Thursday, January 28, 2010
At a conference in London today, Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to address ways of reintegrating some Taliban members back into the Afghan political process. It's something we put to Gen. David Petraeus, the head of U.S. Central Command, which oversees forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Friday, January 22, 2010
We continue our conversation with Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The United States military is getting more involved in the Haiti relief effort by the day. On Wednesday, 4,000 more troops were added, bringing the total U.S. presence in the country to about 16,000. As the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen is the country's highest ranking officer in the armed services. John sat down with Adm. Mullen at the Pentagon on Wednesday for a wide-ranging conversation. In part one of our interview, we ask him about the use of Guantanamo Bay in the relief effort, the "war" with Al Qaeda, and the renewed focus on Yemen.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Several soldiers who served at Guantánamo Bay in 2006 have alleged that the deaths of three Guantánamo inmates, previously ruled suicides by the U.S. government, were nothing of the sort ... and that the government has covered up the truth.
Friday, January 15, 2010
The first U.S. Navy ship arrived in Haiti yesterday morning. A large aircraft carrier is set to arrive off the coast today, with 19 helicopters and relief supplies. We speak to Rear Adm. Victor Guillory, who is responsible for the U.S. naval operations in Haiti.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Today marks the 75th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s successful flight from Honolulu to Oakland, California.She was the first woman to fly solo across the Pacific. To help update the history of women in aviation we talk to another pioneer who has also participated in many firsts for women pilots: Major Nicole Malachowski is a senior pilot in the Air Force and just five years ago became the first woman to join part of the elite Thunderbird squad, also known as the Air Force Aerial Demonstration Squadron.
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
Despite their best attempts, the military services are finding it difficult to enroll and keep experienced officers working the mission in Afghanistan. New York Times terrorism correspondent Eric Schmitt joins the show with details from his article in today’s paper that explains how a program designed to attract and retain the best of the miltary’s best is falling to meet expectations. How hard is it to find (and keep!) a few good soldiers, sailors, airmen/airwomen, and Marines?
Friday, January 01, 2010
First Lieutenant Russell Galeti is one of 30,000 U.S. troops that will deploy to Afghanistan as part of the troop surge ordered by President Obama. We speak to Russell and his wife, Mary Galeti, about how they are planning for Russell's deployment at the end of the month.
Monday, December 21, 2009
The military has spent a year looking for non-American citizens to boost the number of service members with diverse language skills, in the "Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest" (MAVNI) program. As the program wraps up, Army recruiter Staff Sgt. Khori Grant discusses how the recruitment campaign has gone and introduces one of his new international recruits, Srinivasa Dandu.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
More women than ever are returning home from military duty, but many Veteran Affairs centers don’t have adequate services for womens' health. We talk this morning with Ann Brown, director of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia, and retired Marine Capt. Anu Bhagwati, executive director of the Service Women's Action Network, about what VA facilities need to do to better accommodate female needs.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Every year, one soldier in the Army wins the title "Soldier of the Year" after competing in a series of physical and mental tests. This year, Sgt. Clancey Henderson won the award. Henderson exlains what it takes to be an outstanding service member.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Amnesty International is taking sides on the drug and gang violence that's already killed 7,000 people this year in Mexico... and their stance may surprise you.
The international human rights watchdog group is accusing the Mexican government of turning a blind eye to thousands of complaints against the Mexican military. According to the charges, the same military troops tasked with providing security against gang violence are themselves guilty of torturing, and in some cases murdering, civilians.
The Houston Chronicle's Mexico bureau chief, Dudley Althaus, covered this story and joins us to discuss the ramifications of these alleged abuses. Are these violations a necessary evil in fighting a war so out-of-control, or something to inspire the ancient question: "Who Watches the Watchmen?"
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Tuesday marked a day of opening arguments on the war in Afghanistan. General Stanley McChrystal fielded tough questions from the House Armed Services Committee. McChrystal said the plan to start withdrawing troops in the summer of 2011 wasn't his idea, but that he supports the strategy. Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Afghan President Hamid Karzai appeared together in a news conference in Kabul. Karzai said he will need the U.S. to help support his army financially for the next 15 years. Charlie Sennott, executive editor of GlobalPost, joins us with his take on how the three men played their cards.
