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No Doubt: U.S. Remains 'Tremendously Influential'

Some believe America is in decline. But author Robert Kagan disagrees. He talks to Steve Inskeep about his new book The World America Made." President Obama recently discussed an article Kagan wrote for The New Republic called "The Myth of American Decline."
NPR

With Al-Qaida's Core Weakened, U.S. Shifts Focus

As al-Qaida fragments, threats to the U.S. are changing, though not disappearing, say intelligence officials. They are now worried about the threat posed by al-Qaida affiliates in Africa and the Mideast — and particularly how they may take advantage of unrest after the Arab Spring.
NPR

'Fast and Furious' Operation Grilled On The Hill

Attorney General Eric Holder appears before Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-Calif.) oversight committee fora hearing on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' botched gun-trafficking operation known as Fast and Furious.
NPR

Defense Goal: Combat Role In Afghan War Ends In '13

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says the U.S. hopes to end its combat mission in Afghanistan in late 2013. However, U.S. troops would still remain in the country through the end of 2014. Panetta is meeting this week with NATO defense ministers, and the Afghanistan mission is a key item on the agenda.
NPR

Panetta: U.S. To Move Out Of Combat Role In Afghanistan

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says U.S. troops hope to begin transitioning from a combat role in Afghanistan to a role that focuses on training Afghan troops instead. The transition could happen sooner than expected — possibly by mid- to late-2013. U.S. troops would still remain in Afghanistan through at least the end of 2014, however. Audie Cornish talks to NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman, who has the latest.

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