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Afghanistan

The Leonard Lopate Show

Outlaw Platoon

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Captain Sean Parnell was a 24-year-old U.S. Army Ranger when he was named commander of a 40-man elite infantry platoon—a unit that came to be known as the Outlaws—and was tasked with rooting out Pakistan-based insurgents from a mountain valley along Afghanistan's eastern frontier. In Outlaw Platoon, he gives an account of the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division's extremely difficult, dangerous fight.

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The Takeaway

How Does America Apologize for Koran Burning?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday marks the seventh day of violent protests in Afghanistan after several copies of the Koran and other religious artifacts were burned in a Baghram air base. Although the President has issued a series of apologies for the mistake, it has not stopped or even slowed the outrage: at present, 40 people have been killed. As one of the most offensive acts to Muslims, it's clear that another method of setting things right need to be pursued.

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WNYC News

Afghan Violence Raises Questions About U.S. Strategy

Monday, February 27, 2012

The U.S. military plans to steadily wind down its role in Afghanistan over the next three years. But with the recent attacks against U.S. forces, will the military have to revise its approach?

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The Takeaway

In Afghanistan, Rioting Over Koran-Burning Continues

Monday, February 27, 2012

Despite an apology from President Obama, protests and violence following the destruction of several Korans and other religious artifacts by U.S. troops have continued in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 30 people have been killed thus far, including four U.S. troops. As one of the most offensive possible acts, the unrest over this burning shows no signs of stopping.

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The Takeaway

NATO Withdraws Personnel From Afghan Ministries

Monday, February 27, 2012

Over the weekend, two U.S. military advisers were shot dead in their office at the Interior Ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan. The attack is one of many since U.S. troops inadvertently burned several copies of the Koran and other religious materials while clearing out the base at Bagram Air Field last Wednesday. In response to the escalating violence, Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson announced Sunday that NATO had decided to withdraw its advisors from Afghanistan. 

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The Takeaway

President Obama Apologizes for Koran Burning in Afghanistan

Friday, February 24, 2012

In Afghanistan protesters have taken to the streets for a fourth consecutive day over the accidental burning of Korans at a U.S. air base. The Korans were taken from prisoners and thought to be subversive materials. The U.S. military command and President Obama have both apologized for the incident. Joining the show is Orla Guerin, correspondent for our partner the BBC.

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The Takeaway

Protests in Afghanistan After Reports of Koran Burning

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

In Afghanistan this morning more than 1,000 protesters are gathering to protest the burning of Korans and Islamic holy books at the Bagram military base. This has triggered a second day of anti-American demonstrations. Crowds clashed with security forces furious about the way Islamic holy books at the base were destroyed.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Fawzia Koofi on Leading Afghanistan into the Future

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fawzia Koofi, the nineteenth daughter of a local village leader in rural Afghanistan discusses rising from abuse and hardship to become the first Afghani woman Parliament speaker. Her new book, The Favored Daughter: One Woman’s Fight to Lead Afghanistan into the Future, describes the Russian and Taliban regimes in Afghanistan, the murders of her father, brother, and husband, and attempts on her life. She also describes the future and freedoms she wants for all the women of Afghanistan.

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The Takeaway

'Hell and Back Again': Fighting in Afghanistan, Recovering in North Carolina

Monday, February 20, 2012

In 2009, filmmaker Danfung Dennis was embedded with U.S. Marines "Echo Company" as the marines launched a major offensive on the Taliban stronghold of Helmand province in Afghanistan. Danfung worked closely with Sergeant Nathan Harris, one of the Marines leading the charge. When Danfung returned to U.S. a few months later, he discovered that Sergeant. Harris had been gravely injured, just two weeks before his battalion was scheduled to return home. The story of Sergeant Harris’s recovery is now the focus of Danfung Dennis’s newest documentary, "Hell and Back Again."

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The Takeaway

New Three-Way Talks on Afghanistan

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Three way talks between the U.S. the Afghan government and the Taliban are reportedly underway. It's a significant development that suggests the Taliban were dropping longstanding objections to face-to-face discussions with the Afghan government. Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirmed the talks to The Wall Street Journal and we're joined now by Yaroslav Trofimov the Afghanistan editor at The Wall Street Journal.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Oscar Nominated Documentaries: Hell and Back Again

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hell and Back Again's director Danfung Dennis and producer Mike Lerner discuss their Oscar-nominated documentary about Sergeant Nathan Harris at war in Afghanistan and his return home after being wounded.

