July 13, 2009
Posted: 1850 GMT

We're kicking things off in the United Kingdom at the Idesk. Paula Newton will tell us about Gordon Brown's address to Parliament regarding Britain's forces in Afghanistan. He is now in a position of justifiying his government's strategy in Afghanistan against accusations soliders are unnecessarily being put at risk.

Speaking of Afghanistan, Chris Lawrence at the Pentagon will tell us how the United States, which has by far the largest contingent of troops on the ground, say that even more boots on the ground are needed to achieve success in that warzone.

Fighting the battle against the Taliban and stabilizing Afghanistan means putting troops in more dangerous positions. So far, the U.S. has lost 646 troops. The U.K. has lost 184.

Also today, we'll cross over live to Capitol Hill in Washington for the latest on the Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Barring an unforeseen political disaster that would ruin her nomination, she is virtually assured of being confirmed. We'll ask how the hearing will play out in Washginton and beyond.

Plus, there's a new pipeline about to put a dent in Russia monopoly on gas distribution to Europe. It's called Nabucco (named after the Verdi opera that the five partners had attended in Vienna after a meeting about the deal). The partnership between Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Austria has been frought with problems and delays, but is now on its way to realization.

We'll go live to Turkey for more on why this deal is important and whether it will change the way Europeans consume energy.

Plus tune in for our sports segment. In the noon edition of idesk, Marc McKay and I discussed the case of a New Zealand taekwondo athlete who has opened a gentleman's club (read legal brothel) to pay his way to the Olympic Games of 2012 in London. I asked you to weigh in on whether the taekwondo association should allow him to compete if he uses money from this venture to support himself. Go to my Twitter account @halagorani and let me know.

Plus all th rest of the day's news, as always!

See you on TV,


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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk

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Sadiqduhu(Nigeria)   July 13th, 2009 7:24 pm ET

Hi Hala.
No, the international community has not done enough in respect to China. But then, there is ABSOLUTELY no faith that allows one to maim, bully or kill the innocent. Therefore is'nt it HYPOCRITICAL that this crimes persist in our world today?

DM   July 14th, 2009 9:03 am ET

The solution to Afghanistan should never have been an all out war, history has never favored foriegn troops in conflicts in the Afghan mountains... the solution should have always been covert and should return to a purely covert mission, divide to conquer is the solution. I think the conflict was started as a spur of the moment cos of 9/11

Sayan Majumdar   July 14th, 2009 10:01 am ET

Hala, in spite of great technological sophistication of modern aerial warfare; in the rough terrain of Afghanistan it will be on the ground “where the war will be won or lost”.

One breakthrough move of United States led NATO allies may be increasing the amount of local Afghan security forces after rigorous training for extensive ground operations.

The local Afghans being born and brought up in harsh environments are likely to adapt to their security procedures sooner than anticipated and will in general be well versed in the terrain of their operations besides more welcome amongst the local fiercely independent minded population, all critical factors towards victory.


Global Thinker   July 14th, 2009 5:18 pm ET

Hello Hala,

You wrote here that Gordon Brown is "justfying" his government's strategy in Afghanistan. However I heard the word "mission" mentioned in regards to the Afghan situation. Do you think the "mission" might actually be legitimate? Is Gordan Brown justifying the strategy or is he perhaps trying to explain real reasons?

Sense   July 15th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

Peace and stability is not achieved by killing and maiming the innocent civillians – majority of victims being children. One cannot dismiss it as 'collateral' damage. Infact there is nothing more inhumane and Haunting as this and it only creates a never ending vicious cycle. Motives become questionable.

Realstuff   July 26th, 2009 10:25 am ET

Hello Hala,
One interesting and credible fact recently brought to light by the news media (Dawn), is that India has been training terrorists in Afghanistan to stir trouble in Pakistan. This fact has never been exposed before.
Sooner or later facts do get exposed – must be Law of Nature.

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