FROM Brandon Friedman
Afghanistan: Recent Casualties and Long-Term Objectives In June of last year, 28 American troops were killed in Afghanistan, the highest monthly total in eight years of war until now. In the first three weeks of this month, 31 US soldiers have died, many not from direct combat but from IED's -- improvised explosive devices -- roadside bombs often crudely made with fertilizer and diesel fuel.
Afghanistan: Casualties and Objectives July is not over, but it's already the deadliest month for US troops in Afghanistan since the war began eight years ago. The US has begun a major offensive against the Taliban, but two out of three allied casualties are caused not by direct combat but improvised explosive devises, crude roadside bombs. Defense Secretary Gates says there must be " progress " before next summer or the war will lose the support of the American people. How will "progress" be measured? What are the US objectives in what's now being called "Barack Obama's War?"
Bush Speech Caps Week of Iraq Testimony President Bush today accepted the recommendations of General David Petraeus. The draw-down of troops from Iraq will stop when the "surge" ends in July. Democratic leaders of Congress said, "He's just dragging this out, leaving a failed war and a failed economy on the doorstep of the next president." Because of strains on the troops, Mr. Bush also reduced tours of duty from 15 months to 12, but that won't start until August. We talk with soldiers about the state of morale after six years of war. What do multiple tours on the front lines mean for their families? What about recruitment, retention and readiness to meet future contingencies?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
White House flip flops: NATO, Syria and China In less than 100 days, President Trump has contradicted himself on a host of foreign policy issues — Syria, NATO, China and Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Is it a strength — or a weakness — for the United States when the world of power politics never knows what to expect?
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?