Masks for health care workers in short supply The Centers for Disease Control says health care workers should wear a specific kind of facemask designed to protect them from the H1N1 virus and state officials are scrambling to respond to federal guidelines as Minnesota's supply of the masks is running out.4:23 p.m.
Brainerd: When is a recovery a recovery? The Brainerd area once boomed with lake home construction, and manufacturing companies offered some good paying jobs. But both of those industries have taken major employment hits. Now there may be signs of a recovery, but it depends on whom you ask.4:52 p.m.
Brainerd: When is a recovery a recovery? The Brainerd area once boomed with lake home construction, and manufacturing companies offered some good paying jobs. But both of those industries have taken major employment hits. Now there may be signs of a recovery, but it depends on whom you ask.6:23 p.m.
National Public Radio Stories
Examining U.S. Goals in Afghanistan
President Obama says the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaida in Pakistan, and also to prevent al-Qaida from having any safe havens in Afghanistan. To that end, there are 68,000 U.S. troops, more than one-third of them combat brigades, in Afghanistan. They are mostly along the border with Pakistan and in the south.
The High Financial, Human Cost Of War
In the eight years since the invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. has spent $156 billion on the war there. But that figure only includes the Defense Department's price tag. The human cost has been high, too. The Pentagon says that since 2001, more than 900 U.S. servicemembers have been killed.
Defining 'The Enemy' In Afghanistan
Before American commanders and policymakers settle on what to do next in Afghanistan, they need to agree on whom they are fighting. Gen. Stanley McChrystal says Afghanistan presents "a uniquely complex environment" — with three insurgencies to battle.
Susan Rice: Stopping Al-Qaida Critical To U.S.
Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., says al-Qaida and its extremist allies are enemies of the U.S. in Afghanistan. She says the Taliban not only is allied with al-Qaida, but poses a threat to the Afghan government.
Gauging Progress Of Afghan War
The U.S. is making progress in Afghanistan in places such as Helmand Province, but a shortage of troops may be hindering some of the work. There is also a long way to go in creating more Afghan soldiers and police, and ensuring the Afghan government provides services to the population.
How Capable Are Afghan Security Forces?
The overall performance of the Afghan army is reasonably satisfactory, says Ronald Neumann, who served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan from 2005 until 2007. Neumann says there have been problems with training, and it is important not to push Afghan forces into combat too soon.
With Election Dispute Over, The Pressure Is On Karzai
In Afghanistan, a runoff election was called off this week, handing incumbent President Hamid Karzai a second term. Many Afghans are adamant that Karzai deliver change this time around, and his Western partners have plans to set benchmarks he will have to meet.
Afghanistan 'A Theme Park Of Problems'
Patricia DeGennaro, senior fellow with the World Policy Institute, who worked in President Hamid Karzai's office in 2008, says the West is much more focused on a war effort in Afghanistan than it is on civilian governance efforts. Former Afghan Interior Minister says though Afghanistan is "a theme park of problems," Afghans know they can live with one another.
U.S. Public Opinion Split On Afghanistan
The U.S. public is divided on Afghanistan, says Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center. Earlier in the year, he says, majorities supported keeping troops in the country until Afghanistan is stable. More recently, however, only 50 percent said troops should stay, Kohut says.
Differing Views On What U.S. Should Do Next
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, is calling for a counterinsurgency strategy based on more U.S. troops and more training of afghan troops. Max Boot, of the Council on Foreign Relations, backs this strategy. But Vice President Joe Biden instead wants the focus to be counterterrorism. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) is seeking a limited troop increase, and a credible Afghan partner. But retired Marine Col. Thomas Hammes wants U.S. troops withdrawn.