As President Obama moves into his second term, his policy priorities, and the policies themselves, will likely shift. Coral Davenport, energy and environment correspondent for the National Journal, explores the Obama Administration's priorities on climate change, and Elisabeth Bumiller, Pentagon correspondent for Takeaway partner The New York Times, discusses the Administration's policy shifts in Afghanistan.
The scandal involving General David Petraeus, his lover Paula Broadwell, and the woman vying for his attention, Jill Kelley has expanded into a sort of love pentagon. Elisabeth Bumiller is a Pentagon correspondent for our partner The New York Times, and Thom Shanker, is The Times' Pentagon and national security correspondent.
No U.S. officers will face jail time after two separate incidents of military misconduct in Afghanistan earlier this year. For the burning of a box of Korans, four Army officers and two enlisted soldiers received letters of reprimand. For the video of marines urinating on Taliban corpses, three officers received "non-judicial punishments."
Until just a few weeks ago, Staff Sergeant Robert Bales was known simply as a former high school football captain, an American patriot who joined the Army after 9/11, a husband, a son, and a father of two. Now, he’s a prisoner at a detention facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, accused of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan in an incident that’s been called one of the worst war crimes of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. As new facts about Bales' life emerge — including details about foot and head injuries and a mild traumatic brain injury he suffered — it appears that this could shape into a complicated legal case for the Army.
After ten years of war and expanded spending, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta outlined a series of military budget cuts for the next decade totaling $487 billion. Among these cost-saving measures are limiting pay raises for troops, increasing health insurance fees for military retirees, and closing bases in the U.S. These proposed cuts would be in addition to a previously established drawdown of troops and army personnel over the next five years.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is expected to announce plans this week to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from the Pentagon's budget. The cuts, precipitated by both the United States' fiscal situation and a deal passed to raise the debt ceiling last summer, will shrink the military so it will no longer be able to sustain two ground wars at once. The Pentagon will trim about $450 billion, or about 8 percent of its budget. However, it may be forced to cut an additional $500 billion if lawmakers on Capitol Hill go through with deeper reductions. Defense hawks say cutting $1 trillion from the Pentagon's budget would have a deleterious impact on national security.
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is considering drastic cuts in military spending, including slashing retirement benefits and a round of base closings. Panetta has been ordered to cut more than $450 billion of the Pentagon budget over the next decade and has been under intense political pressure to make the cuts. The yearly defense budget has doubled since the 9/11 attacks. Panetta said it is possible to reshape the military in order to reduce the budget while still defending national interests.
Leon Panetta began his term as defense secretary on July 1, 2011. In the less than two weeks since, he's already visited Iraq and Afghanistan and set a new tone — and agenda — for the Pentagon. Though he was friendly with his predecessor, Robert Gates, Panetta has not been shy about publicly changing the goals for America's two wars.
U.S., British, and French coalition forces began Operation Odyssey Dawn Saturday, firing missiles into Libya to enforce a U.N. mandated no-fly zone. Tanks and air defenses were targeted to curb Col. Moammar Gadhafi's deadly assault on rebel forces. A building in Gadhafi's compound reportedly was hit by a missile, though the Pentagon insists this is not an attempt to overthrow Gadhafi. The New York Times' Elisabeth Bumiller looks at the weekend's events and talks about the Pentagon's plan.
This is the fifth edition of Wave of Change, a special podcast from The Takeaway, covering the mass protests in Egypt and the consequences for the wider Arab world, hosted by John Hockenberry with Celeste Headlee.
In this episode, get up to date on all the events that transpired over the weekend in Egypt; in an exclusive interview, Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times takes us inside the generational divide in the Egyptian Army; and, Bush administration deputy national security advisor Elliot Abrams tells us why he thinks George W. Bush's "freedom agenda" was right for the Arab world.
Violence is on the rise in Pakistan. Twelve days of attacks across the country have left well over 150 people dead, and there are no signs yet that security forces are going to be able to beat back the militants. A suicide car bombing targeted a police station in the city of Peshawar this morning. The BBC's Aleem Maqbool joins us from Islamabad, Pakistan.
And directly next door, in Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai has denied allegations of fraud in the recent presidential election and claimed he won a simple majority of votes. Now, according to Elisabeth Bumiller of The New York Times, the election results may turn out to show no single victor, meaning a run-off election could be announced shortly. She joins us with a look at the potential run-off and the political problem this would pose for the Obama Administration.
For more, read Elisabeth Bumiller's article, "Karzai Aide Says Afghan Runoff Vote Is Likely," in today's New York Times.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently delivered what many described as a surprisingly honest and sober analysis of the current situation for the war in Afghanistan. But predicting the road ahead seemed more difficult for Gates.
In a piece she co-authored in today's New York Times, Pentagon Correspondent Elisabeth Bumiller describes an Obama administration openly conflicted about the war in Afghanistan.
“The argument is not about whether the war should continue. The argument is about the number of troops that should be added in the coming months.” — Elisabeth Bumiller, Pentagon correspondent for The New York Times