Results tagged “United States”
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In his State of the Union address, President Obama said that while "core al Qaeda" is "on a path to defeat," threats are posed by al Qaeda affiliates and other extremists in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Mali, and elsewhere. He vowed that in Syria, his administration will "support the opposition that rejects the agenda of terrorist networks." He threatened to veto any new Iran sanctions while negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program are underway. With regard to Afghanistan, he said that if the bilateral security agreement is signed, a small US force "could remain" in the country after 2014, with NATO allies, to focus on training and assisting Afghan forces and conducting counterterroism operations against "any remnants of al Qaeda."
In the first partially public hearing for Guantanamo detainees, Abd Malak Abd Wahab Rahbi, a brother-in-law and former bodyguard to Osama bin Laden, will appear before a military review board today that will consider his eligibility for release. Congress approved the sale of up to 24 Apache attack helicopters to Iraq and the lease of six more. Extensive security preparations are in place for the Super Bowl, to be held a few miles outside New York City.
Congress cut the US military and development aid budget for Afghanistan for this year to $1.1 billion, down from last year's $2.1 billion, in the wake of President Karzai's refusal to sign a bilateral security agreement and reports of waste and fraud in Afghanistan. The Karzai government has released an inflammatory report making false claims about a US raid in Afghanistan. The Air Force plans to start deploying Global Hawk drones from Misawa Air Base in Japan this summer.
A three-year Pentagon study has found that US intelligence agencies are not sufficiently able to detect the development or proliferation of nuclear weapons by foreign powers. Defense Secretary Hagel ordered thorough reviews of the US nuclear force. The US is seeking to expand by 50% its 500-Marine Africa crisis response team based in Morón, Spain.
At the Geneva II talks on Syria, Secretary of State Kerry said "parallel efforts" will be made during the talks to find other ways to pressure the Assad regime. Kerry also revived the idea that Iran could be part of the negotiations. The Navy is seeking more shore-based, localized solutions to the problem of piracy in African waters. The Pentagon adopted a new policy giving service members wider latitude for the manifestation of "sincerely held beliefs" in dress, grooming, and other matters.