Friday, July 17, 2009

Swat Valley Operation Praised by US

Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, toured a refugee camp in the Swat region of Pakistan and praised the Pakistani military and humanitarian operation.  The Pakistani government has begun letting families out of the camps and is providing military security for citizens returning home.  It is estimated that rebuilding the area will cost around $2.5 billion and more fighting is expected in surrounding regions of Pakistan.

UN Worker Killed in Botched Kidnapping

Zelle Usman, a Pakistani official with the UN was killed when a group of gunmen attempted to kidnap him outside a refugee camp in northwestern Pakistan.  He and an unarmed guard were shot when they resisted the gunmen.

Clinton Criticizes Vetting Process for USAID Administrator…Again

For the third time this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticized the pace of the vetting process for selecting and approving appointments to government agencies.  In a press conference, she told CNN that

“Most (foreign) governments, after they are elected, are up and going in a relatively short period of time. We are now six months into our new administration and it’s not only here but across the government where they don’t have critical positions filled. I think it’s pretty obvious that the process has gotten much more complicated, cumbersome and lengthy and that is something that I hear from everyone.”