• Tip News
  • Posts
  • Generals Speak Out On Afghanistan Exit Debacle

Generals Speak Out On Afghanistan Exit Debacle

Your unbiased daily news brief

Good morning and happy Wednesday. John Maxcy donated part of his liver to Paul Voth last October. That alone is remarkable considering the men live in different states and did not know each other. But the story gets even better: Maxcy also donated a kidney to another complete stranger in 2019, making him one of just about 30 two-time living organ donors in the U.S. Have a great day!

In Today’s Brief

  • Congress: Government funding deal

  • Hong Kong: National security law

  • Ohio: Moreno get GOP’s Senate nod

  • Unilever: Layoffs and ice cream exit

  • James Bond: A new leading man?

... and more

First time reading? Sign up here

Top Tips

1) Brass talks

Two former military leaders spoke out on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan yesterday on Capitol Hill.

  • The hearing: Retired Gen. Mark Milley, the former Chairman the Joint Chiefs of Staff and retired Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, who led U.S. Central Command, sat before the House Foreign Affairs Committee with the families of troops killed during the chaotic process present. It was the first official testimony by either man, although Milley previously called the 2021 exit "a strategic failure."

  • The takeaways: The generals did not place sole blame on either President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump, as their respective supporters have. But they made it clear they executed questionable plans and orders given by both administrations, and that policymakers did not always heed military advice. Biden's State Department was criticized in particular for its delayed decision to evacuate American citizens before the pullout; while Trump’s original decision to initiate the withdrawal was panned.

  • Big picture: The generals called for an evaluation of entirety of the 20-year war, and the failure to establish an Afghan government that could resist a Taliban return. The withdrawal probe could become an election year cudgel for House Republicans as the Biden impeachment inquiry appears to be fizzling out.

2) Bloc and tackle

NATO can breathe a little bit easier today.

  • What happened: Trump vowed the U.S. will remain in the military alliance if he is re-elected as long as the other member nations do not take advantage of America and pay their fair share. The comments came in an interview with Brexiteer Nigel Farage, a Trump ally now working as a television pundit for the UK's GB News.

  • Go deeper: Trump has been highly critical of NATO for years, railing against members that failed to meet the alliance's financial obligations, and has threatened to pull the U.S. out in the past. Trump raised anxieties on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean last month when he suggested he would not only refuse to defend delinquent members from Russian aggression, but would encourage the Kremlin to invade.

  • Big picture: No one will confuse Trump for a complete NATO evangelist, but a signal the U.S. will stay put is certainly welcomed. Almost two-thirds of the 32 members are said to be meeting military spending targets at this point, which should please Trump. Moreover, any president's ability to leave NATO without extraordinary congressional support is in question.

3) Snake and bake

Python meat could be a global gamechanger, according to a new study.

  • The concept: Reptile meat is similar to chicken in taste, texture and nutritional value -- high in protein and low in saturated fat. Research indicates python farming can be efficient and scalable amid climate change and food insecurity.

  • The benefits: Pythons require little water and can go long periods without eating while retaining body mass. They can subsist on waste materials, are largely sedentary, are less susceptible to illness, have limited carbon and physical footprints and are easy to prepare as food.

  • Big picture: It remains to be seen if the Western world would take to eating snake meat the way cultures in Africa, Latin America and Asia do. And there are still more questions that need to be answered about the viability of large-scale farming. But it does seem like an easier sell than bugs.

Quick Tips

U.S. News

  • Congressional leadership has finalized an agreement to fund the government for the remainder of the current fiscal year. It is unclear if the bill will be passed before a partial shutdown kicks in this weekend (More)

  • A federal appeals court put Texas’ strict new immigration law back on hold, hours after the Supreme Court lifted a freeze. The justices had voted 6-3 on ideological lines to allow the law to be implemented pending the lower court’s decision; more oral arguments are today (More)

  • Former White House adviser Peter Navarro began a four-month prison sentence for contempt of Congress. He is the first Trump Administration official to serve jail time for a crime related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot (More)

