FROM Thomas Barfield
The Military and Civilian Challenges in Afghanistan As America's longest war completes its tenth year, President Obama has promised a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, starting next month. There is heated debate, not just on Capitol Hill but within the Administration, over how many troops should come home and how soon. Should America's "phased withdrawal" from Afghanistan begin next month with 3000 troops or 15,000? Is "counterinsurgency" counterproductive? We look at success, failure and possible change in the President's military and civilian strategies.
The Military and Civilian Challenges in Afghanistan As America's longest war completes its tenth year, President Obama has promised a troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, starting next month. There is heated debate, not just on Capitol Hill but within the Administration , over how many troops should come home and how soon. The cost of keeping 100,000 troops in Afghanistan is $10 billion a month. Since the death of Osama bin Laden, 64 percent of Americans say it's not worth the money. At the same time, the $19 billion spent to prop up the civilian government may create ongoing dependency on the US as well as local corruption. Is General Petraeus' "counterinsurgency" strategy working or not? How many troops should begin the President's "phased withdrawal" next month? What are the political consequences of continuing America's longest war or ending it too soon?
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?
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.