Mar 31 2010

Obama Differs Little From Bush on Foreign Policy

Feature Stories | Published 31 Mar 2010, 9:52 am | Comments Off on Obama Differs Little From Bush on Foreign Policy -

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obama afghanistanUS Admiral Mike Mullen met with tribal elders in the tiny Afghan village of Marjah yesterday. Marjah was the site of a major offensive by US troops intended to rout Taliban fighters, and a pre-cursor to a larger fight in Kandahar this June. Mullen’s meeting followed a surprise visit to Afghanistan by President Obama this past Sunday. Obama addressed US troops in the region, whose numbers have been steadily increasing under the President’s new policy. He also met with President Karzai in a meeting intended to convey a strong message over rampant corruption in the central government. Karzai had promised not to sign into law a 2007 bill that passed the warlord-dominated parliament providing blanket amnesty to all Afghan war criminals and human rights abusers. But recently the law simply took effect seemingly unannounced, causing an outcry among rights groups and other governments. Karzai’s own brother, Ahmad Wali Karzai is a well known drug lord operating in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar. But there is another reason being cited for the President’s surprise Afghanistan visit. A week earlier, Karzai met with the leaders of Iran and China, a move that sent alarm bells ringing through the White House. President Obama has been pushing hard to garner international support for sanctions against Iran.

GUEST: Reese Erlich, Freelance foreign correspondent, who has covered the Middle East for 23 years and is the author of three books. His fourth, “Conversations with Terrorists,” will be published in September 2010. Find out more at www.reeseerlich.com.

Reese Erlich’s speaking events in Southern California:

Wed., March 31
12:30 – 2pm – “Iran’s Popular Uprising – A first-hand account”
University of Southern California, School of International Relations Social Science Bldg, #B40
http://web-app.usc.edu/ws/eo2/calendar/175/event/872088
 
Thursday, April 1
3:30 “Obama, Nukes and the Green Movement”
University of California, Irvine, International Studies Public Forum
 Room 1100, Building A, Social Science Plaza
http://internationalstudies.ss.uci.edu/event.php?eid=1457
 
7:30 pm –  “Obama, Nukes and Iran”
University of California, Riverside,  location: The Barn followed by panel discussion.

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