FROM Richard Fontaine
Afghanistan Elections and Rethinking the War Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has canceled plans to attend this week's UN General Assembly so he can stay home and watch over the process of counting votes from Saturday's parliamentary elections.
Afghanistan Elections and Rethinking the War Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has canceled plans to attend this week's UN General Assembly so he can stay home and watch over the process of counting votes from Saturday's parliamentary elections. The elections have been all but ignored in this country, but they've raised some familiar questions about the US and Afghanistan. Violence and intimidation kept turnout low, and massive fraud will taint whatever results are finally announced. What do Afghans think now of democracy? Is there any way to check the corruption of the Karzai regime, which reportedly undermines America's basic strategy and makes the Taliban stronger? Should the US change its political focus from the central government to local leaders, abandon counterinsurgency and get by with fewer troops?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
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.
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.