Afghanistan and the 'Civilian Surge'
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The President's escalation of force in Afghanistan will have a civilian component, although he's left it to others to explain the details. Is it "nation building" by another name? We hear about the hope for success and the risk of failure. General McChrystal and Ambassador Eikenberry go to the Hill to defend the President's plan, and experts on terror call this the most dangerous year in the US since 2001.
Banner image: Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton talk with CBS's Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer. DoD photo: Cherie Cullen
General McChrystal and Ambassador Eikenberry on the Hill ()
The President’s call for beginning withdrawal from Afghanistan after just 18 months has produced harsh rebukes from supporters of the troop surge. Today, the top military commander, General Stanley McChrystal told Congress that he’s on board. Julian Barnes is Pentagon Correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.
Afghanistan and the 'Civilian Surge' ()
In last week's speech on Afghanistan, President Obama barely mentioned the so-called "civilian surge," an essential part of counterinsurgency doctrine. But Secretaries Gates and Clinton are talking it up, and government employees are being recruited from Agriculture and other departments. Will paving roads and building schools help win the "hearts and minds" of Afghans? Will they help defeat the Taliban? What are the prospects of blowback if big money is wasted in bribes and other forms of corruption?
- James Dobbins: Director of International Security and Defense Policy Center, RAND Corp
- Sarah Chayes: Special Advisor to the Commander of US Forces in Afghanistan, @CarnegieEndow
- Masood Aziz: former Counselor, Afghanistan's Embassy in Washington
- Stuart Gordon: Senior Research Fellow, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Homegrown Muslim Extremism Rising Threat in US ()
Europe has been regarded as the front line for Islamic terrorism, but Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano said last week that "home-based terrorism is here," and it will be part of "the threat picture we must now confront." Yesterday, an American citizen was charged with helping plan last year's attacks that killed 170 people in Mumbai, India. Sebastian Rotella is national security correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.
- Sebastian Rotella: National Security Correspondent, Los Angeles Times
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