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The Takeaway

New NATO Report on Taliban

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Our partner the BBC has gotten its hands on a secret NATO report on the state of the Taliban. It shows Pakistan's security services are directly assisting the Taliban in Afghanistan and know where senior Taliban leaders are hiding. Joining us now is Bilal Sarwary, correspondent for our partner the BBC.

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The Takeaway

Hamid Karzai Wants to Negotiate with Taliban

Monday, January 30, 2012

Earlier this month we reported the U.S. was taking steps to talk to the Taliban in Qatar. Plans have been agreed to set up some kind of public affairs office but that move did not play well with the President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai. And so he's jump-started the talks by attempting to create his own dialogue with the Taliban. 

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The Takeaway

The Legacy of General David Petraeus

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

From February 10, 2007 to September 16, 2008, retired General David Petraeus oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq. He was the mastermind behind the counterinsurgency in Iraq and Afghanistan, and served as top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan until July of 2011, when he became director of the CIA. He is arguably one of the most influential military leaders in recent American history. A new biography about General Petraeus comes out this week.

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The Takeaway

NATO Helicopter Crashes in Afghanistan

Friday, January 20, 2012

While we are distracted by the circus of the GOP political race, the war continues in Afghanistan, and we have several tragic stories out of that country this morning. A NATO helicopter crashed in Afghanistan last night killing six service members. The cause is still being investigated. Also this morning. An Afghan soldier shot and killed four French troops, leading French President Nicolas Sarkozy to suspend its training programs in Afghanistan. Matt Rosenberg is a reporter for our partner The New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Sebastian Junger on Video of Taliban Desecration

Friday, January 13, 2012

On Thursday a video showing four U.S. Marines purportedly urinating on the corpses of three dead Taliban fighters went viral on the internet. Defense secretary Leon Panetta called the behavior “utterly deplorable” and Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai decried the video as “completely inhumane.” The video comes at a tense time, as the U.S. tries to foster peace talks between the Taliban and Karzai's government.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Michael Hastings on the Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan

Friday, January 06, 2012

Michael Hastings, the reporter who wrote a Rolling Stone article that resulted in General Stanley McChrystal McChrystal being fired, discusses the military leaders behind America’s war in Afghanistan. In The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan, Hastings weighs in on the merits and failings of generals and the counterinsurgency experts, and exposes the complexity of a war he fears is unwinnable.

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The Takeaway

Taliban Leaders to Open Qatar Office

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

On Tuesday, after months of denying it was interested in participating in formal talks to end the war in Afghanistan, the Taliban indicated it would consider opening a political office in Qatar. A political office would give mediators from the U.S. a legitimate contact for Taliban members. No details have been given about when these negotiations would begin, or what would be bargained for. This step also implies that there will continue to be some kind of Taliban presence inside Afghanistan.

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The Takeaway

US Admits Culpability in Deadly Pakistan Airstrike

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A military investigation has found that the U.S. is in part responsible for killing 24 Pakistani soldiers in an errant airstrike along the Afghanistan border on November 26. The report also blames Pakistan for firing on U.S. and Afghan troops, saying the joint team returned fire in self-defense. The findings come at a time of deep mistrust between the two strategic allies. Adam Entous, national security correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, reports on the latest developments.

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The Takeaway

'Sesame Street' Goes to Afghanistan

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Afghani children can now watch their own version of "Sesame Street."  The new children’s series hit the screens across that country this month. The producers of the original American version of "Sesame Street" have partnered with two popular Afghan television stations to produce "Sesame Garden," or "Baghch-e-Simsim" in the local languages of Dari and Pashto. Like its American counterpart, "Sesame Garden," has a progressive message along the way. The show aims to challenge gender barriers and expand roles for women and girls. Show segments feature young girls going to school, and emphasize female role models in a variety of careers, including as doctors and engineers.

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