FROM Omar Samad
President Trump and America's 'forever war' In the past, President Trump has called the War in Afghanistan "a disaster," and — like Barack Obama before him — he told primary rallies that he'd pull out at last. In his first prime time speech to the nation last night, he reversed last year's campaign pledges and conceded that he's learned a lesson. He endorsed a slight change from Obama Administration policies with a modest increase in US troop strength. He took ownership of America's longest war with the promise that "we will win" -- without saying what that would mean or how it might happen. We hear what he said — and what he left out — in his first prime-time speech to the nation.
America's Longest War Is Going to Continue With NATO troops pulling out of Afghanistan, attacks by the Taliban are increasing, and American soldiers will stay until the end of next year. The White House was divided, but President Obama approved an expanded mission, which will also include jets, bombers and drones. Newly elected President Ashraf Ghani wants the American presence, but he’s been unable to form a government. Yesterday he fired the entire cabinet. The Taliban is taking advantage of political instability. Today, police officers and others were killed in several incidents across the country.
US Combat Presence and Power Sharing in Afghanistan Afghanistan’s former president, Hamid Karzai, frustrated President Obama by refusing to allow US troops to stay in that country. Today, a new government—hammered together after a hotly contested election—signed the deal. The diplomatic nightmare is over but America’s longest war is not. Political rivals Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah are now, respectively, President and Chief Executive of Afghanistan. Their first example of power sharing: today’s televised ceremony from the presidential palace, where they both oversaw a bilateral security agreement with the US. Omar Samad is Afghanistan’s former Ambassador to France and Canada, now a senior fellow at the New America Foundation.
Preliminary Results Reveal an Afghan President - But Will He Be Accepted? Preliminary results from Afghanistan’s runoff presidential election were released today. Some 1900 polling paces have been audited after charges of widespread ballot stuffing and audio tapes purporting to show election officials engaging in voter fraud. The Independent Election Commission says President Karzai’s hand-picked candidate, Ashraf Ghani is the winner with 56% of the vote, but the opposition, led by Abdullah Abdullah, says it won’t accept that outcome.
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.
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.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.