October 6, 2009
Posted: 1619 GMT
We are starting the show with Afghanistan and the decisions that need to be made quickly about what the mission is for international forces there. Once that decision is made, politicians in the United States will have to decide whether to send additional troops to the unstable country.
Today, U.S. President Barack Obama is meeting with lawmakers at the White House to talk about the Afghan war problem. Is the end goal to stabilize the country or is it only to neutralize Al Qaeda?
If it is the latter, then it is difficult to justify sending many more troops. If the mission is to stabilize and pacify Afghanistan, then more counter-insurgency help is needed, but also more money, more civilian advisors, more doctors, more engineers.
And a whole lot more money.
Will the United States decide that it is responsible for turning Afghanistan around? U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has signaled that the U.S. should pursue a narrower anti-terrorism campaign whose end goal is to defeat Al Qaeda.
But the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has called a mission that doesn't support a wider pacification campaign is "short-sighted."
Meanwhile, the American Defense Secretary said yesterday at a Washington event co-hosted by Christiane Amanpour: "We're not leaving Afghanistan. There should be no uncertainty in terms of our determination to remain in Afghanistan and to continue to build a relationship of partnership and trust with the Pakistanis. That's long term. That's a strategic objective of the United States."
This very public debate in America over what to do in Afghanistan is consuming military and political leaders and the U.S. public, which is progressively withdrawing its support for the war.
We will look into all angles of this story today.
We will also report live on the floods in India, that have forced about a million people to flee the disaster area. Sara Sidner will join us at the IDesk.
Speaking of natural disasters, we are live in Indonesia with more on how earthquake survivors there are coping. Arwa Damon will join us. We will ask her if hospitals and rescue services are able to respond to the overwhelming needs of the wounded and the homeless.
We will also take you live to Istanbul, Baghdad, Wall Street and Rome.
Plus, Michael Holmes will join me at the IDesk for a special segment.
See you on TV!
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