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?
Getting answers on phone taps, Russia and leaking The Directors of the FBI and the NSA testified on Capitol Hill today there's no evidence for President Trump's claim he was wire-tapped by former President Obama. We'll hear about that and the investigation into Russian tampering with last year's presidential campaign.
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."