FROM William Dalrymple
Hamid Karzai Does It Again Just last night, Secretary of State John Kerry announced a deal to keep some American troops in Afghanistan after next year's withdrawal. "The agreement will speak for itself when the agreement is approved…We have agreed on the language that would be submitted to a loya jirga, but they have to pass it." Today, the President of Afghanistan said it might not be signed until next year. It's all about the continued presence of some American soldiers after most foreign troops leave the country. Is this another of Hamid Karzai's diplomatic maneuvers? Will the traditional meeting of 2500 tribal elders that's meeting on Afghan security, approve the troop deal? How many soldiers are needed to hold off the Taliban and protect Afghanistan's regional interests, and how long will the US be willing to pay the bills?
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?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?