Friday, December 04, 2009
You might call military contractors the absent presence in President Obama’s Tuesday speech announcing his new strategy in Afghanistan. There are currently 104,000 military contractors supporting the American mission there, and those numbers will grow as more troops deploy. Contractors serve meals, deliver munitions, run security for the U.S. Ambassador in Kabul, and help train Afghan police units... and according to an article in Vanity Fair this week, Erik Prince, CEO of Xe – the company formerly known as Blackwater – was involved in assembling hit teams targeting al-Qaida members. Robert Young Pelton, author of "Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror," and Allison Stanger, author of "One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy" join us to discuss how much contractors cost the U.S., and how accountable they are to the government who hired them.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
You might call the nation of Pakistan the buried headline in President Obama’s big Afghanistan speech Tuesday. Like Afghanistan, Pakistan faces its own instability and its own Taliban problem. Its president, Asif Ali Zardari, has looked in recent days significantly weakened. Last Friday Zardari handed over control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal to the prime minister, and he’s facing pressure from the Obama government to crack down on the same insurgent groups whom Pakistan's army and intelligence services have themselves cultivated as a kind of secret weapon.
So what does a U.S. strategy in Pakistan look like, and is Pakistan a strong enough partner for that strategy to succeed? We're joined by Ahmed Rashid, longtime Pakistani journalist and author of “Descent Into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.” We're also talking with Adil Najam: He's professor of International Relations at Boston University, and he worries that even if President Obama is succesful in Afghanistan, we may lose Pakistan as the Taliban is forced over the Afghan border.
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Over 40 million Americans watched President Obama’s speech Tuesday, in which he announced that he’ll be sending 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Among those watching most closely were U.S. soldiers and families of soldiers who could be sent over. Mary Galeti's husband will soon be deployed to Afghanistan with the Ohio National Guard; she joins us to talk about what it’s like to wait for those marching orders. Also joining us is Col. Bill Buckner, public affairs officer for the 18th Airborne Corps stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He’s been deployed to Iraq twice.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
In a speech at West Point last night, President Obama announced he will send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan starting early next year. He also discussed an exit strategy that he hopes to start in July, 2011. In a brief trip through the looking glass, it's the Republicans who (mostly) seem to have Obama's back this time and not the Democrats. Our Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, has reactions on Capitol Hill, from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), to President Obama's Afghanistan policy. We're also joined by Michael Gerson, President George W. Bush's chief speech writer from 2000 to 2006 and now a senior research fellow at the Institute for Global Engagement.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Last night President Obama laid out his plan for Afghanistan. The bottom line includes 30,000 more troops, deployed quickly and due to begin returning after 18 months. We look at what the plan means for Afghanistan, and whether or not it will bring stability to the Afghans.
We're joined by Clare Lockhart, co-founder of the Institute of State Effectiveness, who has served as an advisor to U.S. military officials. She worked in Afghanistan on the post-2001 government. We also speak with Michael Gordon, military correspondent for The New York Times.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
We continue our conversation with veterans about what they expect to hear from President Obama in tonight's speech on Afghanistan, and how they think the strategy will play out on the ground. We speak with Jack Jacobs, retired Army colonel and professor of politics at West Point; National Guard Spc. Marco Reininger, who served in Afghanistan in 2008; and retired Army Sgt. Genevieve Chase, founder of American Women Veterans, who served in Afghanistan in 2006.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
President Obama will announce his strategy for Afghanistan in a speech at West Point tonight. He is expected to send roughly 30,000 more troops to the war and discuss the criteria for an exit strategy. Besides America and Afghanistan itself, the country that stands to be most directly affected by these next moves is Pakistan. Hassan Abbas, Bernard Schwartz Fellow at the Asia Society and senior advisor at the Harvard Kennedy School at Harvard University, joins us to discuss our ongoing strategy.