FROM Heidi Vogt
Obamamania and Africa's Future President Obama got a hero's welcome in Kenya , and his message of tough love was well received in the land where his father was born. Yet, there's evidence that he failed to meet expectations of closer ties created by his election six years ago. His broader theme of a "crossroads between terrorism and economic potential" applies to East Africa as a whole. Can the US help maintain civic order and help American investors catch up with China?
Nigeria Elects a New President For the first time in history, Africa's largest country is undergoing a peaceful transition of power. President Goodluck Jonathan has conceded defeat in a democratic election, and Muhammadu Buhari says all the people of Nigeria have won. Heidi Vogt is there for the Wall Street Journal .
Developing Threats to US and NATO Plans in Afghanistan In Washington yesterday, President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron promised to stay the course in Afghanistan. Today, Afghan President Karzai told US Defense Secretary Panetta he wants NATO to end its combat mission next year instead of 2014. He also said that troops now deployed in the countryside should be garrisoned only in large bases.
Developing Threats to US and NATO Plans in Afghanistan There were two major setbacks today for US efforts to wage war and negotiate peace in Afghanistan. President Karzai said NATO troops should leave the countryside and return to large bases, ending their combat mission next year instead of 2014, and the Taliban suspended conversations with the United States. The troop movement will put security for civilian developers in the hands of Afghan forces, with private aid companies already in fear for their safety . Many are already so worried they have plans to pull out, with the prospect of suing the US Agency for International Development for material breach of contract. We hear about growing threats to the scenario outlined by President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron this week in Washington.
US and Afghanistan Reach Prison Handover Agreement The planned US withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of 2014 may ultimately depend on negotiations with the Taliban. For the moment, the US forces and the Karzai government are focused on negotiations with one another. One sticking point was American control of Parwan Prison, near the Bagram military base north of Kabul. President Karzai set deadline of today to resolve it and, at the last minute, the deadline was met. We get an update from Heidi Vogt, who's in Kabul for the Associated Press , and from Julian Barnes, Pentagon reporter for the Wall Street Journal .
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
The US gets deeper into Middle East wars. What's the endgame? President Trump welcomed Egypt's President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi to the White House today… just one of the changes in America's approach to the Middle East since Barack Obama left office. We hear about that and the escalation of warfare as well as civilian casualties.