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Tlaib gets emotional as Omar calls for Congress to act over Israel travel restrictions

Fox News (Politics) - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 15:56
An emotional Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib on Monday held back tears during a news conference as she and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar condemned Israel’s recent decision to impose restrictions on visiting the country, with the Democrats calling for Congress to get involved.

Pentagon tests missile previously banned under US-Russia arms treaty

Fox News (Politics) - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 14:46
The Pentagon announced Monday that the military conducted a test over the weekend of a type of missile that previously had been banned for the last 30 years under a treaty between the United States and Russia.

Planned Parenthood abandons Title X federal funds after Trump rule prohibits abortion referrals

Fox News (Politics) - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 14:35
In a Twitter post on Monday, Planned Parenthood announced it is pulling out of the federal family planning program rather than abide by a new Trump administration rule prohibiting participants from referring patients for abortions.

Pelosi's deputy backs Trump impeachment inquiry, cites 'grave national security concerns'

Fox News (Politics) - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 13:58
Assistant Speaker of the House Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., became the highest ranking Democrat in the House to support moving forward with impeachment proceedings against President Trump, claiming that Trump is “abdicating his responsibility to defend our nation from Russian attacks.”

Miftah group that planned Tlaib-Omar Israel trip once referred to suicide bombing as sacrifice 'for the cause'

Fox News (Politics) - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 13:50
In defending its decision, the Israeli government is citing the radical history of the group that was slated to sponsor the trip. 

Trump ratings on economy start to slide

Fox News (Politics) - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 12:59
The numbers from the latest NBC News/WSJ poll.

Warren apologizes to Native Americans for ancestry claims: 'I have made mistakes'

Fox News (Politics) - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 12:55
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren apologized to a group of Native Americans on Monday for her past claims of cultural heritage, saying she has "listened and I have learned.”

Terrorist 'Safe Havens' Are a Myth -- and No Reason for Continuing the War in Afghanistan

Cato Recent Op Eds - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 12:13

John Glaser and John Mueller

America’s longest war may be coming to an end. Although major obstacles remain, the Trump administration’s negotiations with the Taliban, led by U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, have made progress toward an agreement that would include a U.S. military withdrawal. In July, President Trump said “it’s ridiculous” that we’re still in Afghanistan after almost two decades of stalemate. His 2020 Democratic challengers seem to agree — most have called for an end to the war — and fewer and fewer Republicans are willing to defend it.

But one persistent myth continues to frustrate the political momentum to end the war and may inhibit the impending debate over withdrawal. It is by far the most common justification for remaining in Afghanistan: the fear that, if the Taliban takes over the country, the group will let Al Qaeda reestablish a presence there, leaving the terrorist organization to once again plot attacks on the United States.

Experts have effectively contended that, although 9/11 was substantially plotted in Hamburg, Germany, just about the only reason further attacks like that haven’t taken place is that Al Qaeda needs a bigger territorial base of operations — and that such a base will inevitably be in Afghanistan.

Virtually all promoters of the war in Afghanistan have stressed this notion. Barack Obama applied it throughout his presidency. Gen. David H. Petraeus, who commanded American forces in Afghanistan, recently contended that a U.S. withdrawal is still premature and would risk leaving behind a haven for terrorist groups comparable to the rise of Islamic State following the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, according to a Wall Street Journal op-ed he co-wrote.

Trump reflected this thinking as well when he authorized an increase of troops to Afghanistan in his first year in office. His “original instinct,” he noted, was “to pull out,” but his advisers had persuaded him to believe that “a hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists … would instantly fill, just as happened before” the Sept. 11 attacks.

This key justification for staying in Afghanistan has gone almost entirely unexamined. It fails in several ways.

To begin with, it is unlikely that a triumphal Taliban would invite back Al Qaeda. Its relationship with the terrorist group has been strained since 1996 when Osama bin Laden showed up with his entourage. The Taliban extended hospitality, but insisted on guarantees that Bin Laden refrain from issuing incendiary messages and from engaging in terrorist activities while in the country. He repeatedly agreed and broke his pledge just as frequently. Veteran foreign correspondent Arnaud de Borchgrave said he was “stunned by the hostility” expressed for Bin Laden during an interview shortly before 9/11 with the top Taliban leader. According to Vahid Brown of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point, relations between the Taliban and Al Qaeda during this period were “deeply contentious, and threatened by mutual distrust and divergent ambitions.”

Bin Laden’s 9/11 ploy not only shattered the agreement, but brought armed destruction upon his hosts. The last thing the Taliban would want, should it take over Afghanistan, is an active terrorist group continually drawing fire from the outside. Moreover, unlike Al Qaeda, the Taliban has an extremely localized perspective and would be primarily concerned with governing Afghanistan.

In addition, it is not at all clear that Al Qaeda would want to return to a ravaged, impoverished, insecure and factionalized Afghanistan even if it were invited. It’s difficult to see how an Afghan haven would be safer than the one Al Qaeda occupies in neighboring Pakistan.

There is also concern that the small branch of Islamic State in Afghanistan would rise if the Americans withdrew. However, Islamic State has suffered repeated tactical failures, has little to no support from the local population, and the Taliban has actively fought the group on the battlefield in Afghanistan for years, making a Taliban-sponsored safe haven for that group singularly unlikely.

Most importantly, the notion that terrorists need a lot of space and privacy to hatch plots of substantial magnitude in the West has been repeatedly undermined by tragic terrorist attacks in Madrid in 2004, London in 2005, Paris in 2015, and Brussels and Istanbul in 2016. None of the attackers in those incidents operated from a safe haven, nor were their plans coordinated by a group within a safe haven. Al Qaeda Central has not been all that effective since 9/11, but the group’s problems do not stem from failing to have enough territory in which to operate or plan.

Pretending that the Taliban can be defeated, and that an independent and democratic government can be left in its place, is unrealistic. The Taliban may very well make further gains following a U.S. withdrawal, but the myth that territorial safe havens provide great utility to terrorists planning transnational attacks should not continue to justify a war that America cannot win.

John Glaser is director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. John Mueller is a political scientist at Ohio State University and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

President Trump says he's 'certain' New York Times will endorse him in 2020: report

Fox News (Politics) - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 03:02
President Trump said he is “certain” that he will receive an endorsement from The New York Times in 2020 for the presidential election, he said in a tweet Sunday night.

Illinois state senator apologizes for mock Trump assassination photos at fundraiser

Fox News (Politics) - Mon, 08/19/2019 - 02:42
A Democratic state senator from Illinois came under fire over the weekend after pictures were posted online showing his supporters at a fundraising event performing a mock assassination on President Trump.

We’re in a DC ‘news void,’ but that's going to change after Congress returns from recess

Fox News (Politics) - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 23:07
Real estate speculation in Greenland. Brett Gardner and Aaron Boone going crazy and getting tossed from every game possible this month for the Yankees. Airport workers slipping travelers notes, telling them they are “ugly.”

Trump brushes off concerns of recession, touts strong economy

Fox News (Politics) - Sun, 08/18/2019 - 21:37
President Trump offered an optimistic outlook of the economy Sunday while dismissing concerns of a looming recession after losses in financial markets last week and the ongoing trade war with China. 

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