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FROM THIS EPISODE

President Obama wants to dial down in Iraq and up the ante in Afghanistan. His plan to send 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan is meeting increasing resistance from his liberal supporters at home and skepticism from some allies. Is there a better strategy? What alternatives has the President considered? What is the military objective? What is the exit strategy? Does history prove that Afghanistan cannot be tamed? Lawrence O'Donnell guest hosts. Also, the administration calls for expanded oversight power of financial system, and how some of California's homeless became TV talk show celebrities.


US Air Force photo: Staff Sgt. Cecilo Ricardo, Jr.

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Katie Cooper
Gary Scott

Reporter's Notebook Shantytowns Symbolize Seriousness of Recession 7 MIN, 33 SEC

Tent cities reminiscent of depression-era Hoovervilles are rising and expanding in cities across America as the recession deepens.  Some cities are taking new steps to deal with expanding homeless populations and the media is taking a new interest in them. Jesse McKinley, San Francisco Bureau Chief for the New York Times, has more on these new shantytowns.

Guests:
Jesse McKinley, New York Times (@jessemckinley)

Main Topic Does Obama Have a Strategy for Victory in Afghanistan? 34 MIN, 53 SEC

President Obama's plan to send 17,000 troops to Afghanistan is meeting opposition on his left and skepticism from some allies. What can the president reasonably hope to achieve in Afghanistan? What alternative policy options could he consider? We talk about all the elements of the Obama strategy in Afghanistan and whether nation-building is still possible. How has the military mission there changed in the last seven years? Whose hearts and minds can we win in Afghanistan? Does history show that foreign military power can never control Afghanistan?

Guests:
Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani journalist
Ilan Goldenberg, Policy Director, National Security Network
Leslie Gelb, Council on Foreign Relations (@CFR_org)
Andrew Exum, Fellow, Center for a New American Security
Robert Greenwald, President, Brave New Foundation

Descent into Chaos

Ahmed Rashid

Making News Geithner Calls for Expanded Oversight Power of Financial System 5 MIN, 45 SEC

Timothy Geithner appeared before the House Financial Services Committee to present a plan for comprehensive reform of financial regulations. The plan includes oversight of exotic financial instruments and firms that are considered too big to fail. The Treasury Secretary said the system needed not just “modest repairs at the margin, but new rules of the game.” Binyamin Appelbaum is national banking reporter for the Washington Post.

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