FROM Ze'ev Schiff
The Politics of Peacekeeping As the United Nations wrangles over the peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, the big question is whether there will be enough troops to enforce the ceasefire before it collapses. Europe is the obvious place for the soldiers to come from, and today it appears that Italy would take over for France as the leader. But the European Union won't even meet until Wednesday and the UN wants the first contingent in the country by early next week. Meantime, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has accused Israel of violating the ceasefire resolution after Israeli commandos were dropped into Lebanon's Bekaa Valley Saturday morning, in what might have been an anti-arms-smuggling mission or an attempt to rescue two kidnapped soldiers. We get perspectives from Paris, Beirut and Jerusalem. (An extended version of this discussion originally aired earlier today on To the Point.)
The Politics of Peacekeeping France is not the only nation in Europe with cold feet about sending troops to southern Lebanon. Italy, Spain and Finland want to know if the rules of engagement will require their soldiers to make the peace or just keep it. Will they have to disarm Hezbollah? Meantime, Israeli commandos engaged Hezbollah 60 miles inside the Lebanese border. Israel says they were trying to stop arms smuggling prohibited by the UN resolution, but Secretary General Kofi Annan says they violated the cease-fire . There are rumors that they were trying to rescue two kidnapped soldiers. We get perspectives from Paris, Beirut and Jerusalem, and hear about a new UN resolution proposed by the US.
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
Further revelations into Russian involvement in 2016 election Last week's failure to "repeal and replace" Obamacare was an early setback for the Trump Administration. There may be long-term danger of a different kind in multiple investigations into ties with Russia among campaign workers, the White House staff and the Chief Executive himself. We look as some of the threads they're following.