September 14 - The Missing Piece of Obama's Strategy Against the Islamic State; Entering the Syrian Minefield; The War at Home Between the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee

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Full Program



Part 1

We begin with an assessment of President Obama’s strategic plans to combat the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria from Steve Clemons, who is Washington editor-at-large for The Atlantic and editor-in-chief of Atlantic LIVE. We discuss the missing element in the president’s plans and that is the Sunni “buy in” since so far we will be working with the Iranians and the hated government in Baghdad against the Sunnis in Iraq in what appears to be shaping us as a boon for private military contractors and a boost for the Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections, but a bust for any durable solution to a region that the Bush/Cheney Administration broke and which the Obama Administration is unlikely to be able to fix.



Part 2

Then we go to Beirut to speak with Lebanese-based journalist Thanassis Cambanis, a fellow at The Century Foundation, who writes “The Internationalist” column for The Boston Globe. We examine an increasingly deadly and intractable civil war next door in Syria, further inflamed by the beheading of a third Western hostage by the Islamic State which is likely to draw the United States further into a conflict involving 1,500 rival militia groups fighting among themselves and occasionally against the Assad regime, that has resulted in the deaths of 200,000 Syrians, the destruction of the country and the displacement of a third of Syria’s population.


Part 3

Then finally, as the CIA gears up to enter into a third war in Iraq and get more involved in Syria, we look into the war at home between the CIA and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence over the long-delayed report on the agency’s use of torture and rendition during the Bush/Cheney presidency. Ali Watkins, who is with the McClatchy Washington Bureau where she covers national security and the Intelligence Agencies, joins us to discuss her recent article at McClatchy, “New Sparks Fly between CIA, Senate Intelligence Committee” that indicates many senators are furious with the CIA over their disrespectful attitude toward the Committee that Senator Levin describes as “arrogant and unacceptable”.

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