El Salvador is the last stop on President Obama's three-nation tour of Latin America. Mr. Obama's stops in Brazil and Chile were largely overshadowed by events in Libya, but his reasons for visiting the strategically important South American nations were clear: with their galloping economies, Brazil and Chile are emerging as power players in the region and in the world. However, his reasons for visiting El Salvador are less obvious.
U.S. and allied forces continue their bombardment of Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi's assets on Tuesday. President Obama has reportedly said that US involvement in Libya will last for "days not weeks," leaving some to wonder if the White House has a realistic view of its involvement in Libya. Ret. Admiral William Fallon is the former commander of US Central Command and U.S. Pacific Command. He has spent considerable time working in the Middle East. Fallon told The Takeaway: "There could be significant involvement for the long haul."
Although the role of the United States in Libya differs from its role in Iraq and Afghanistan, the intervention does resemble many other modern conflicts. Think back to the Gulf War and the Balkan wars throughout the 1990s. What can we learn from America's diplomatic and military strategy during those conflicts that might be relevant for our intervention in Libya? Joining us to analyze the position of the U.S. in Libya is Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.
U.S. and European allies attacked Col. Moammar Gadhafi's forces by air and sea throughout the weekend. The allies also instituted a no-fly zone over Libya, allowing rebel forces to strengthen their hold on the eastern city of Benghazi. But the long-term implications of American military intervention are unclear. Although the Obama administration has called for Gadhafi’s ouster, the U.N. Resolution that authorized intervention did not. And the U.S. is already fighting two wars. How long will the conflict in Libya last?
Operation Odyssey Dawn began Saturday with coalition missiles targeting Moammar Gadhafi's tanks and air defenses. Is the United States leading this effort? Meanwhile, relief and rescue efforts continue in Japan and time is of the essence as over 12,000 people are still missing and 8,000 have been confirmed dead so far.
One year ago, President Obama announced that the federal government would guarantee $8 billion in new federal loans to build two nuclear reactors in Georgia. The recession-hit town of Waynesboro, Georgia was to benefit from the construction, as new jobs were created. But as Japan's nuclear disaster continues to unfold, some of those who live near the 104 nuclear reactors scattered throughout the United States are growing nervous, while others say there's nothing to fear.
In the past week, the world has watched as Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi's forces pound the opposition with gunfire and artillery from the skies. But despite intense deliberation at the White House and elsewhere, neither the U.S., NATO or others have been able to decide on a plan for intervention. Is Libya of national interest to the U.S.? And is it worth a potentially complex, long-term commitment? If not a no-fly zone: what should the United States do about Libya?
By now, you've probably seen The Guardian newspaper's quiz, which asked takers to determine whether Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen or Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was responsible for a series of choice quotes like, "I have defeated this earthworm with my words – imagine what I would have done with my fire-breathing fists." That, incidentally, was Charlie Sheen. The situation unfolding in Libya is certainly no joke; nor is Charlie Sheen's public meltdown. The point is that both Gadhafi and Sheen seem, at least to many armchair psychologists, to have one thing in common: mental illness.
Nationalist sentiment has played a pivotal role in uprisings throughout history, from eastern Europe to the United States to Africa. In the Arab world, nationalism has played less of a role. Attempts at a pan-Arab movement fell apart while nationalism evolved over the years into Islamism. But recent uprisings in the Middle East aren't springing entirely from any of the three. So, which "ism" is inspiring revolution in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and the Gulf? Aviel Roshwald is a professor of history at Georgetown University.
Sunday marks 25 years since the US Senate ratified the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. That convention entered into force in 1951 but the US Senate refrained from ratification until 1986. Why? Adam Jones is a professor of political science at the University of British Columbia and author of "Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction."
With protesters in Egypt successfully overthrowing President Hosni Mubarak, following successful protests in Tunisia, we take a look at Yemen. That country has seen protests all weekend — not from the opposition but from the youth of the country, who have organized primarily via text messaging. Noel King, managing producer for The Takeaway, looks at why the U.S. should be keeping a close eye on what's happening in Yemen, as well as in Iran.
In a move that futher galvanized Egypt's protesters, thousands of Egyptian labors union members held sit-ins and strikes on Wednesday that were expected to continue through the week. Union members have not called for President Hosni Mubarak to step down, instead airing their frustration with low wages and the Egyptian government in general.
Many nations in North Africa and the Middle East are no stranger to election results that seem less than democratic. In 2006, Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh won re-election with seventy-seven percent of the popular vote. In 2005, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak took eighty-eight percent of the vote. And in 2009, Tunisia's now ex-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali commanded nearly ninety percent of the vote.
It may be hard to imagine a country in the same region where a free, fair and transparent election results in more than ninety eight percent of people voting for the same outcome. But that's exactly what happened in Southern Sudan, where 98.83 percent of nearly four million voters chose separation from their countrymen to the north.
We've seen a domino effect in the Mideast as protests in Tunisia sparked the continued unrest in Egypt. Over the past week opposition activists in Syria have gathered in small groups to pay homage to the protestors in Egypt, while a Facebook group, run mostly by Syrian expatriates, is trying to organize a "Day of Rage" in that country.
A massive winter storm slammed huge swaths of the country this week with snow and freezing rain. And the worst may be yet to come. Central and northern Midwest can expert up to 15 to 20 inches of snow. Up to two-feet of snow — a record — could land in Chicago. Stephen Fybish, a weather historian, says he predicted this would be a rough winter back in 2003.
In what is being dubbed the "March of Millions," hundreds of thousands of Egyptians have taken to the streets in the eighth day of protests against President Hosni Mubarak. Demonstrations have vowed to remain on the streets until Mubarak, who has held his position for more than 30 years, quits. Protests are taking place in Tahrir Square, which translates to Liberation Square.
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians are still in the streets to call for an end to the three-decade rule of President Hosni Mubarak. At issue for many protesters is the dire standard of living. How can a new government make things better? And here at home, as the country is trying to pull itself out of a recession, we look at whether unrest in Egypt have an impact on the American economy?
Credit rating agencies took some bold steps on Thursday, downgrading growth forecasts and cutting debt ratings both in the U.S. and abroad. Moody's Investors Service announced Thursday they will begin to take unfunded pension debt into account when formulating states' credit ratings — a move that could have a debilitating affect on struggling states. On the same day, Fitch Ratings cut their growth forecast for Tunisia by two percent in light of domestic political upheaval that has swept across the Middle East, and Standard and Poor's downgraded Japan's long-term government debt for the first time since 2002. What does this mean for countries, states, and the international economy?
From Germany in World War I to Germany and Japan in World War II, to the Taliban and Al-Qaida today, the faces of America’s enemies have shifted over time. But how we define our enemies defines our nation in turn. We assume to be what they are not. How has this pattern affected the way nations see themselves and each other?