FROM Ben Watson
What the battle for Mosul says about the future of war A tank of the Emergency Response Division fires at Islamic State militants in the old city of Mosul. Photo by Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters Last October, Western-backed Iraqi forces began to re-take Mosul, Iraq's second largest city, from the occupying Islamic State. One hundred thousand troops have been involved — 10 times more than ISIS militants — but it's still taken eight months and the battle isn't completely over. Ben Watson is news editor for Defense One , which has an extensive account of the world's largest military operation in nearly 15 years.
US strategy in a Syria in turmoil Yesterday at the United Nations, Secretary of State John Kerry denounced Russia and pointed to the deadly bombing of a UN aid convoy in Syria. Today, before the Senate Armed Services Committee , Republican Chairman John McCain called Kerry " intrepid but delusional ," and challenged General Joseph Dunford, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. "What's the Plan B? Is there a Plan B here, or do we just keep going back to the five-star hotels in Geneva meeting with our count, Mr. Lavrov, and come back with various declarations? What do we do if this one fails?” Ben Watson is following the story for the news site Defense One .
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.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
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.