FROM Michal Baranowski
In Eastern Europe, Shades of the Cold War At the end of the Cold War, NATO and Russia agreed not to station forces along their shared borders. But times have changed. Vladimir Putin's actions in Crimea and Ukraine have the Pentagon calling Russia the primary threat to American interests. Now, US funding for NATO will be quadrupled to provide what's called "a rotational force" to patrol Eastern Europe, including the Baltic States and Poland. NATO calls it " deterrence ." Russia calls it "aggression."
The US, Russia and "Hybrid Warfare" After years of counterinsurgency in the Middle East, the Pentagon says the biggest threat to US security is Russia. That's not just because of Russia's nuclear weapons, it's "hybrid warfare" of the sort Vladimir Putin is using in Eastern Ukraine. US troops are already training to combine counterinsurgency with conventional weapons, street-level fighting, cyber-warfare and propaganda. One very concrete example of that changing strategy took place in the Mojave Desert earlier this month in an exercise called Operation Dragon Spear. The goal is deterring Russia from moving on NATO members Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania -- or other members of the former Soviet Union.
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.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?