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FROM THIS EPISODE

The US launched a major new offensive in Afghanistan this weekend.  But just four days in, questions are already cropping up about the challenges troops face and their odds of long-term success. The mission depends heavily on cooperation from both Afghan forces and the Afghan government. Guest host Chery Glaser learns whether they're up to the job. Also, loan guarantees for the first US nuclear plant in 30 years, and 14 years after California voters passed Prop 209, affirmative action is back in the spotlight.

Banner image: Afghan villagers watch as US 4th Infantry Division soldiers patrol at Tag in Laghman. Improvised explosive devices are the biggest threat facing troops engaged in an assault on a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan, military commanders have said. Photo: Kim Hae-Hwan/AFP/Getty Images

Producers:
Gary Scott
Katie Cooper
Sonya Geis

Main Topic Trying to Root Out the Taliban 34 MIN, 43 SEC

In what's being called a major coup in the war against the Taliban, the group's top military commander reportedly has been captured and has spent the past week being interrogated. The New York Times broke the story that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar was seized in a joint operation of US and Pakistani forces. Can he shed light on how the Taliban operates?  Will he lead the US to other prime Taliban leaders?  What impact might his detention have on the new offensive the US and NATO launched in southern Afghanistan just a few days ago?

Guests:
Rod Nordland, New York Times (@rodnordland)
Greg Miller, Washington Post (@gregpmiller)
Brian Katulis, Center for America Progress (@Katulis)
Gretchen Peters, former journalist, Associated Press and ABC News

Seeds of Terror

Gretchen Peters

Making News Obama Announces Loan Guarantees for First Nuclear Plant in 30 Years 7 MIN, 43 SEC

There has not been a new nuclear power plant built in the US since Ronald Reagan was in office, but it looks as though that's about to change. President Obama today announced more than $8 billion in federal loan guarantees for building two nuclear reactors in Georgia, which he says will help meet the need for more clean energy while generating new jobs. Ben Geman writes the Environment and Energy blog for The Hill.

Guests:
Ben Geman, National Journal (@Ben_Geman)

The Interrogators

Greg Miller and Chris Mackey

Reporter's Notebook New Scoring for Figure Skating Gets Mixed Reviews 8 MIN, 8 SEC

Last night marked the end of an era, when Chinese teams won both Gold and Silver in Pairs Figure Skating at the Winter Olympics. It's the first time in almost 50 years that Russia or the Soviet Union didn't walk off with the Gold. American figure skater Paul Wylie, who won the Silver medal in the Men's competition in 1992, was rink-side in Vancouver last night for the competition.

Guests:
Paul Wylie, Silver Medalist in Men's Figure Skating, 1992 Olympics

The Prosperity Agenda

Brian Katulis and Nancy Soderberg

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