FROM Nile Gardiner
Foreign Policy and Tonight's Debate Both Barack Obama and John McCain have now indicated they will show up tonight to debate foreign policy at the University of Mississippi. What are the voters learning about the styles and approaches of McCain and Obama? What are their differences and similarities on dealing with Russia, North Korea, Iran and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?
Are the Candidates Ready for a Post-American World? This year's presidential campaign is shaping up as a major debate on America's foreign policy with stark differences between the most likely candidates. John McCain wants "victory" in Iraq. Barack Obama wants an end—not just to the war, but to what he calls the "mindset" that started it in the first place. Obama wants to talk to America's enemies, while McCain calls that "naive." Those and other stark differences may lead to a history-making debate about America's role in a changing world. Can the US shape global events or is America's super-power dominance in decline? We hear about military power, diplomacy, terrorism and the challenges of globalization.
What Kind of Iraq Will the Next President Inherit? General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker have moved to the House side of Capitol Hill today with the same message they had for the Senate: After the surge is over, stop withdrawing troops for 45 days, and then assess what's needed; progress has been made in Iraq, but it's "fragile and reversible," and it could be jeopardized by "withdrawing too many forces too quickly." That sounded right to John McCain , but Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have different ideas. We get contrasting views on what the next president will be faced with -- like it or not. Can US objectives be met, or is it "all over?" Is the military stretched too thin to meet other contingencies? What do the candidates have to say?
Iran's Nuclear Development and the Prospects for War The US wants a new resolution from the UN Security Council to increase sanctions against Iran for its continued enrichment of nuclear fuel. In Washington today, officials from France, the UK, Russia, China and Germany are meeting with Nicholas Burns, a top State Department aide. President Bush has threatened "financial isolation and/or economic sanctions" if diplomacy doesn't work. But he's also said that, "Iran's actions threaten the security of nations everywhere" and, "we will confront this danger before it's too late." We look at the pros, cons and possibilities of military action—by choice or by accident.
Freed Sailors Arrive in London amid Many Questions After a week and a half of what looked like comfortable captivity in Iran, fifteen British marines and sailors are back with their families as the rest of the world looks at the aftermath of a potentially dangerous episode. Iran and the European Union already have resumed discussions on Iran's nuclear program, so communications channels are still open. What about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Tony Blair? Was the prisoner release a "gift" from Iran or dramatic damage control? Despite Britain’s denials, was there a deal? We’ll hear how perceptions differ from the Middle East to the Western World.
All Eyes on Congress as House Votes on War Funding Bill The House today set a deadline : US troops home from Iraq by the end of August next year. Some liberals who want to end the war now went along, even though the deadline is part of a spending bill to support the troops in the meantime. Is it political posturing or the start of something big? In addition to soldiers, there’s a staggering quantity of arms and equipment. Would a pull-out be a logistical nightmare? Is it all moot anyway, because the Army’s running out of deployable troops? What would a pull-out look like, especially one conducted under the pressure of a binding deadline? We hear from journalists, peace activists, defense and security experts.
Diplomacy and Confrontation for Iran The world saw two sides of President Bush today as he talked of both peace and possible confrontation. In his speech to the General Assembly , he reassured Muslims that America is not at war with Islam and that it's looking for peace with Iran. Although President Bush said nothing about economic sanctions--let alone the "military option"--if Iran continues to develop nuclear technology, on the sidelines he affirmed that the consequences of continued nuclear development could include such sanctions. Bush also said he won't meet with President Ahmadinejad, who did not show up in the chamber for the President Bush's speech. What are the prospects for diplomacy?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.
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.