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FROM THIS EPISODE

Even White House insiders concede that the President’s strategy in Afghanistan may be in trouble, on the ground and in Washington. What are the objectives? What are the alternatives and the prospects for women's rights and civil war? Also, oil spill work stops as storm approaches, and Atlantic City is dying and Newark can’t afford to buy toilet paper. We hear what’s facing New Jersey’s new Republican governor.

Banner image: US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke (C) talks with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) (L) and ranking member Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN) before a hearing on Capitol Hill July 14, 2010 in Washington, DC. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Julia Flucht
Darrell Satzman

Reporter's Notebook New Jersey Steps In to Rescue Atlantic City 7 MIN, 1 SEC

The Mayor of Newark, New Jersey has made "savage" cuts in the budget, including a four-day week for city workers, closing swimming pools in the middle of a summer heat wave, and banning the purchase of toilet paper. But New Jersey's biggest problem town is Atlantic City. New Jersey's new Governor is a small-government Republican, but Chris Christie has big ideas about saving a "dying" Atlantic City. Mark Di Ionno is a columnist for the Star-Ledger.

Guests:
Mark Di Ionno, Columnist, Star-Ledger

Making News Oil Spill Work Stops as Looming Storm Approaches 7 MIN, 31 SEC

With a major storm on its way into the Gulf of Mexico, relief workers are preparing to evacuate and the containment cap on BP's damaged well may have to be taken off, allowing oil to gush into the ocean once more. Steven Mufson reports for the Washington Post.   

Guests:
Steven Mufson, Washington Post (@StevenMufson)

Main Topic Reconciliation and the Taliban: Is Obama Revising Afghanistan Plan? 35 MIN, 51 SEC

Congress is likely to give the President $33 billion more to support his "surge" in Afghanistan. But a prime Republican supporter, Richard Lugar of Indiana, says the mission lacks "clarity" or "a clear definition of success." Democrat John Kerry is suggesting analogies to the war in Vietnam. The President of the Council on Foreign Relations, Richard Haass, says "continued or increased involvement" in Afghanistan is not worth America's "investment of blood and treasure." General David Patraeus is still committed to full-fledged counterinsurgency, but is under increased pressure to deliver, even before the end of this year. Should the US cut back sooner rather than later?  Is it time to deal with the Taliban? We get a progress report on America's longest war.

Guests:
Jonathan Broder, CQ Roll Call
Michael Semple, Harvard University
Fauzia Kofi, Member, Afghan Parliament
Rachel Reid, Afghanistan Researcher, Human Rights Watch
Austin Long, Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

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