tv Washington Journal On the Phone with Pamela Constable CSPAN November 27, 2017 11:18am-11:34am EST
>> voices from the state on c-span. a quick reminder congressman steny hoyer and jerome adams are in southern maryland for a discussion on the opioid epidemic. here onsee it live c-span scheduled for 11:30 eastern this morning. until then, conversation from "washington journal" about u.s. efforts in afghanistan. thestable, afghanistan and pakistan bureau chief for the "washington post." howt us off by reminding us long the u.s. has been in afghanistan now and what is the current situation? guest: well, it has been 16 years since the taliban was overthrown and the u.n. brought
in a new government, which in 2002.y took office the fighting was actually a bit but it did of again around 2005, 2006. we are really talking 11 years of intense conflict against the taliban insurgency. ups and downs. there have been a lot of difficulties getting the afghan defense forces in shape. the united states has sent militaryof dollars on aid, military troops being there, as well as aiding the government to simply support itself over these many years. the taliban are still hanging in acrossnd causing mayhem the country.
now we have this new policy, what with a new president and new generals, trying to ramp things up in a way that has not been done in a while. we do not know how things will go. haul. will be a long it will be a tough battle. i do not think any american official, here or in washington, thinks otherwise. it is not an easy fight, and it is not over. host: how many u.s. troops are in afghanistan at this point? what are their current roles? what will be the biggest single challenge moving forward? i would not say how many there are today. it is supposed to go up to about $13,000 -- it is physical up to about 13,000. tois probably on the way 8000 or 9000 or more. they will particularly focus on recruiting and training and
expanding the size of the afghan special operations forces. who are working a lot on counterterrorism, which means against the islamic state specifically. and also training them to work to fight against the taliban. another thing they are doing is trying to expand and professionalize the afghan air force. the united states has provided many aircraft. they are in the process of bringing in more than 150 black hawk helicopters to train afghan pilots to fly them in a combat field. and a number of other things. one thought is by adding more troops, they will be able to advise afghan troops at a more basic level and in the field, so to speak. it will be mostly advising and training rather than engaging in direct combat, but working much more closely at a lower level with afghan forces themselves.
nother priority, which does directly involve the troops but is a top priority for both the afghan and the american governments is improve the leadership of the afghan military, particularly fighting corruption and poor management at the top of the afghan defense forces. plate. very full again, a remains to be seen how far it is going to go. certainly, the u.s. and afghanistan are very much on the same chart at this point. they have worked out this joint roadmap for the next several years, which they're are working very closely together on. ofthe last administration president karzai, there was not a good rapport the two governments have now. host: explained the stability of the government -- explain the stability of the afghan government. it is stable in the sense
that i think it is not going to collapse tomorrow or the next day. by it has been really racked internal division. it has a lot of serious problems. as you may recall, when the government took office, it was not the result of a clean and clear election, it was the result of diplomatic negotiations essentially forced by the united states. that has not gone well. the two people in power have not -- gotten along. they have patched things up recently, but the divisions within the government and the political atmosphere surrounding the government is still quite fluid. there is tension. there is a lot of pressure.
there is a lot of political machinations going on right now. everyone is in a pre-election mode, wondering what is going to happen. the current government essentially is no longer outlivede, because it its mandate. its mandate as a temporary joint government ended after two years. the parliament has also not been legitimate the last two years, has outlivedoo, its mandate. basically, you have both the executive and legislative branches of government not enjoying constitutional or legal legitimacy. there is a great deal of public lack of confidence and disillusionment in that situation. it will not collapse tomorrow, on track to to get transition to another government in the future. host: we appreciate this update and set up in afghanistan.
we should point out you are in pakistan. there is this headline that you wrote -- antigovernment protests in pakistan enter a second day, but most are peaceful. what has been happening in pakistan and why is it significant? guest: what has happened is a religious group has launched some protests weeks ago against ,hings they did not like changes in a political law. we can go over those later. startedy, the protests several weeks ago and i was allowed to keep growing. stronger.ousandhighway the government is not doing anything about it. it has been forced by the supreme court to do something, so they sent in riot police early saturday morning. host: pamela constable is the
"washington post" afghanistan and pakistan bureau chief. we are losing connection, but we >> coming up and a couple of moments on c-span, we will go live to hear from house minority of asteny hoyer, part roundtable discussion on the opioid epidemic in his district in southern maryland u.s. surgeon general adams and local emergency officials will join him to discuss efforts to combat that epidemic. that starts at 11:30, in about five minutes from now. you will be a little watch live on c-span. also online at c-span.org or listen with the free c-span radio app. live this afternoon, the center for strategic and international studies will host a discussion on private sector development in afghanistan. that is at 1:00 p.m. eastern, also live on c-span.
you can listen online at c-span.org -- view it online and listen with the free c-span radio app. tonight on the communicators, the newest member of the federal communications commission brennan car joins us to discuss net neutrality, the justice department's effort to sue at&t over its find a buy time warner and media ownership rules. he is interview by political technology reporter john handle. >> do you have faith in the antitrust authorities and how you see that overall? pretty big situation to be unfolding. >> the fcc has a pretty limited role to play in mergers, which is to say when a transaction comes before us, we take a look at per se, is there a transaction-specific harm? if there is, we try to find tailored remedy.
then we can move forward with the public interest determination. i think one thing you saw the fcc did the last couple of years you mergers as a christmas tree where you can hang whatever regulatory agenda you wanted on it. that is not my approach or the approach i think lawfully under the communications act the fcc should take. >> communicators tonight at 8:00 in eastern on c-spantubing. -- c-span2. >> the c-span bus is traveling across the country. we recently stopped in baton rouge, louisiana, asking folks, what is the most important issue in your state? >> it continues to be flood recovery. in baton rouge, we had a flood in 2016 and my district was heavily impacted. my citizens in my district right now are forced to deal with issues regarding sba loans. the government visitors those to be a duplication of benefits.
right now we're having trouble getting families the necessary dollars to recover because with our state run program, they have to deduct the amount that they were received through those loans. received through those loans. so right now a recovery has been stalled because of this issue. we are working with our congressional delegation. but it is a tough issue in our community. >> the most important state issue to me is coastal restoration. our coastline is eroding at a very quick rate. we are losing a football field worth of land per hour. i would like for our state to focus on restoring and replenishing our coastline so future generations can see it. >> i think the most pressing issue we will face and one we are already working on and have been since the conclusion of our sessions this past year has been our fiscal budget situation here in louisiana. of othermon to a lot
states. i think ours is a little unique. a good bit of what we face in 2018 is the rolloff of contemporary revenue in the form of taxes that will expire in june 2018. so the ability to be able to find the solutions for that both on the revenue side and the expense side are what we will be working on, hopefully, coming up with solutions before 2018. onvoices from the state c-span. >> we are live now at the college of southern maryland for a forum on the opioid epidemic in america. this is hosted by steny hoyer, who is also the house minority whip. you will be joined by surgeon general jerome adams. we will hear from people in this district about how the epidemic