More Troops for Afghanistan, but What's the Mission
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President Obama wants more troops in Afghanistan, but the US presence is increasingly unpopular. So is the country's corrupt and ineffective government. We hear about the challenges of shifting America's focus on terror from Iraq to South Asia. Also, the Obama Administration awaits the Big Three's auto restructuring plans and, Hillary Clinton says she’s in Asia to "send a message." We find out what it is.
Banner image: A man rides a bicycle past a US Army military vehicle on patrol in the village of Sandarwa in eastern Afghanistan. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Obama Awaits Auto Restructuring Plans, Cools on 'Car Czar' ()
Tomorrow's the day for Chrysler and General Motors to file restructuring plans in exchange for federal bailout money they got last fall. In the meantime, President Obama has dropped the idea of appointing a “car czar,” and the Wall Street Journal says one option General Motors will present is bankruptcy. John Stoll wrote the story.
- John Stoll: Reporter, Wall Street Journal
Balancing Military and Diplomacy in Afghanistan and Pakistan ()
During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama said it was not Iraq, but Afghanistan that should be the focus of America's war on terror. The Taliban now control much of that country, and last week's murderous attacks on Kabul showed how easily they can penetrate the capital city. Development of a coherent policy is a work in progress, and Richard Holbrooke, Obama's special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, is in the area now. President Obama has said he wants to double American forces, but the very presence of foreign troops increases support for the Taliban. Road construction and economic development would be more popular, but they'd require resources the Pentagon doesn't have. The deadline for a new policy is the NATO summit in April.
- Julian Barnes: Pentagon Reporter, Los Angeles Times, @julianbarnes
- Gilles Dorronsoro: Professor of Political Science, Sorbonne
- Erica Gaston: Fellow, Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict
- Paula Newberg: former Special Advisor, United Nations
Secretary Clinton Seeks to Strengthen Ties in Asia ()
Hillary Clinton has arrived in Tokyo on her first trip outside the country as Secretary of State. Clinton, who received an elaborate reception, says her week-long visit to four far-eastern nations will demonstrate the Obama Administration's “new approach” to foreign policy. Mike Chinoy, who covered Asia for CNN for many years, is now senior fellow at the Pacific Council on International Policy and author of Meltdown: the Inside Story of the North Korean Nuclear Crisis.
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