2:12 PM, Jun 13, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama and his family will be going to Africa later this month. But the trip won't be cheap; it's expected to cost American taxpayers $60 to $100 million, according to the Washington Post.
"When President Obama makes his first extended trip to sub-Saharan Africa later this month, the federal agencies charged with keeping him safe won’t be taking any chances. Hundreds of U.S. Secret Service agents will be dispatched to secure facilities in Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship, with a fully staffed medical trauma center, will be stationed offshore in case of emergency," reports the Post.
"Military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks loaded with sheets of bullet-proof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the first family will stay. Fighter jets will fly in shifts giving 24-hour coverage over the president’s airspace so they can intervene quickly if an errant plane gets too close.
"The extraordinary security provisions — which will cost the government tens of millions of dollars — are outlined in a confidential internal planning document obtained by The Washington Post. While the preparations appear to be in line with similar travels in the past, the document offers an unusual glimpse into the colossal efforts to protect the U.S. commander-in-chief on trips abroad."
After the paper questioned the costs of a planned family safari, the White House nixed the plan. "The president and first lady had also planned to take a Tanzanian safari as part of the trip, which would have required the president’s special counter-assault team to carry sniper rifles with high-caliber rounds that could neutralize cheetahs, lions or other animals if they became a threat, according to the planning document. But the White House canceled the safari on Wednesday following inquiries from The Washington Post about the trip’s purpose and expense, according to a person familiar with the decision."
The paper adds, "Obama’s trip could cost the federal government $60 million to $100 million based on the costs of similar African trips in recent years, according to one person familiar with the journey who was not authorized to speak for attribution. The Secret Service planning document, which was provided to The Post by a person who is concerned about the amount of resources necessary for the trip, does not specify costs."
4:11 PM, May 20, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The White House press office announces that President Obama and his wife, Michelle, will travel to Africa next month:
Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Travel to Africa
9:51 AM, Jan 17, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
At least two American hostages (and possibly several more) are being held hostage at a gas plant in Algeria, but there's been no word on unfolding the situation from either President Barack Obama or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In fact, the only official word to come from the Obama administration is confirmation from the State Department that indeed Americans are being held hostage there.
9:18 AM, Jan 17, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Steve Hayes, with Juan Williams and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:
The Dark Continent in the mind of white America. Oct 8, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 04 • By LIAM JULIAN
Last March the social--networking thickets caught fire, sparked by an online video called Kony 2012. Its creator, founder of the San Diego-based group Invisible Children Inc., was hoping to broadcast the misdeeds of the Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony. The short film was viewed tens of millions of times in just several days.
7:10 AM, Apr 16, 2012 • By ROGER KAPLAN
Following almost daily coups de théâtre after the Malian junior officers’ coup d’etat of March 22 led by Capt. Amadou Sanogo, indications of the political evolution of the shaken West African country and of the possible military repercussions of the past weeks’ events are being voiced in Bamako.
Azawad proclaims independence in North Mali.9:25 AM, Apr 7, 2012 • By ROGER KAPLAN
In the latest turn of events in the decade-long war on terror, U.S. counter-terrorism policy in Africa was dealt a blow – or an opportunity – with the declaration of independence of the Azawad, the territory claimed by the Tuareg tribes of northern Mali.
2:50 PM, Mar 23, 2012 • By ROGER KAPLAN
Alain Juppe, France’s foreign minister, forcefully condemned the coup d’état that overthrew Mali’s president, Amadou Toumani Toure, a few days ago, and called for elections as soon as possible in the context of the restoration of constitutional order. Elections, the first round of the presidential election, were scheduled for April 29. Toure was not a candidate, having served his constitutional two-term limit and being eager, by all accounts, to retire.
Uncertainty in Mali a blow to U.S. counter-terror policy in Africa.6:04 PM, Mar 13, 2012 • By ROGER KAPLAN
With the fall last weekend of the northern Mali garrison town of Tessalit, and its airstrip, to Tuareg secessionist forces, U.S. counter-terror policy in Africa is dealt a stunning setback.
5:23 PM, Mar 9, 2011 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES AND DANIEL HALPER
White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Wednesday that the Obama administration is “actively considering” imposing a no-fly zone over Libya in response to the ongoing regime-backed attacks on the population there. Although the White House has consistently said that all options are on the table, including military contingencies, senior administration officials over the past week have expressed strong public skepticism about the efficacy and wisdom of a no-fly zone.
On Sudan.12:45 PM, Oct 13, 2010 • By JULIUS KREIN
The opportunity to watch Washington graybeards at the Council on Foreign Relations jump over each other to take cell phone photos of George Clooney provided reason enough to attend Tuesday’s event on Sudan. But the discussion with Clooney and Enough Project co-founder John Prendergast offered little reason for enthusiasm regarding the international community’s ability to peacefully resolve the issues surrounding the January 2011 self-determination referendum and the eventual independence of the South.
And the prevailing myth.7:00 PM, Apr 18, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
“Greetings in the name of freedom,” proclaimed the newly minted prime minster, Robert Mugabe, during Zimbabwe’s independence celebration in 1980. His words marked one of the most brilliant transitions of power in recent history, as the last conflict of the post-colonial retreat faded into history. The white rulers of the renegade Rhodesia had ceded power to African nationalists, after assurances by British mediators that free markets and democracy would be preserved.
How the Jews have adapted to history.Dec 24, 2007, Vol. 13, No. 15 • By DAVID GELERNTER
Jews and Power
by Ruth Wisse
Schocken, 256 pp., $19.95
This is a study in compression. In less than 200 pages Ruth Wisse chronicles the Jewish nation from antiquity to the struggles of today's Israeli state (or "the Zionist entity," as it is affectionately known around the neighborhood). She tells her story with authority and restrained passion. But her narrative is merely a foundation for the series of related theses that stand forth like pinnacles on a medieval castle, banners flying.