FROM Kate Brannen
The US and Russia: Frenemies in the Middle East The US and Russia both claim to be fighting ISIS militants in Syria, but their ultimate goals are not the same. Russia supports the Assad regime, while the US is backing rebels in Syria's civil war. The US views Iran as a hostile power, while Russia calls it a partner. As they try to avoid major conflict, tensions grow hot and cold — heating up recently with airstrikes against controversial targets. Meantime, the Trump White House is divided over what the Pentagon should do. We update politics, diplomacy and the military options.
U.S airstrikes in Syria: What happened, where we go from here The U.S. fired Tomahawk missiles against Syria in response to this week’s sarin gas attack. Russia condemned the U.S. attack. What does this mean for U.S.-Russia relations? What does it mean for Donald Trump’s foreign policy, which previously had a hands-off approach to Syria and removing Bashar al-Assad?
Obama Administration Seeks War Authorization against ISIS Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and General Martin Dempsey, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today that President Obama needs a clear mandate to defeat the so-called Islamic State. Kerry also expressed outraged at the letter by 47 Republicans telling Iran’s Supreme Leader any nuclear deal might only be temporary. Kate Brannen, senior reporter for Foreign Policy magazine, has more on the story.
Iraqi Military Attempts to Retake Tikrit from the Islamic State Some 30,000 Iraqi soldiers and volunteer militia began an offensive today designed to expel ISIS, the so-called Islamic State from the city of Tikrit. It's seen as a key test in advance of a much larger campaign to re-take the city of Mosul. The Pentagon has talked about the upcoming offensive in Mosul, but says it has nothing to do with today's assault on Tikrit.
Defense Secretary Nominee Says Military Spending is a Mess Ashton Carter is likely to be confirmed as President Obama’s fourth Defense Secretary, but Republicans today began what’s expected to be a marathon confirmation hearing, chaired by Arizona’s John McCain. One subject was waste at the Pentagon. Kate Brannen is senior reporter at the Pentaton for Foreign Policy magazine.
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.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
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.