In the last five months, U.S. military raids in Afghanistan have captured or killed more than 130 insurgents deemed significant in the war. The recent shift in the military's counterterrorism approach now focuses more on targeted killings. According to a senior White House official, the intent of the new strategy is to pressure the Taliban to come to the negotiating table.
But some historians say what they are seeing in Afghanistan is reminiscent of the Phoenix Program, a strategy used during the Vietnam War intended to target, capture and kill important people within the Viet Cong. The program led to widespread killings of innocent civilians.
Former New York Times reporter Neil Sheehan—the man Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to—discusses Wikileaks' disclosure of the “Afghan War Logs” and how reporters handle sensitive government documents that have been passed their way.
Neil Sheehan, the Pulitzer prize–winning author of "A Bright Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam," one of the best documentations of the Vietnam War, has written a new account of the cold war. In "A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon," Sheehan says the decades-long tension between the Soviet Union and the United States was not as glacially still as most people imagine. He says the quiet conflict between the two nations had a fiery heat that most likely would have led to nuclear disaster if it were not for Bernard Schriever, an Air Force general responsible for the creation of the U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile system.