FROM David Satterfield
More Troops? More Diplomacy? Both? The United States finally sat down with Iran and Syria in Baghdad on Saturday, a departure from past policy that appears to have changed almost nothing. Nevertheless, yesterday an Iranian spokesman called it a "constructive first step" and said it was looking forward to another meeting at the foreign minister level. Meantime, on his trip to South America, President Bush announced a call to Congress for 8200 new troops--4800 to bolster the Baghdad security plan. The Los Angeles Times reports that Pentagon planners have begun "plotting a fall back strategy that includes a gradual withdrawal of forces and renewed emphasis on training Iraqi fighters." Was it the first step in a long process or a dead end? What did other nations from around the region have to contribute? We speak with journalists in the US and Middle East, political scientists, the last senior US diplomat to speak one-on-one with Iranian officials in 2001 and the current senior Iraq advisor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
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.
House Republicans release their Obamacare replacement As two House committees take up "repeal and replacement" of "Obamacare," there may be life left in the Affordable Care Act after all. Even Republicans are divided, and proposed changes won't make good on President Trump's promise to provide "health insurance for everybody."
Is America turning its back on the world? President Trump has made no secret of his contempt for the United Nations — and he's not alone. But, will proposed cuts in US contributions be counterproductive to America's role in the world and to national security?