In Afghanistan, governors are not elected, they are selected — and more often than not due to family or political connections. But in an attempt to curb graft, the country has just sworn in a batch of governors — including the first female district governor — selected through a new merit-based program.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai will meet with President Obama at the White House Friday. Renee Montagne talks to Ehsan Ullah, director of the Kandahar Institute of Modern Studies, about what Afghans are saying about the proposed withdrawal of NATO and U.S. military forces from vulnerable areas of Afghanistan.
President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta both talked this week about bringing the Afghan War to a close. But the U.S. will maintain at least several thousand troops in the country once combat comes to an end at the end of 2014. The U.S. will spend billions of dollars financing the Afghan security forces.
President Hamid Karzai is in Washington this week for meetings with President Obama and other officials. One of the key issues to be discussed is the number of American troops to remain in Afghanistan after 2014, when the bulk of U.S. and NATO forces leave.
President Obama wants Nebraska Republican Chuck Hagel to run the Pentagon. Hagel's confirmation would put four men with close ties from their Senate days at the center of the nation's foreign policy and national security policymaking. And that's something Obama is willing to fight for.
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