Historically, Prime Minister Erdogan has consolidated much of his power by raising fears about the threat of domestic terrorism and the so-called “deep state,” a covert network of military and civilian elites who for decades have stifled any perceived threat to a secular Turkey. It’s a kind of cabal of unseen hands, often violent, that smacks of conspiracy theory. Except, as The New Yorker staff writer Dexter Filkins tells Bob, it actually exists.
In Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, the choice to support protesters and put political pressure on those countries' leaders to step down seemed like relatively easy political decisions for the Obama administration. But in Yemen, it has been more complicated for the U.S. to come out in direct opposition to Ali Abdullah Saleh and his 30 year rule. Yemen has been a key ally in the fight against al-Qaida in the country, and during the uprisings there, President Obama had maintained his support for Saleh behind closed doors.
Police trucks and barbed wire are being used to secure the main branch of Kabul Bank to prevent a run on the bank, which has had $500 million withdrawn since fears of the institution's collapse began to spread last week. In response, authorities at the bank have frozen the assets of the bank's prinicpal owners; and the Afghan Central Bank is working with the U.S. Treasury Department to outline a rescue strategy. The New York Times foreign correspondent, Dexter Filkins explains whether the bank is really at risk of collapsing and how this crisis affects the country.
Mohammad Zia Salehi, a close advisor to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was arrested on corruption charges in July and then released after President Karzai intervened. The incident was a recent example of one of the country's biggest challenges in establishing stability: eradicating corruption. Some of those who are allegedly corrupt are also on the CIA payroll. Are we doing enough to get rid of corruption in that country, both in the government itself and in our dealings with people there?
In January, Pakistani officials arrested a top Taliban operational commander, Abdul Ghani Baradar. At the time Pakistan officials said they they had no idea who Baradar was when they arrested him and that they were surprised to find out that he was Taliban's second in command. However, Baradar was a key player in peace talks that were going on between the Taliban and the Afghan government. Foreign correspondent for The New York Times, Dexter Filkins broke the story and joins us with the details.
New York Times reporter Dexter Filkins is on the ground in Afghanistan, where gunfighting and explosive attacks by the Taliban rocked Kabul, the capitol city, this morning.
New York Times foreign correspondent Dexter Filkins recently returned from Afghanistan, where he talked with Gen. Stanley McChrystal and traveled with American soldiers in one of the country’s most dangerous regions. From his headquarters in Kabul, McChrystal was preparing an analysis for President Obama on what it would now cost – in time, dollars and lives – for the U.S. to win the war. Filkins joins us to report on what it will take for McChrystal’s much-vaunted counterinsurgency approach to work.
Dexter Filkins ...