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AMERICA in the 21st CENTURY

The 2000 presidential election brought George W. Bush to power. Internationally, the United States experienced some friction with its allies, who didn't like the Bush administration's desire to abandon both the Kyoto Protocol (designed to fight global warming) and the Antiballistic Missile Treaty (in order to proceed with developing a ballistic missile defense system).

But the politics and concerns of the first months of 2001 became secondary on Sept. 11, when terrorists hijacked four planes, crashing two into the World Trade centre, which was destroyed, and one into the Pentagon; the fourth crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Some 3,000 persons were killed or missing as a result of the attacks. The U.S. government sought to build an international coalition against Al Qaeda group and the Taliban and, more broadly, against terrorism, working to influence other nations to cut off sources of financial support for terrorism.

In October air strikes and then ground raids were launched against Afganistan by the United States with British aid. By December the Taliban government had been ousted and its Al Qaeda's fighters largely had been routed. A force of U.S. troops was based in Afganistan to search for Bin Laden, the main leader of terrorists.

President Bush ordered the deployment of a ballistic missile defense system to be effective in 2004; the system would be designed to prevent so-called rogue missile attacks. In advance of this movement the United States had withdrawn from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty with Russia.

In 2003 Bush continued to press for Iraqi disarmament. In February, however, the nation's attention was pulled away from the growing tension over Iraq by the breakup of the space shuttle Columbia as it returned to earth. Seven astronauts were killed in this second shuttle mishap.

U.S. weapon inspectors reported in Jan., 2004, that they had failed to find any evidence that Iraq had possessed biological or chemical weapons stockpiles prior to the U.S. invasion.

In July the U.S. commission investigating the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, criticized U.S. intelligence agencies for failings that contributed to the success of the attacks, and called for reorganization of those agencies.

Check your comprehension.

1. What President was elected for the beginning of the 21st century in America?

2. What is the Kyoto Protocol?

3. What terrible accident took place on September 11, 2001?

4. What actions did the U.S. government take in answer?

5. What defence system did President Bush order to deploy?

6. What did G. Bush demand from the Iraq Government?

7. What happened to the space shuttle Columbia?

8. Did the U.S. inspectors manage to find any weapons stockpiles on the territory of Iraq?


Date: 2015-01-02; view: 881


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