FROM David Wood
Obama, Karzai and the War in Afghanistan Before this weekend's NATO summit , Afghan President Hamid Karzai told reporters he wants fewer foreign troops in his country to reduce what he called "intrusiveness" of the war against the Taliban into daily life. After the meeting, President Obama said he'll have to settle for increased drone strikes and nighttime raids whether he likes it or not.
US, NATO Agree to Stay in Afghanistan until 2014 President Hamid Karzai wants US and NATO forces reduced, but he'll have to settle for increased drone strikes and nighttime raids whether he likes it or not. That's according to President Obama after he and other NATO leaders set 2014 as a firm date for ending major combat in Afghanistan. However, behind the scenes, US and European officials doubt General David Petraeus' claim that he has "broken the Taliban's momentum." Is Karzai getting mixed signals? What about the civilian population in Afghanistan, the nations in Europe and the United States?
Obama's Two Fronts in the Afghan War At his re-confirmation hearing today, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, said it's likely that commanders in Afghanistan will ask for more troops “very soon…”
Politics in America and Reality in Afghanistan At his re-confirmation hearing today, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, indicated that commanders are likely to ask for another increase of troops in Afghanistan. But, after eight years, public support for the war is fading fast, and Democrats are suggesting that, if the President asks, they might have to say "no." Republicans, backed by militant neo-cons, insist that more force is the only way to win. What would "winning" look like? How long would it take? Will the White House have any options to seek common ground?
Tour Extension for Troops in Afghanistan Twenty-two hundred Marines who were scheduled home in October, will have to stay in Afghanistan for as much as thirty days longer. That announcement came a day after Admiral Mike Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he needs more troops in Afghanistan but doesn’t have them—because of Iraq. David Wood, national security correspondent for the Baltimore Sun , was imbedded with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and broke the story that their tour would be extended.
President Pushes Back against Iraq Progress Report President Bush delivered to Congress today his latest assessment of US progress in Iraq. At a combative press conference, the President said he would stick with the military surge in spite of polls showing that Americans have lost faith in the war effort. Bush insisted that, while improvements have been slow, leaving Iraq would make the US more vulnerable. David Wood is national security correspondent for the Baltimore Sun .
All Eyes on Congress as House Votes on War Funding Bill The House today set a deadline : US troops home from Iraq by the end of August next year. Some liberals who want to end the war now went along, even though the deadline is part of a spending bill to support the troops in the meantime. Is it political posturing or the start of something big? In addition to soldiers, there’s a staggering quantity of arms and equipment. Would a pull-out be a logistical nightmare? Is it all moot anyway, because the Army’s running out of deployable troops? What would a pull-out look like, especially one conducted under the pressure of a binding deadline? We hear from journalists, peace activists, defense and security experts.
Little to Show for Billions Spent on Iraq Reconstruction President Bush is pressing Congress for $1.2 billion more for Iraq reconstruction. At the same time, the latest audit of money already spent reveals an Olympic-sized swimming pool for a police academy that's never been used. David Wood is National Security Correspondent for the Baltimore Sun .
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?