As Eric Schmittreports in today’s New York Times, FBI agents have been rushing after thousands of terrorism leads, ranging from a missing 55-gallon drum of radioactive material (it was later found on a loading dock) to threats to shopping malls. They are now key players in America’s counterterrorism effort, and the agents themselves do not seem to mind: “It’s better to do that than find out later you let something get by,” one of them told Schmitt.
Army officials have announced plans to train soldiers in a new form of psychological warfare, hoping to steel them against the emotional and mental fallout from war. The training is based partly on a body of “recent research suggesting that people can manage stress by thinking in terms of their psychological strengths,” according to The New York Times. At first glance, it seems like a noble idea. It is certainly timely: Approximately 300,000 people who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are currently suffering form some form of mental illness, given the overwhelming demands on the VA health care system.
President Obama reached out to members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars at their annual convention in Phoenix, telling them that their access to health care would be expanded and joking with them about “the ‘billions of dollars’ for a fleet of new presidential helicopters,” which he said, would allow him to “cook a meal while under nuclear attack,” according to Politico. It was an endearing, funny speech in which he also expressed admiration for the veterans “who’ve done their duty.” Yet, as many of the veterans in the audience could attest, many of them are still not getting the care they need.
There are 130,000 men and women deployed in Iraq, down from the 160,000 troops who were there two years ago. By the end of the year, there will be 68,000 troops in Afghanistan. (Last year, there were about 34,000 in Afghanistan.) However, the number that's changed most dramatically is the count of embedded reporters.
As Adammentioned earlier, two New York Times reporters revealed some new information today about the construction of secret prisons for detainees, one of the most controversial aspects of Bush's global war on terrorism. Back then, the U.S. was trying to eradicate terrorism in all parts of the globe. The strategy was misguided, to say the least, given the nature of the enemy, which constantly formed different alliances and cells in various countries.