In his State of the Union speech tonight, President Barack Obama addressed many of the most pressing issues on the world stage including the tense diplomatic situations in Iran and North Korea and the War on Terror in Afghanistan.
On the campaign trail, President Obama vowed to pull all American troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014. However, shortly after the election, the White House said they would not be able to commit to a specific withdrawal schedule in Afghanistan. Addressing the nation tonight, President Obama returned to his campaign promise and said the remaining U.S. troops in that country would be withdrawn in the next 22 months.
Earlier this week, Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc., a group of former U.S. intelligence and Special Forces personnel, launched a campaign criticizing President Barack Obama for unfairly taking credit for killing Osama bin Laden and leaking national security information for political gain. This is the second high-profile attack on the president from ex-elite military operatives. Last month, Ryan Zinke, a Montana State Senator and former commander of Navy SEAL Team Six, started a super PAC, Special Operations for America, which is dedicated to supporting Mitt Romney and hitting President Obama on leaks and on politicizing Bin Laden’s death. According to Mr. Zinke, these two super PACs are just the first salvo in what will be a sustained assault on the president by high-level ex-soldiers.
“There’s a number of groups out there,” Mr. Zinke told Politicker this morning. “I think what it demonstrates is, there’s a lot of anger, there’s a lot of concern among the former military community.”
Long Strange Trips
Ydanis Rodriguez told The Politicker he is getting rid of his spokesman, David Segal, after the New York Post published a story revealing Mr. Segal spent six months in federal prison and four months on house arrest after attempting to burn down an army recruitment center in The Bronx.
“He is a very hardworking person during the time that he’s been in my office,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “I didn’t know about any crime that he did or that he spent time in jail in the past and he’s being relieved from my staff.”
America will make its exit from Iraq in a little over two months with the last U.S. troops going home by the end of the year. There are currently about 41,000 U.S. soldiers remaining in Iraq.