FROM Omar Samad
America's Longest War Is Going to Continue With NATO troops pulling out of Afghanistan, attacks by the Taliban are increasing, and American soldiers will stay until the end of next year. The White House was divided, but President Obama approved an expanded mission, which will also include jets, bombers and drones. Newly elected President Ashraf Ghani wants the American presence, but he’s been unable to form a government. Yesterday he fired the entire cabinet. The Taliban is taking advantage of political instability. Today, police officers and others were killed in several incidents across the country.
US Combat Presence and Power Sharing in Afghanistan Afghanistan’s former president, Hamid Karzai, frustrated President Obama by refusing to allow US troops to stay in that country. Today, a new government—hammered together after a hotly contested election—signed the deal. The diplomatic nightmare is over but America’s longest war is not. Political rivals Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah are now, respectively, President and Chief Executive of Afghanistan. Their first example of power sharing: today’s televised ceremony from the presidential palace, where they both oversaw a bilateral security agreement with the US. Omar Samad is Afghanistan’s former Ambassador to France and Canada, now a senior fellow at the New America Foundation.
Preliminary Results Reveal an Afghan President - But Will He Be Accepted? Preliminary results from Afghanistan’s runoff presidential election were released today. Some 1900 polling paces have been audited after charges of widespread ballot stuffing and audio tapes purporting to show election officials engaging in voter fraud. The Independent Election Commission says President Karzai’s hand-picked candidate, Ashraf Ghani is the winner with 56% of the vote, but the opposition, led by Abdullah Abdullah, says it won’t accept that outcome.
GOP 'Nukes' the Senate filibuster on SCOTUS nominees Senate Democrats today blocked Judge Neil Gorsuch's appointment to the US Supreme Court… but just for the moment. The Republican majority has changed the rules to force a likely confirmation as soon as tomorrow.
"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."
Does 'hire American' mean fire a foreigner? US companies are allowed to hire employees from other countries with highly developed skills that can't be found here. President Trump says it's being abused as a way to find cheap foreign labor. We hear about the benefits—and the risks—of changing the H-1B program.
The flight bumping heard around 'round the world Recent video of a passenger forcibly removed from a United Airlines plane is a worst-case example of what's happened since consolidation into just four US-based carriers. Management seems to be tone-deaf to a decline in service — and even abuse — of passengers.