Thom Shanker of The New York Times discusses the U.S. plan to double the size of Afghan security forces and set a goal of about 400,000 soldiers and police. The plan is awaiting President Obama's approval and comes with a hefty price tag.
John Authers of the Financial Times speaks about a new wave of protests and strikes in France aimed at getting the government to do more to ease the deepening crisis, and discusses whether the European Union will be able to come up with a unified position ahead of G-20 talks next month.
Gideon Rose of Foreign Affairs Magazine and Carol Giacomo of The New York Times discuss the week's top stories: Pakistani protests and the government's crackdown against its opponents, plans for a new strategy in Afghanistan and violence in Northern Ireland.
Markets had the best showing this week in four months, even as G-20 finance ministers met in London ahead of their leaders' meeting next month. Among other things, the ministers will discuss the question of governments stimulating or spending their way out of the recession.