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?
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?
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.