World News

  • Hong Kong's legislature passed a second national security law critics say will expand the government's ability to stifle dissent. China's central government has exerted more control over the semi-autonomous city in recent years (More)

  • Canada's air quality is worse than the U.S. for the first time after last year's wildfires. The top-13 most-polluted North American cities are all north of the border (More)

  • The White House will propose alternatives to an Israeli ground operation in Rafah. The Israelis' plan to enter the Gaza city has encountered fierce international resistance (More)

Campaign News

  • Bernie Moreno won the competitive GOP Senate nomination in Ohio, setting up a key showdown with Sen. Sherrod Brown this fall. The businessman was endorsed by former President Trump (More)

  • President Biden campaigned in Arizona and Nevada yesterday, making appeals to Latino voters in the battleground states. Trump leads polls in both states after losing them in 2020 (More)

  • Trump sued ABC News and anchor George Stephanopoulos for defamation after he said Trump was held liable for raping E. Jean Carroll. The official finding was sexual abuse, but a judge said that term was due to a technicality of New York state law (More)

Business & Markets

  • Major indexes closed higher yesterday as the markets await new signals from the Federal Reserve on interest rate cuts (Dow +0.83%, Nasdaq +0.39%, S&P 500 +0.56%).

  • Unilever will spin off Ben & Jerry's and its other ice cream brands. The company also plans to cut 7.5K jobs independent of the planned de-merger (More)

  • Nordstrom Inc.'s founding family is bidding to take the department store chain private. CEO Erik Nordstrom and his relatives control about 30% of the company; they had a $9B takeover offer rejected in 2018 (More)

Entertainment & Sports

  • There are conflicting reports on whether Aaron Taylor-Johnson has been offered the James Bond role in the franchise's next film. The 33-year-old English actor won a Golden Globe in 2016 for his work in Nocturnal Animals (More)

  • Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce is in talks to host an Amazon Prime reboot of Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? The game show aired on Fox for several seasons, most recently in 2019 (More)

  • Clemson has filed a lawsuit challenging the ACC's media rights deal and exit fees. The South Carolina school is the second league member to take legal action, joining Florida State (More)

Quick Hitters

  • Feel Good: A New Hampshire man accidentally threw away his daughter's beloved childhood stuffed animal. His town rallied to fish Cupcake out of the dump.

  • Be Safe: Trader Joe's has recalled its 50% Less Salt Roasted & Salted whole cashews. The nuts may have salmonella contamination.

  • Guessing Game: There are research breakthroughs every single day, yet we still cannot answer some basic questions about life. Among them: whether animals can feel grief and where the moon comes from.

  • Best Friend: In need of a jolt of happiness or a pick-me-up? Just watch this adorable video of a golden retriever getting a new bed.

  • Go Green: Keurig is addressing one of the biggest knocks against its coffee products. It has introduced K-Rounds, pods made with biodegradable plant material rather than plastic.

  • OPTIMIZE ME: Researchers “found convincing evidence that higher intake of ultra-processed foods was associated with 50% increased risk of cardiovascular disease-related death, a 48% to 53% higher risk of anxiety and common mental disorders, and a 12% greater risk of type 2 diabetes”

Want more health and wellness news? Subscribe to our brand new newsletter, Optimize Me, and start living a healthier life through diet, exercise, sleep, and mindfulness:

Optimize MeThe newsletter for evidence-based advice to help you 🥦 eat better, 🏋️ workout smarter, and 🧑‍💻 be more productive. Join the normal folks who cut through the noise by getting the latest health and w...

Disney+ has released trailer for The Acolyte. The new Star Wars series will debut June 4.

Looking Ahead …

The San Jose -- a Spanish ship carrying an estimated $17B worth of treasure -- sank in 1708. Over 300 years after it went under and close to a decade after it was discovered, efforts to recover the vessel and its loot may begin next month.

Question of the Day

What is your preferred way to make coffee?

Choose one ...

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Yesterday’s results:

Do you plan to fill out a March Madness bracket?

  • No (85%)

  • Yes (11%)

  • I will have multiple brackets (3%)

  • I will bet on futures and games, but no bracket (1%)