Ed: 33: April/2008
Government officials, scholars, and analysts continue to debate the extent to which al-Qaeda's central leadership remains relevant to today's battle against terrorism. After US forces eliminated the group's safe haven in Afghanistan in late 2001, many argued that al-Qaeda had transformed into a decentralised organisation with little vertical hierarchy
Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno took command of Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNC-I) on December 14, 2006. Iraq was in flames. Insurgents and death squads were killing 3,000 civilians a month. Coalition forces were sustaining more than 1,200 attacks per week.
Israel's ground incursion into the Gaza Strip that began on March 1, 2008 should not have triggered much international debate. After all, for more than seven years Palestinian terrorist organisations have been intentionally firing rockets indiscriminately against Israeli civilian targets, especially at the Israeli town of Sderot which has absorbed roughly 45 percent of the nearly 3,000 attacks that have been launched.