FROM Douglas Ollivant
The US in Afghanistan and the Rules of War After first calling it "collateral damage," then then saying that Afghan forces needed support against the resurgent Taliban, the US has admitted it ordered a deadly air-attack on a hospital in Afghanistan -- but calls it a mistake , not a war crime. Doctors Without Borders, which ran the hospital, has demanded an international investigation . The incident has dramatized the resurgence of the Taliban, potentially upsetting US plans to withdraw almost completely by the end of next year. The City of Kunduz, where the attack occurred, is now a shambles, and tens of thousands of Afghans are desperate to leave their country. Do setbacks and blunders make the case for being stronger and staying longer?
The Islamic State Is Making Advances Despite Air Strikes Airstrikes by the US and other countries have not yet slowed advances by the so-called Islamic State–ISIS or ISIL. One place threatened by the brutal extremists is Kobane, a Kurdish town in Syria near the border with Turkey. We’ll hear reports and analysis of how the warfare is going.
An End to the Civil War in Iraq? The "surge" of US military forces in Iraq has reduced the level of violence, as promised. However, not until this week did the "so-called "breathing room" lead to "benchmark legislation" from the Iraqi parliament. The Shiite-dominate legislature has passed a a law promoted by the United States, that's supposed to open the government to Sunnis bureaucrats, engineers, teachers, soldiers and police officers from Saddam-Hussein's Baath Party. But today's New York Times reports that it could make matters worse.
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.
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
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.