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FROM THIS EPISODE

The so-called "war on terror" is not working, especially against Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda.  That's the conclusion of the RAND Corporation, a think-tank that's popular with the Pentagon.  Should the emphasis be shifted away from military action to intelligence and local police work?  How should weapons of mass destruction effect strategy? Also, Secretary of State Rice meets with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki to try to finalize a US troop agreement. On Reporter's Notebook, with the US and Russia at loggerheads, will American astronauts have transportation to the International Space Station?


Banner image: Iraqi Sunni fighters allied with the US against Al-Qaeda in Iraq in the restive Diyala province, located northeast of Baghdad. Photo: David Furst/AFP/Getty Images

Security First

Amitai Etzioni

Producers:
Gary Scott
Christian Bordal
Karen Radziner

Main Topic Rethinking the 'War on Terror' 34 MIN, 45 SEC

tp080821how_terrorist_groups_end.jpgAl Qaeda has evolved and adapted, and has committed more terrorist actions since September 11 than it did before. President Bush's "War on Terror" has not been successful. That's according to a study by the RAND Corporation, which has analyzed strategies against terrorist groups from 1968 to 2006. The prestigious Defense Department contractor says there's a better way. Although "intelligence and local police work" is a lot less politically sexy, RAND says it has worked where military action has failed. Is it time to rethink US strategy?  In the age of nuclear weapons, is there a third way? 

Guests:
Seth Jones, RAND Corporation (@SethGJones)
Amitai Etzioni, Professor of International Relations, George Washington University
Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica
Ian Cuthbertson, Director of the Counter Terrorism Project, World Policy Institute

Reporter's Notebook Will US-Russia Tensions Impact Space Exploration? 8 MIN, 19 SEC

space_strategic_asset.jpgThe space shuttle is being phased out, and NASA won't have its own transportation for astronauts to the International Space Station. From 2010 to 2015, there's a deal to use Russian rockets. But because of the actions in Georgia, the full range of US Russian ties is under review. What will happen if the deal doesn't go through? Joan Johnson-Freese, author of the forthcoming Heavenly Ambitions: Will America Dominate Space, is a specialist in international space policy at the US Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.

Guests:
Joan Johnson-Freese, Chair of National Security Studies, Naval War College

Space as a Strategic Asset

Joan Johnson-Freese

Making News Rice and Maliki Meet to Try to Finalize US Troop Agreement 5 MIN, 49 SEC

tp080821rice_maliki.jpgUS and Iraqi officials have agreed that timetables should be set for American troop withdrawal. On a surprise trip to Baghdad, Secretary of State Rice said there's no final deal yet, but that "negotiators have taken this very, very far." The security deal outlining the withdrawal has been in the works for many months, and there was some indication that Rice might stay in Iraq to finalize it.

Guests:
Leila Fadel, Washington Post (@LeilaFadel)
Steve Kornacki, Salon.com (@SteveKornacki)

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