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.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.