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More US troops will go to Afghanistan, but US diplomacy is focused on that country together with Pakistan.  We hear about Pakistan’s deal with Muslim extremists and ask best-selling author Greg Mortenson what he’s telling the US military about the remote provinces of both countries.  Also, the President outlines the end to the war in Iraq, and Ronald Reagan changed the direction of politics in America. Can Barack Obama do the same?

Banner image: Greg Mortenson with some of his students in Wakhan, Afghanistan

Making News Obama Outlines End to War in Iraq 6 MIN, 1 SEC

Today, in his first speech to a military audience, President Obama told Marines at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina that his greatest honor is being their Commander in Chief. Many of them are veterans of more than one tour in Iraq, and he told them the results of his consultations with military commanders. Between 35 and 50,000 troops will remain to train Iraqi forces and conduct counterinsurgency, but all will be out by the end of 2011. Julian Barnes reports from the Pentagon for the Los Angeles Times.

Julian Barnes, Wall Street Journal (@julianbarnes)

Descent into Chaos

Ahmed Rashid

Main Topic Religious Violence and Political Turmoil in Pakistan 35 MIN, 45 SEC

President Obama's plan to cut troops in Iraq and beef up forces in Afghanistan can't succeed without neighboring Pakistan. But the world's second largest Muslim nation, a nuclear power, is increasingly unstable, with potentially dangerous consequences for American interests. Now Pakistan's weak central government has set off a political firestorm by making a deal with the Taliban, whose influence is spreading. We hear the pros and cons and talk with an American philanthropist who's built 78 schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan and now advises the US Army.


  • Special thanks to Lyle Laver for production assistance.

Greg Mortenson, advisor to the US military in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Ahmed Rashid, Pakistani journalist
Harlan Ullman, Atlantic Council

Three Cups of Tea

Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Reporter's Notebook Obama's Goes All-in with His Budget 6 MIN, 58 SEC

The economic crisis may have increased the American appetite for government intervention, and President Obama’s budget calls for intervention on a massive scale. Will his public support last long enough for him to get it enacted? “Whatever else it is, President Obama’s budget is a political gamble of the first order.” That’s according to John Harwood, who writes for the New York Times. He’s also Chief Washington correspondent for CNBC.

John Harwood, CNBC and the New York Times

Unfinished Business

Harlan Ullman

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