FROM Kevin Sieff
Prisoner Swap U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed over the weekend after being held for 5 years as a prisoner of war by the Taliban. In return, the U.S. released five high-level Taliban officials from Guantanamo. What do we know about the negotiations behind the swap? How was Sgt. Bergdahl captured by the Taliban in the first place?
Leaving Afghanistan: For Better or Worse? The search for Osama bin Laden turned into America's longest war and a vastly expensive exercise in trying to build one of the world's poorest nations. But critics say much of the country has been left out, while US dollars have fueled corruption that's even now raising the cost of American withdrawal. Meantime, the Taliban reportedly are divided, as one faction talks peace while the other waits to wage more war when Afghan forces are on their own. After twelve years of US involvement, what does Afghanistan look like now? What's in store for the future?
John Kerry in Afghanistan Earlier this month, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said the Obama Administration was working behind his back with the Taliban. A joint news conference Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel never happened. Today, John Kerry, the Secretary of State, made an unannounced trip to Afghanistan. Kevin Sieff is Kabul Bureau Chief for the Washington Post .
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?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
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?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?