NPR logo February 16th Show

February 16th Show

A US 1/3 Marine Weapons Company lieutenant issues orders as marines come under Taliban sniper fire in Marja on February 14, 2010. In our second hour, New York Times reporter David Sanger explains the broader strategy behind the Marja offensive in Afghanistan and how it could affect the future of the war in Afghanistan. PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images) hide caption

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PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

A US 1/3 Marine Weapons Company lieutenant issues orders as marines come under Taliban sniper fire in Marja on February 14, 2010. In our second hour, New York Times reporter David Sanger explains the broader strategy behind the Marja offensive in Afghanistan and how it could affect the future of the war in Afghanistan.

PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images)

High Court Ruling on Campaign Finance
The Supreme Court last month threw out decades of campaign finance law and opened the door for corporations and other groups to spend freely in support of candidates in the coming midterm elections. NPR's Peter Overby and a campaign strategist talk about the intense reaction to the verdict from both sides of the issue, and how the ruling might change the way campaigns are run.

The New Offensive in Marja
Troops from the U.S., Afghanistan and Britain are in their fourth day of fighting in one of the largest military offensives in Afghanistan since the war began. The Marja offensive in the country's southern Helmand province is the first step of the Obama Administration's strategy to clear Taliban from Afghan villages, support the development of local government, and gain the confidence of Afghan civilians. New York Times reporter David Sanger explains the broader strategy behind the offensive, and what it means for the future of the war in Afghanistan. He also gives an update on the capture of Taliban military commander Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar in Pakistan.

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Understand A Sniper
U.S. military snipers in previous wars were often perceived as spooky by other soldiers. The war in Afghanistan — with a focus on protecting civilians — may prove to be the war that changes that. William Langewiesche talks about his article for Vanity Fair that takes us inside the mind of a Texas Army National Guard sniper.