FROM William Hartung
The F-35 Striker Jet and Pork Barrel Politics More than 15 years in the making, the F-35 striker jet still has trouble landing on wet runways. The most expensive weapons system in history was grounded again this week, missing several airshows in England. They were much-needed marketing opportunities to help sell the F-35 fighter-bomber to foreign countries, amortizing increasing costs. We’ll hear about continued Congressional support despite a history of failure.
The New Congress, the Deficit and the Pentagon In his farewell speech warning about the "military-industrial" complex, President (and former Army General) Dwight Eisenhower said that defense spending has to be weighed in the balance along with every other national program. The new House majority wants to cut $100 billion from next year's budget, but the Pentagon won't be subject to major reductions.
The New Congress, the Deficit and the Pentagon In his farewell speech warning about the "military-industrial" complex, President (and former Army General) Dwight Eisenhower said that defense spending has to be weighed in the balance along with every other national program. The new House majority, led by newly sworn in speaker, Republican John Boehner , wants to cut $100 billion from next year's budget. The Pentagon makes up more than half the spending that could be reduced, but cuts in the Defense Department are off the table. Even the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says the deficit is a threat to national security, and the Pentagon is a paradigm of government waste. Why is it immune from the cost-cutting voters have asked for? Will the Tea Party make a difference? We look at the prospects.
Splitting the Difference on Nuclear Weapons What threats justify maintaining a nuclear arsenal? When, if ever, could such weapons be used? Those and other questions get some new answers in the Obama Administration's Nuclear Posture Review , reviving arguments that go back to World War II. Now that the Soviet Union is ancient history, the focus is on North Korea, Iran, proliferation and terror. What's the best way to deal with those challenges, reduce the chance of a confrontation and keep America as safe as possible? We hear from journalists, nuclear experts, military analysts and former Pentagon officials.
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?
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
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.
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.