October 26 - Trump is Already Shortening His Trip to Asia; Is General Kelly in Way Over His Head?; What is the US Doing in Niger?

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Full Program


Part 1

We begin with next week’s trip to Asia that a reluctant traveler President Trump is undertaking with a tour of the Pearl Harbor memorial in Hawaii then on to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam for the APEC summit of world leaders and lastly the Philippines where he already cutting short his visit and skipping the East Asia summit being held there. The Director of East and Southeast Asia Policy at the Center for American Progress, Brian Harding, joins us from Japan.  He served in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as country director for Asian and Pacific security affairs and we will discuss Trump’s reality TV show tease when asked whether he will visit the DMZ separating the two Korea’s, and the possibility that the North Koreans will upstage Trump with a nuclear or missile test. We will also look into whether or not Trump will meet with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Vietnam and assess what might be achieved by the 12 day trip which Trump has already shortened as he did earlier with his first foreign trip abroad about which he expressed dread and cut from nine days to five.  


Brian Harding

Part 2

Then we speak with Mark Perry, an author and historian specializing in military, foreign affairs, and intelligence analysis about his article at Politico “Are Trump’s Generals in Over Their Heads?” and his article at The American Conservative “How Saddam Hussein Predicted America’s Failure in Iraq” which is a chapter in his new book “The Pentagon Wars”. We assess whether there has been too much expectation placed on the generals around Trump, the so-called “adults in the room”, and examine how much the deeply conservative and politically inexperienced Chief of Staff John Kelly is way out of his depth.

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Part 3

Then finally we look into the country that most Americans just learned the U.S. military is involved in, Niger.  A former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Niamey, Niger, David Litt joins us. He was a State Department political advisor to the U.S. Special Operations Command from 1998 to 2002 and we discuss his article at Foreign Policy “Why Is the United States in Niger, Anyway?” and how in a region where it is easier to get an AK-47 assault rifle than a job, weak governance and poverty make the region a fertile ground for insurgents.

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