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FROM THIS EPISODE

The US reportedly is mobilizing a coalition of allies for possible military action in Syria, raising uncomfortable questions. The target is not the Assad dictatorship, which the US opposes, but the extremist Islamic State—Assad’s mortal enemy. Which side is America on? And the developing coalition includes Saudi Arabia and Qatar—countries accused of supporting the Islamic State and other extremist groups. Are they reliable allies in the latest fight against terror? We’ll update confusion and contradiction.

Also, one of Afghanistan's presidential candidates withdraws from a supervised audit of election results, and Burger King and the flap over Canadian taxes.

Banner Image: Smoke rises during what activists said was an air raid by warplanes operated by forces of Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad around al-Tabqa military base at a government-controlled airport that is surrounded by militants, west of Raqqa city, August 21, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Claire Martin

Afghan Recount Audit 6 MIN, 28 SEC

Despite US and UN efforts, Afghanistan may not have a unity government in time for next week’s scheduled presidential inauguration. One of two run-off candidates, Abdullah Abdullah, has withdrawn from a UN-supervised audit of election results. Nathan Hodge with the Wall Street Journal joins us from Kabul.

Guests:
Nathan Hodge, Wall Street Journal (@nohodge)

The Return of the Jihadi and Rethinking Our Failed War on Terror 35 MIN, 33 SEC

“The US has begun to mobilize a broad coalition of allies behind potential American military action in Syria.” That’s according to today’s New York Times, which reports that the intended target is the ultra-extremist Islamic State, which now holds much of Iraq and an entire province in Syria. The US is planning airstrikes in Syria—not targeting the Assad regime, but the Islamic State, considered a terrorist threat to American interests.

Guests:
Mark Landler, New York Times (@MarkLandler)
Patrick Cockburn, Middle East Correspondent, Independent
Paul Pillar, Georgetown University (@GeorgetownCSS)
Toby Jones, Rutgers University (@tobycraigjones)
Lawrence Korb, Center for American Progress Action Fund (@LarryKorb)

Burger King to Buy Canadian Coffee Chain Tim Hortons 7 MIN, 46 SEC

Burger King, based in Miami, has announced a merger with Tom Horton’s doughnuts and coffee chain, based in Canada. It’s worth $11.4 billion—with Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway providing $3 billion as part of the deal. Is it really all about avoiding American taxes? Devin Leonard wrote a recent cover story about Burger King's CEO for Bloomberg Businessweek.

Guests:
Devin Leonard, Bloomberg Businessweek (@devinleonard)

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