Afghanistan, US Troops and the Run-off Election
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The White House says President Obama may decide about troops for Afghanistan even before the run-off election on November 7. But a lot depends on security, how the voting's conducted and the outcome. We look at the prospects. Also, Iran strikes a nuclear deal, and dramatic violence in Rio as Brazil tries to raise money for the 2016 Olympic Games.
Banner image: Afghan President Hamid Karzai (R) speaks along side with US Senator John Kerry (2nd L) during a joint news conference announcing that there will be a run-off election on November 7 at the presidential palace yesterday in Kabul. Photo: Paula Bronstein /Getty Images
Iran Strikes a Nuclear Deal ()
For the first time in 30 years, the US has been talking directly to Iran, and today there's agreement on a draft plan to ship much of Iran's stockpile of nuclear fuel to Russia for further enrichment. But the deal is not final, and key questions remain about the amount of uranium involved and the timing. David Sanger is in Vienna for the New York Times.
Afghanistan, US Troops and the Run-off Election ()
President Hamid Karzai insisted that his re-election was fair and square. He agreed to a run-off only after heavy pressure from the US and other countries, citing evidence of massive election fraud. Sending more US troops to Afghanistan now depends on the political culture of a country famous for incompetence and corruption. The White House wants a “credible” partner, and today the United Nations announced that more than half of Afghanistan's election officials are being fired. Will that guarantee free and fair voting next time around? Will there be protection against the Taliban for those brave enough to go back to the polls? Will the outcome earn the public support that's needed for General Stanley McChrystal's strategy of counter-insurgency? With Barack Obama on the verge of decisions that could define his presidency, what lessons can be learned from America's history in Vietnam?
- Matthew Green: Afghanistan and Pakistan Correspondent, Financial Times
- Peter Galbraith: former Deputy Special Representative in Afghanistan of the UN Secretary-Genera
- Rajiv Chandrasekaran: Senior Correspondent, Washington Post, @rajivwashpost
- Gordon Goldstein: author, 'Lessons in Disaster'
Olympic Flame Shines Light on Brazil's Violent Slums ()
The 2016 Olympics are a long way off, but recurring violence has raised questions about the recent selection of Rio de Janeiro. During a shootout this weekend, 29 people were killed, including three policemen in a helicopter downed by gunfire. Today, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva promised a crackdown in the hillside shanty towns, called favelas, above the city. John Lyons is there for the Wall Street Journal.
- John Lyons: Correspondent, Wall Street Journal
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