Spc. Gavin Fruge watches a rebroadcast of President Barack Obama's speech on proposed troop withdrawal with fellow soldiers at Kandahar Airfield on Thursday in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The withdrawal plan for Afghanistan is the beginning of the end of a troop-intensive approach to countering a Taliban insurgency that until recent months had fought the U.S. and its NATO allies to a standstill.
John Nichols writes about politics for The Nation magazine as its Washington correspondent. He is a contributing writer for The Progressive and In These Times and the associate editor of the Capital Times, the daily newspaper in Madison, Wisconsin.
Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination for president because grassroots progressives thought he was marginally more anti-war than Hillary Clinton.
After securing the nomination, Obama was elected president.
Last night, President Barack Obama announced that he will begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. Paresh Nath fears that it might be a long way home for our troops, while RJ Matson thinks that "home" for some of them might not be much different from the war-torn country.
President Obama has studied the life of President Lincoln. In his second inaugural address in 1865, Lincoln spoke of the Civil War, then nearing its end: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in." A section of Obama's speech had a similar rhythm.
The U.S. military is investigating claims by veterans that they buried barrels of a toxic defoliant at an American base in South Korea three decades ago. Agent Orange was used during the Vietnam War, and it's been blamed for a variety of ailments, including cancer and nerve disorders.