• Can the Syrian War be solved on two wheels? Head of NATO talks “bicycling diplomacy”

    Power Players

    The Secretary General of NATO has a secret tool for effective diplomacy: the bicycle.

    Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told Power Players that he’s been able to resolve conflicts with heads of state and international conflict negotiators during bike rides.

    “When you take a break and drink some water, you can have a confidential conversation without your collaborators around you, so you can solve a lot of problems that way,” Rasmussen said, following a meeting with President Obama at the White House.

    While Rasmussen would not reveal the names of all the heads of state he’s biked with, he did identify one former U.S. president by name.

    “It’s no secret that I have done a mountain bike ride twice with former President [George W.] Bush,” he said. “I have done bike rides in Europe with European prime ministers, and during those bike rides, we have also discussed political issues.”

    On the topic of Syria, Rasmussen opposes a military intervention and says Turkey’s

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  • Like Father Like Son: Evading death and strengthening their bond in the Afghanistan war

    On the Radar

    Journalists Mike and Carlos Boettcher have spent as much time embedded with U.S. troops in Afghanistan as just about anyone. They’ve gone to some of the most dangerous parts of the country to cover the war. And, they’ve done it all as father and son.

    In their new documentary, “The Hornet’s Nest,” Emmy-award winning journalist Mike Boettcher and his son Carlos, who is now an ABC News producer, tell the story of their brush with death during an embed mission with the 101st Airborne Division in Kunar Province—a stronghold for the Taliban.

    “I remember saying to myself ' you selfish son of bitch, did you get your son killed?'” Mike Boettcher tells On the Radar of the moment when he and his son were separated after their battalion was ambushed by the Taliban.

    “We were in big trouble,” Boettcher recalls of the attack. “There was no cover; no nothing…We were getting hit from all sides. Carlos was separated from me, and I didn’t know if he was alive, or if he was dead. He didn’t

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  • Donald Rumsfeld on Afghanistan War: “It’s not combat, as such”

    Politics Confidential

    Donald Rumsfeld made a habit of collecting adages to live by over the course of his decades-long government career. His collection began as a stack of index cards, which then transformed into a White House document dubbed “Rumsfeld’s Rules” by President Ford, and has now evolved into a book.

    Most of Rumsfeld’s new book Rumsfeld’s Rules focuses on lessons in leadership, but it also sheds new light on the early days of the Bush administration’s “War on Terror.”

    The former secretary of defense reveals in the book that he doesn't recall the National Security Council ever having a formal discussion “to consider the consequences and costs of a long-term and large-scale military presence” in Afghanistan.

    When asked by Politics Confidential about the apparent lack of decision-making, Rumsfeld qualifies that U.S. military operations in Afghanistan are a unique situation: “Well, it's not combat, as such. It's different than a World War II combat or a Korean War combat.

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