Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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Apr 18th, 2010

Summary: The Taliban are moving fighters into Kandahar, planting bombs, and plotting attacks as NATO and Afghan forces prepare for a summer offensive. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on April 18, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that Congress would begin hearings on an energy and global warming bill that could revolutionize how the United States produces and uses energy, in an effort to reduce pollution said to be responsible for heating up the planet.


Feb 17th, 2010

Summary: The Taliban’s top military commander has been captured in Karachi, Pakistan, in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces. The commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is an Afghan described by American officials as the most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the American-led war in Afghanistan started more than eight years ago. He ranks second in influence only to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban’s founder and a close associate of Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on February 17, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that North Korea marked the 67th birthday of its leader, Kim Jong Il, by claiming it had the right to “space development” — a term it has used in the past to disguise a missile test as a satellite launch.


Feb 13th, 2010

Summary: Bombs and booby traps slowed the advance of thousands of U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers moving through the Taliban-controlled town of Marjah — NATO’s most ambitious effort yet to break the militants’ grip over their southern Afghanistan heartland. NATO said two of its troops were killed on the first day of the operation — one American and one Briton. Afghan authorities said at least 20 insurgents were killed. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on February 13, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair told a Senate panel that if the economic crisis lasted more than two years, it could cause serious damage to U.S. strategic and national security interests. “The longer it takes for the recovery to begin, the greater the likelihood of serious damage to U.S. strategic interests,” he told the Senate Intelligence Committee, as Congress prepared to vote on a $789 billion stimulus package.