FROM Douglas Ollivant
The US in Afghanistan and the Rules of War After first calling it "collateral damage," then then saying that Afghan forces needed support against the resurgent Taliban, the US has admitted it ordered a deadly air-attack on a hospital in Afghanistan -- but calls it a mistake , not a war crime. Doctors Without Borders, which ran the hospital, has demanded an international investigation . The incident has dramatized the resurgence of the Taliban, potentially upsetting US plans to withdraw almost completely by the end of next year. The City of Kunduz, where the attack occurred, is now a shambles, and tens of thousands of Afghans are desperate to leave their country. Do setbacks and blunders make the case for being stronger and staying longer?
The Islamic State Is Making Advances Despite Air Strikes Airstrikes by the US and other countries have not yet slowed advances by the so-called Islamic State–ISIS or ISIL. One place threatened by the brutal extremists is Kobane, a Kurdish town in Syria near the border with Turkey. We’ll hear reports and analysis of how the warfare is going.
An End to the Civil War in Iraq? The "surge" of US military forces in Iraq has reduced the level of violence, as promised. However, not until this week did the "so-called "breathing room" lead to "benchmark legislation" from the Iraqi parliament. The Shiite-dominate legislature has passed a a law promoted by the United States, that's supposed to open the government to Sunnis bureaucrats, engineers, teachers, soldiers and police officers from Saddam-Hussein's Baath Party. But today's New York Times reports that it could make matters worse.
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.
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?
What is Trump's plan for Middle East peace? On his first foreign tour, President Trump has promised "peace" between Israel and the Palestinians. Are there any details for re-starting talks that have been stalled for the past three years?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?