Obama Briefs World Leaders on Afghanistan Policy Before Speech

NewsHour interviews the New York Times’ Eric Schmitt on the lead up tothe roll-out of President Obama’s new Afghanistan policy. As Schmitt pointsout, the Obama administration has already started to discuss the planwith insiders, though the president is expected to outline his policypublicly tomorrow night.

The New Afghanistan Policy

President Barack Obama has decided on a strategy for Afghanistan.NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff talks to presidential historian and authorMichael Beschloss, Andrew Kohut, president and director of the PewResearch Center for the People and the Press, and Josh Gerstein, WhiteHouse reporter for Politico to get some insight into public opinion ofthe war, parallels in history and how this policy will play out formembers of Congress with their constituents.

What Will the Surge Do?

White House officials have announced that President Barack Obama hasfinished gathering information about the situation in Afghanistan. Heis expected to address the country on Dec. 1, telling the nation of hisplans for a troop surge. In light of the news, WorldFocus speaks withJuan Carlos Zarate, a senior adviser for the Center for Strategic andInternational Studies in Washington. Zarate says additional troops willbe used to confront the Taliban in new areas such as the East and Southand enable forces to not only secure the territories, but to keep themfrom returning to Taliban rule.

Off the Radar News Roundup

– China and Brazil reach a five-point consensus to strengthen military personnel exchanges, and technology cooperaiton. (Despite the emerging South-emerging East angle, France still makes a better fit for defense partnerships with Brazil.) – Free press vs. free pass: A high-ranking Chinese Communist Party official goes on a state visit to Sudan, and the People’s Daily doesn’t mention the problematic nature of that bilateral relationship once. – Taiwan and China finally signed that MoU on financial regulation. Financial observers exepect a major inflow of Chinese capital to Taiwan when it takes effect two months from now. – In addition to […]

Azerbaijan Draws Fire over Bloggers’ Sentences

Press freedom advocates are condemning a decision by an Azerbaijani court on Wednesday to convict two bloggers on charges of hooliganism and causing bodily harm, in a case widely viewed as political retribution. “This trial has been a sham from beginning to end and has concluded with outrageous and unjust sentences. The trial was orchestrated solely to censor and punish two politically committed bloggers who dared to criticize the authorities,” Reporters Without Borders said in a statement. In July, Emin Milli and Adnan Hajizade were involved in a violent confrontation with two men in a restaurant. When they went to […]

Karzai Talks Corruption, Troops and Terrorism

NewsHour’s Margaret Warner speaks with Hamid Karzai, re-electedpresident of Afghanistan whose opponent Abdullah Abdullah refused torun in the scheduled run-off election last week. Karzai, whose winbrings into question his regime’s involvement in the rigged election,faces serious skepticism from outsiders who question the legitimacy ofhis government. The Afghan leader says that the United States and hisgovernment share a common goal in fighting terrorism and a common enemyin fighting corruption.

The British Experience in Afghanistan

WorldFocus’ Daljit Dhaliwal speaks with Gideon Litchfield, deputy editor of The Economist online in New York, about the British sentiment toward the war in Afghanistan. Litchfield says that some experts are espousing a new strategy for fighting terrorism — tighten up control on the homefront, not in Afghanistan.

Abdullah Says He Will Not Work for Karzai

NewsHour’s Margaret Warner interviews Abdullah Abdullah, former Afghanpresidential candidate. ‘People are very agitated, they witnessed whathappened during the campaign,’ he said of his supporters. Abdullah saysthat he has called for restraint, but that he will not join a Karzaicampaign based on principles.

U.N. Taking Steps to Reduce Risks

In light of the Oct. 28 attack on U.N. personnel in Afghanistan, theU.N. is working to reduce further threats to staff by temporarilyrelocating them throughout Afghanistan and elsewhere. More than half ofthe staff in Afghanistan will be moved while further securityprecautions are taken.

What Karzai Needs to Do in a Second Term

Hassan Abbas of the Asia Society speaks with WorldFocus’ DaljitDhaliwal. The former Pakistani government official offers insight intowhat a Karzai second term means for the United States and how theU.N.’s decision to stop development work along the dangerousAfghanistan-Pakistan border will affect locals.

LOGAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan — “Let’s go get blown up,” Staff Sgt. Ashley Hess quipped as he climbed into his armored vehicle on a hot, bright mid-October morning. Sgt. Hess and the rest of the U.S. Army’s 2nd Platoon, Able Troop — part of the 3rd Squadron of the 71st Cavalry regiment deployed to this fertile agricultural province south of Kabul — steered their vehicles down a dirt road code-named Route New York. The route is a favorite with insurgent bomb teams, who prefer burying their explosives directly under a vehicle’s path — something that’s nearly impossible on paved roads. Many […]