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.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
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.