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In Afghanistan, US troops are not just fighting, they're building infrastructure in places too dangerous for civilian reconstruction teams.  With violence worse than it's been since defeat of the Taliban in 2001, is a major Bush-Administration achievement slipping away?  Also, President Bush signs a new energy bill, and despite a brewing financial scandal the former CEO of Hyndai has been elected President of South Korea.  Will North Korea be more or less likely to give up nuclear weapons?

Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images

Making News Congress Passes, President Signs New Energy Bill 5 MIN, 56 SEC

Thomas Edison's incandescent light bulb will be a thing of the past in America—one of the many consequences of the energy bill signed into law today by President Bush. The President called the bill "a major step toward reducing our dependence on oil, confronting global climate change, expanding the production of renewable fuels and (making) a nation that is stronger, cleaner and more secure." Steven Mufson covers energy for the Washington Post.

Main Topic The Forgotten War in Afghanistan 36 MIN, 10 SEC

Six years after driving the Taliban from power, the Bush Administration faces the prospect of failure in Afghanistan. Levels of violence are higher than ever. Although major combat will decline during winter, suicide bombings and roadside explosions will likely continue. As winter sets in, and major combat declines, both the US and NATO are "reviewing their missions." What about corruption in local government and flagging support from the nations of Europe? We talk to a colonel who has learned the Pushtunwali—the Pushtun tribal code of honor, and whose Task Force Fury troops are building roads, schools and clinics six south-eastern provinces.

Martin Schweitzer, Colonel and Senate Liaison Division Chief, US Army
Matt Waldman, former Head of Policy for Afghanistan, Oxfam
Julianne Smith, Center for a New American Security (@Julie_C_Smith)
Seth Jones, RAND Corporation (@SethGJones)
William Arkin, Online Columnist, Washington Post

Reporter's Notebook Former Hyundai CEO Wins South Korean Presidency 7 MIN

During ten years of liberal rule, South Korea has restored trade and travel with the communist North. Today a new, more conservative President has been elected. Despite allegations of business fraud, former Hyundai CEO Lee Myung-bak won the election with almost twice the votes of his nearest competitor. What will that mean for reconciliation and North Korea's promise to give up nuclear weapons? Dr. Gi-wook Shin is Director of the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University.

Gi-Wook Shin, Director of the Shornstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University

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