There is a lot of talk on Capitol Hill right now about the need to balance the federal budget. What is largely absent from this debate is any discussion of the wars -- and its affect on poor and working people.
A spokesman for the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) tells TomDispatch that there are, at present, nearly 400 U.S. and coalition bases in Afghanistan, including camps, forward operating bases, and combat outposts.
A conflict between Richard Holbrooke and Admiral Michael Mullen over public diplomacy in Afghanistan could be no more than the usual Washington tempest in a teapot. Or it might reflect a major problem.
When the Taliban overstepped their bounds, both literally and metaphorically, it led to greater public support for aggressive action, and gave the civilian leadership badly needed political cover to order the latest military operation against the militants.