June 20: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, how to bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan, and the opinion page looks at how Len Bias' death changed the way Americans think about drugs. In the second hour, the author of Manana Forever, and the summer of superhero movies.
NPR logo June 20: What's On Today's Show

June 20: What's On Today's Show

A US soldier of the Viper Company (Bravo), 1-26 Infantry, stands next to Afghans during a home to home search in the Sabari village, in the Khost province of eastern Afghanistan, on June 19, 2011. In our first hour, military experts talk about a possible time line for bringing troops home from Afghanistan. Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

How To Get Out Of Afghanistan
The president could announce as early as this week a plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Public support has withered for the war, there are disagreements within the White House and members of both parties in Congress are calling for a quick end to the 10-year-old conflict. Host Neal Conan talks about the options for a time-line to bring troops home and what a responsible exit might look like.

The Opinion Page
Twenty-five years ago this week, University of Maryland star Len Bias died suddenly after a cocaine overdose, just two days after being chosen as the number two NBA draft pick. Bias' talents were often compared with Michael Jordan's, and his death was a tremendous blow to American basketball. It also marked a dramatic shift in the U.S. war on drugs. Eric Sterling, president of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, argues that Bias' death ushered in decades of poorly drafted mandatory sentencing laws for drug crimes — laws that continue to reshape the makeup of American prisons. Neal Conan talks with Sterling about the legacy of Len Bias, and how his death transformed America's war on drugs.

'Manana Forever?'
Many writers have tried to encapsulate the paradoxes and promise of Mexico between the covers of a book, but none has been as involved in the political and intellectual life of the country as Jorge Castaneda. Host Neal Conan speaks with the former Foreign Minister about his new book, Manana Forever: Mexico and Mexicans, and about the many contradictions of Mexico, why his country has never delivered on its promise and what it needs to do turn that around.

Summer Of Superheroes
"Green Lantern" made a disappointing debut in theaters this past weekend, the latest film in a long summer of superhero movies that Hollywood hopes can save the day at the box office. "The Green Hornet," "Thor," and "X-Men: First Class" hit theaters earlier this year, and "Captain America" comes out next month. Host Neal Conan talks with Glen Weldon, who blogs about comics for NPR's pop culture blog Monkey See, about the selection of superhero movies and whether it's drawing fans and non-fans to the theaters.