Here are the five must-read links for your morning:
01- “An alliance the world can count on” by President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron. In this op-ed for the Washington Post, the two leaders outline the “essential relationship” between theUnited States andGreat Britain and the two countries’ cooperation on a variety of issues, including the global economic recovery, the war inAfghanistan, Iranian nuclear proliferation and the violence in Syria.
02- “U.S. Officials Debate Speeding Afghan Pullout” by Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt for the New York Times. The article outlines discussions by White House officials about accelerating the withdrawal ofU.S. forces inAfghanistan in light of Sunday’s killings. In a reflection of the “growing belief within the White House that the mission [inAfghanistan] has now reached the point of diminishing returns,” the Obama administration is discussing whether to reduce forces inAfghanistan by “at least an additional 20,000 troops by 2013.”
03- “Washington base back in spotlight after Afghan shootings” by CNN’s Ashley Hayes. The article discusses theWashington state military base Lewis-McChord, where the unidentified Army staff sergeant who is accused of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan was based. A handful of soldiers from the base have been involved in violent incidents in the past few years, leading lawmakers to call for a congressional investigation into the base.
04- “Will Deep South primaries deep six a candidate?” by CNN’s Paul Steinhauser. The article discusses the importance of today’sAlabama andMississippi primaries, in which forty-seven delegates are up for grabs. Steinhauser writes that for Gingrich, “doing well in theDeep South is crucial to keeping alive his hopes of winning the White House.”
05- “Voters blame president for gas prices, experts say not so fast” by Steven Mufson for The Washington Post. Mufson writes that although many Americans blame the President for the high price of gasoline, “today’s oil prices are the product of years and decades of exploration, automobile design and ingrained consumer habits combined with political events in places such as Sudan and Libya, anxiety about possible conflict with Iran, and the energy aftershocks of last year’s earthquake in Japan.”
Watch “Starting Point with Soledad O’Brien” for more on these top stories this morning at 7am Eastern.