FROM Thomas Johnson
Obama, Karzai and the War in Afghanistan Before this weekend's NATO summit , Afghan President Hamid Karzai told reporters he wants fewer foreign troops in his country to reduce what he called "intrusiveness" of the war against the Taliban into daily life. After the meeting, President Obama said he'll have to settle for increased drone strikes and nighttime raids whether he likes it or not.
US, NATO Agree to Stay in Afghanistan until 2014 President Hamid Karzai wants US and NATO forces reduced, but he'll have to settle for increased drone strikes and nighttime raids whether he likes it or not. That's according to President Obama after he and other NATO leaders set 2014 as a firm date for ending major combat in Afghanistan. However, behind the scenes, US and European officials doubt General David Petraeus' claim that he has "broken the Taliban's momentum." Is Karzai getting mixed signals? What about the civilian population in Afghanistan, the nations in Europe and the United States?
WikiLeaks and the War in Afghanistan WikiLeaks reportedly has 91,000 secret reports , which it has shared with the New York Times, Britain's Guardian and Der Spiegel in Germany. But not all of them have been released to the Internet. On MSNBC today, WikiLeaks' editor in chief, Julien Assange, was asked about the Pentagon's claim that American lives could be put at risk .
WikiLeaks and the War in Afghanistan The White House, the Pentagon, national security think-tanks and some reporters say all those formerly secret documents released by WikiLeaks don’t contain anything new . But civilian casualties, Afghan corruption and Pakistan’s mixed loyalties are not what the American people have heard about from two presidents and their military commanders. Will public perceptions be changed? Will Congress start backing away? Will 92,000 raw reports from the battlefield provide new understanding of America’s longest war or more confusion than ever?
US Strategy in South Asia: Is It Really Working? It's been reported that remote-controlled US drones have devastated the top leadership of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Pakistan. But yesterday, the US consulate in Peshawar was hit with guns, bombs and rocket-propelled grenades , the first such direct assault in that country since 2006.
US Strategy in South Asia: Is It Really Working? In Pakistan, the attack on the US consulate in Peshawar with guns, bombs and rocket-propelled grenades — the first such direct assault in that country since 2006 -- is being called a "message” that the Taliban can still cause havoc whenever they want to, despite the devastation caused by American drones and Pakistani soldiers. In Afghanistan, President Karzai's attack on " foreign meddling ” has raised questions about the role of US troops and money. Will the much-touted " victory ” by the Marines in Marjah be sustainable? What about plans to attack the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar? We get conflicting assessments.
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
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.
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?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?