Violence

NewsHour’s Ray Suarez reports on violence that sprang up as Iraqi citizens lined up for early voting. The much anticipated parliamentary elections have moved forward, despite violence that has sprouted throughout the country to deter voters from making it to the polls. As democracy fights for a place on the Iraqi political stage, the Obama administration continues to talk about an impending withdrawal.

Marjah as the New Model

NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff interviews U.S. Army Brigadier General Ben Hodges of the Southern Region Command in Kandahar about the Marjah offensive. Hodges says that the focus in Marjah is on governance, despite military operations, and that he expects a few more weeks of fighting there before the mission is complete. Furthermore, he says the tactics used to fight insurgents in Marjah will be used as a model for future offensives.

Iraqi Elections Preview

In the lead up to the much anticipated March 7 parliamentary election in Iraq, VOA’s Deborah Block reports on the political climate in the country. Experts say they are looking to see if coalitions will be formed along nationalist or religious lines. More than four hundred candidates have been banned from running in the election, causing apprehension in the international community that election results may not be seen as legitimate — an outcome that would be a serious blow to Iraq’s democratic progress.

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