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FROM THIS EPISODE

The deadliest month in eight years for US troops raises questions about how long the American people will support the war in Afghanistan. Has President Obama been clear about his objectives or how he wants "progress" to be measured? Also, the Senate cuts off spending for F-22's, and a famous British orchestra conductor’s wife had terminal cancer while he was healthy. But they both took a lethal substance in Switzerland while their children looked on. We hear about the ensuing debate on assisted suicide.


Banner image: US Marine Sergent Michael W. Heede Junior (22) (C) of 1st Combat Engineering Battalion of 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade lies on the ground as he inspects the ground where a mine sweeper got a hit for a suspected IED in Garmsir district of Helmand Province in Afghanistan on July 13. Photo: Manpreet Romana/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Katie Cooper
Rebecca Mooney
Frances Anderton

Reporter's Notebook Death of Edward Downes, Wife Ignites Debate on Assisted Suicide 6 MIN, 46 SEC

Angry debate about assisted suicide is raging in Europe after a British conductor and his wife drank a lethal barbiturate at a clinic in Switzerland. At 85, Sir Edward Downes was almost deaf and blind, but otherwise healthy. His 74-year-old wife Joan was suffering from terminal cancer. This month, they traveled to Zurich and checked in at the Dignitas clinic, where with two of their children holding their hands, they each took a single does of barbiturate and died.  John Burns is London Bureau chief for the New York Times.

Guests:
John Burns, New York Times

Prokofiev: Eugene Onegin

Sir Edward Downes

Main Topic Afghanistan: Casualties and Objectives 36 MIN, 15 SEC

July is not over, but it's already the deadliest month for US troops in Afghanistan since the war began eight years ago. The US has begun a major offensive against the Taliban, but two out of three allied casualties are caused not by direct combat but improvised explosive devises, crude roadside bombs. Defense Secretary Gates says there must be "progress" before next summer or the war will lose the support of the American people. How will "progress" be measured?  What are the US objectives in what's now being called "Barack Obama's War?" 

Guests:
Richard Oppel, New York Times
Julian Barnes, Wall Street Journal (@julianbarnes )
Michael A. Cohen, Century Foundation (@speechboy71)
Max Boot, Council on Foreign Relations (@MaxBoot)
Brandon Friedman, Editor, VetVoice.com

The War I Always Wanted

Brandon Friedman

Making News Senate Cuts Off Spending for F-22's 7 MIN, 32 SEC

President Obama threatened to veto the entire military spending bill, and today the Senate gave in. By a vote of 58 to 40, it adopted an amendment killing new spending for the F-22 fighter jet.  The President applauded the action. Winslow Wheeler is Director of the Strauss Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information.

Guests:
Winslow Wheeler, Center for Defense Information

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