FROM Thomas Barfield
The Military and Civilian Challenges in Afghanistan As America's longest war completes its tenth year, President Obama has promised a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, starting next month. There is heated debate, not just on Capitol Hill but within the Administration, over how many troops should come home and how soon. Should America's "phased withdrawal" from Afghanistan begin next month with 3000 troops or 15,000? Is "counterinsurgency" counterproductive? We look at success, failure and possible change in the President's military and civilian strategies.
The Military and Civilian Challenges in Afghanistan As America's longest war completes its tenth year, President Obama has promised a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, starting next month. There is heated debate, not just on Capitol Hill but within the Administration , over how many troops should come home and how soon. The cost of keeping 100,000 troops in Afghanistan is $10 billion a month. Since the death of Osama bin Laden, 64 percent of Americans say it's not worth the money. At the same time, the $19 billion spent to prop up the civilian government may create ongoing dependency on the US as well as local corruption. Is General Petraeus' "counterinsurgency" strategy working or not? How many troops should begin the President's "phased withdrawal" next month? What are the political consequences of continuing America's longest war or ending it too soon?
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.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
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.