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FROM THIS EPISODE

Does al Qaeda in Afghanistan threaten US security? What about the Taliban? What will it take to establish a credible civilian government? Should the US send more troops or begin conducting a graceful withdrawal? We look at some of the questions facing the latest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Also, insurers suddenly push back against the healthcare reform bill, and the National Football League is assessing a new study that shows former players are 19 times more likely than other men to suffer from Alzheimer's and other diseases. 

Banner image: Afghan elders speak with US Marines from Fox Company 2nd Battalion 3rd Marines and Afghan National Army soldiers during a local Shura, or village council meeting on October 10, 2009. Photo: David Furst/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Sonya Geis
Christian Bordal
Gary Scott

Making News Insurers Suddenly Push Back Hard Against Health Reform Bill 7 MIN, 45 SEC

After months of collaboration with the Obama White House, the insurance industry is now warning that a crucial version of healthcare reform might push premiums too high. It’s the Senate Finance Committee bill, championed by Max Baucus and scheduled for a vote tomorrow. Jeffrey Young covers healthcare for The Hill.

Guests:
Jeffrey Young, Huffington Post (@jeffyoung)

Reporter's Notebook Increased Dementia Risk Seen for NFL Players 6 MIN, 55 SEC

The National Football League has long denied that retired players are subject to Alzheimer's or other memory-related diseases. But a study commissioned by the NFL itself reports otherwise. What will that mean not just for the pros but for high-school and college players who often suffer concussions? One neurosurgeon calls it “a game changer,” according to the New York Times in an article by Alan Schwarz.  

Guests:
Alan Schwarz, New York Times (@alanschwarz)

Main Topic War and Peace in the Graveyard of Empires 36 MIN, 15 SEC

Last week, President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, as he concluded a series of strategy sessions on the eight-year old war in Afghanistan. Efforts to defeat the Taliban, create a credible government and help the civilian population are failing. The countryside is so dangerous that aid workers can't leave the capital city to advise farmers on growing crops. General Stanley McChrystal wants to add 40,000 troops to the 68,000 already there, to fight the Taliban and to establish effective civilian government. It could take decades to control corruption, establish a justice system and prop up the economy at the cost of billions of American dollars and thousands of lives. What are the alternatives? What are America's goals? We look at the options.

Guests:
Peter Baker, New York Times (@peterbakernyt)
Thomas Ricks, Center for a New American Security
Christine Fair, Georgetown University (@CChristineFair)
Selig Harrison, Center for International Policy

The Gamble

Thomas Ricks

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