A secret executive order signed by President Bush grants U.S. military forces "carte blanche" to launch counterterrorist operations inside Pakistan. An attack last week under the auspices of the unprecedented July order is raising concerns: Pakistani officials declared the operation illegal, and international analysts fear an escalating conflict could start a regionwide war.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy was in London Wednesday to declare his readiness to send additional troops to Afghanistan. The move, seen by some as an effort to strengthen ties with his chums across the Channel, was well received by British lawmakers who believe an increase of NATO occupation forces in Afghanistan would best prevent a Taliban resurgence.
In response to the strengthening of ties between Hugo Chavez and recently elected Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's government, Condoleezza Rice will skip the country on a two-day trip to South America The snub further underscores a divide between the US's traditional Latin American allies and a growing movement in opposition to U policy in the region.
Adding to a growing chorus of disapproval emanating from Europe, Tony Blair's official spokesman has said Saddam Hussein's execution "shouldn't have happened in that way." Earlier, Gordon Brown, the man widely expected to be Britain's next prime minister, said the hanging was "completely unacceptable," calling it a "deplorable set of events."
A recent set of polls conducted in Britain, Canada, Mexico and Israel found a majority of people there believe the U.S. has made the world less safe. In the British survey, George W. Bush was seen as a greater threat to world peace than either Kim Jong-il or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The secretary of state and U.K. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw drop in on Baghdad unannounced - ostensibly to urge government unity, but in all likelihood to try to force the Iraqi prime minister out of his post.