FROM Brandon Friedman
Afghanistan: Recent Casualties and Long-Term Objectives In June of last year, 28 American troops were killed in Afghanistan, the highest monthly total in eight years of war until now. In the first three weeks of this month, 31 US soldiers have died, many not from direct combat but from IED's -- improvised explosive devices -- roadside bombs often crudely made with fertilizer and diesel fuel.
Afghanistan: Casualties and Objectives July is not over, but it's already the deadliest month for US troops in Afghanistan since the war began eight years ago. The US has begun a major offensive against the Taliban, but two out of three allied casualties are caused not by direct combat but improvised explosive devises, crude roadside bombs. Defense Secretary Gates says there must be " progress " before next summer or the war will lose the support of the American people. How will "progress" be measured? What are the US objectives in what's now being called "Barack Obama's War?"
Bush Speech Caps Week of Iraq Testimony President Bush today accepted the recommendations of General David Petraeus. The draw-down of troops from Iraq will stop when the "surge" ends in July. Democratic leaders of Congress said, "He's just dragging this out, leaving a failed war and a failed economy on the doorstep of the next president." Because of strains on the troops, Mr. Bush also reduced tours of duty from 15 months to 12, but that won't start until August. We talk with soldiers about the state of morale after six years of war. What do multiple tours on the front lines mean for their families? What about recruitment, retention and readiness to meet future contingencies?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.