In a long and surprisingly frank interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates talked about his relationship with the commander in chief, his rivalry with Vice President Joe Biden and described a deep rift between the approaches of senior military leadership and Obama's young cabinet.
Reporting from inside Iran has been very difficult for Western reporters over the last several years. The disputed 2009 elections triggered massive anti-government protests. In response, Iran cracked down hard on protesters, and clamped down tightly on journalists' access. That has begun to change with Iran's newly elected president, Hassan Rouhani. Scott Peterson, reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, was recently able to visit and report from Iran for the first time in more than four years. Peterson speaks with host Arun Rath about his trip.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon died Saturday at the age of 85. Israelis mourned the death of the celebrated politician and army general. But Palestinians reacted differently to the death of the controversial leader, who pushed for Jewish settlement of Palestinian territories.
On the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty" speech, the clash between Republicans and Democrats on how to alleviate poverty has come front and center. Republicans insist that anti-poverty programs have failed; Democrats say they have worked and should be expanded.
Steven Levy, senior writer for Wired, has written an article called "How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet." He tells Audie Cornish about what he learned from security personnel at many of the top tech companies. They claim that they were surprised to learn of the National Security Agency's data gathering.
Robert Siegel speaks with political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and The Brookings Institution and David Brooks of The New York Times, for the latest in political news. They discuss the 50th anniversary of President Johnson's declaration of war on poverty and the state of income inequality in the country today. Also, they take on the political repercussions for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, after recent revelations that his staffers orchestrated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.
Reports this week about former Defense Secretary Robert Gates' new book have implied that he thinks President Obama approved a 2009 troop surge in Afghanistan believing the strategy would fail. But Gates tells NPR that's not right. He believes Obama became skeptical about the "troop surge" later on.
Four years into the conflict in Syria, relief agencies working with refugees are starting to shift their focus to permanent resettlement. But not many countries — the U.S. included — are welcoming Syrian refugees with open arms. Steve Inskeep and David Greene report.