FROM James Kitfield
What Will We Leave Behind in Afghanistan After 2014? Less than a year ago, the US and NATO promised continued assistance and training for ten more years, with the Pentagon talking of 6 to 9000 soldiers. Then, the White House said a “zero” troop option was “on the table.” Could drones and limited special forces prevent the country’s collapse? Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai met yesterday with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Today, he lunched with the President at the White House, and afterwards they spoke to reporters. Today’s meeting between Presidents Obama and Karzai was billed as crucial to mapping the end of America’s longest war. At the Pentagon yesterday, Afghanistan’s President Karzai said he hoped the US would make sure his country would “not ever again be threatened by terrorists.” But many factors have reduced his clout in Washington and with the American people.
High-level Talks in Moscow At the United Nations less than a month ago, Russian President Medvedev was asked about Iran developing the capacity to build nuclear weapons. "In some cases" he said," sanctions are inevitable ." But in Moscow yesterday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said sanctions would be "counterproductive." He was standing next to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton .
The US and Russia: Iran and Nuclear Weapons At the United Nations less than a month ago, Russian President Medvedev was asked about Iran developing the capacity to build nuclear weapons. ”In some cases” he said,” sanctions are inevitable .” But in Moscow yesterday, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said sanctions would be “counterproductive.” He was standing next to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s in Moscow to talk about Iran’s nuclear program. Also on her agenda is renewing the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty , which expires in December, a major goal of President Obama. At the United Nations last month, President Obama expressed a sense of urgency about nuclear weapons. Has he really been able to “re-set” relations with Russia after all? Even if the Cold War rivals agree to reduce their nuclear weapons, will Congress go along?
A New Thrust against Nuclear Weapons George W. Bush took a dim view of treaties designed to ban the testing of nuclear bombs and limit proliferation of materials and technology. Today, Barack Obama made history as the first American president to chair a meeting of the UN Security Council and in persuading all 15 members — represented by their heads of state — to approve a resolution including steps toward what the President calls "a world without nuclear weapons." But critics say he's "overselling" provisions that can't be verified and which won't make the world any safer from rogue states or international terrorists. What will it mean for Iran and North Korea? Will it help persuade the US Senate to ratify the comprehensive test ban treaty it rejected in 1999?
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.
America's top diplomat faces challenges in Asia Whatever happened to America's "pivot to Asia?" That's just one of the questions left hanging since Rex Tillerson's first trip there as Secretary of State. Is the Trump Administration hoping to change Foreign Policy or maintain the status quo?
CBO: Under GOP plan, millions will lose coverage Republicans are divided and Democrats are saying, "we told you so," when it comes to official estimates of what it will cost to repeal and replace Obamacare. The Trump White House says the Congressional Budget Office is just wrong.