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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 2:22 PM

A storm of press on the President’s visit to Afghanistan yesterday, where he signed a strategic partnership with Afghan President Hamid Karzai outlining relations between the two countries after American forces withdraw in 2014. The New York Times has the story here, as do the Washington Post, and the Associated Press. The Times discusses the continued uncertainties in the relationship, as well as what could go wrong after U.S. troops leave. Here is the full text of Obama’s speech, and here is the video:

Unfortunately, the Taliban did not take kindly to Obama’s visit–seven people were killed in a car bomb attack less than two hours after Obama left, reports the Associated Press.

The Times editorial board called Obama’s speech a “missed chance” because,

the speech was frustratingly short on specifics. Mr. Obama didn’t explain what the United States and its allies planned to do to improve the training of Afghan forces so they can hold off the Taliban. Nor did he explain what President Hamid Karzai plans to do to rein in the corruption and incompetence that are the hallmark of his leadership and that have alienated so many of his own people, playing into the hands of the Taliban.

In other news, Adis Medunjanin was convicted for his role in plotting to bomb NYC subways in 2009. The other two musketeers, Najibullah Zazi and Zarein Ahmedzay, had already pleaded guilty and testified at Medunjanin’s trial in hopes of more lenient sentences. The New York Times reports, as does the BBC, and CNN’s Security Clearance blog.

Spencer Ackerman of Wired’s Danger Room blog states that “U.S. counterterrorism officials do not know how they would know if the terrorist movement is actually destroyed.”

Gabor Rona of Human Rights First offers his thoughts on John Brennan’s speech over at Opinio Juris. Bobby responds to some of the issues Rona raises here.

From the Frenemy Press comes this eyebrow-raising story from the Express Tribune: Pakistani Defense Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar asserted in an interview on BBC Urdu that “the government of Pakistan and the armed forces played a huge part in the killing of Osama bin Laden. . . [and] that a mobile chip was used to locate him.” The Tribune also reports that “a year after Osama bin Laden was captured from Abbottabad in a unilateral American raid, the country has witnessed a rise in anti-US sentiments, but also a simultaneous drop in support for al Qaeda and its leader.”

And, from Oxford University comes this remarkable finding about how to prevent PTSD–today’s Moment of Zen.

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