Today, on the one year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers,
President Obama is speaking on Wall Street, addressing the need for
regulatory reforms to the financial sector. Since taking office the
president has led a coordinated global response to the worst economic
crisis since the Great Depression.
In a letter to Congress, President Obama reiterated his warning that he will veto the 2010 defense budget if money for the F-22 fighter is included. Obama and Secretary Gates are finally attempting to eliminate wasteful Cold War-era weapons that not only do nothing to enhance our security.
Yesterday, the Obama administration signaled growing concern on both sides of the border with the havoc being wreaked by Mexican drug cartels. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced new measures and testified before Congress that the issue demands the “utmost attention.” Attorney General Eric Holder put it even more starkly: “They are a national security threat…We simply can't afford to let down our guard.”
As the Obama Administration begins a 60-day review of its Afghanistan strategy, a diverse group of progressive experts in development, counter-terrorism, regional politics and US politics came together to advise NSN on a set of principles that might guide both the Administration in building a new strategy and advocates in Congress, the media and the public in judging a proposed strategy.
This evening President Bush will give a farewell address to the nation in which he will undoubtedly claim that thanks to his national security policies America has not been hit by a terrorist attack since 9/11. But while our law enforcement agencies and military work to protect Americans from attack, President Bush leaves behind a legacy of failure. The Bush Administration has succeeded in overinflating the terrorist threat at home and utterly discrediting it abroad.
Events this week underline the real legacy of the Bush Administration's actions in Iraq: a country still tormented by bombings, a dysfunctional political system threatened by power plays and instability, and at home a troubling history of high-level executive branch misuse of intelligence in the run-up to the war.
Today, President Bush is giving a speech at the Army War College touting his legacy by arguing that there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil since 9/11. Vice President Cheney has echoed the same sentiments recently in an interview with ABC. Sadly, this argument ignores the obvious fact that the administration ignored warnings from terrorism experts such as Richard Clarke in the run up to 9/11 and did not make al Qaeda a top priority.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice misread the situation yesterday when she claimed that Iran’s influence in Iraq was in doubt. Following the overthrow of Saddam – Iran’s principal enemy – the Iranian regime was able to develop tremendous influence with the Shia-majority in Iraq. There is now a broad bipartisan consensus among foreign policy experts and senior government officials that it is time for a new approach based on tough direct engagement with Iran.
Almost six years after an invasion that was supposed to spread democracy throughout the Middle East, more than 4,000 American troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed, the American economy has absorbed approximately $1 trillion in costs, the Middle East has been destabilized and America’s image around the world has been sullied.