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Afghanistan

The Takeaway

New Military Biometric Technology Used to Track Combatants

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nearly 500 inmates escaped an Afghan prison last April, highlighting some major deficiencies in the country's security infrastructure. Despite that, U.S. efforts in Afghanistan may be much more high-tech than many realize. Recently, U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan and Iraq have been taking eye scans and fingerprints to compile a large database of biometric information on prisoners and civilians alike. About 35 escapees have been recaptured after their identities were confirmed using this data.

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The Takeaway

Two Weeks in the Job, Panetta Changes Tone at Pentagon

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Leon Panetta began his term as defense secretary on July 1, 2011. In the less than two weeks since, he's already visited Iraq and Afghanistan and set a new tone — and agenda — for the Pentagon. Though he was friendly with his predecessor, Robert Gates, Panetta has not been shy about publicly changing the goals for America's two wars. 

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The Takeaway

Ahmed Wali Karzai Is Dead: What Is In Store for Kandahar?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ahmed Wali Karzai, Afghan President Hamid Karzai's half-brother and head of Afghanistan's Kandahar provincial council, was killed early Tuesday morning at his home. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the assassination, though their claims remain unconfirmed. Karzai was a powerful figure in Kandahar and his death may result in an unpredictable struggle for power, impacting U.S. goals in the region.

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The Takeaway

Karzai's Half-Brother Killed in Kandahar

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai was shot dead at point blank range this morning in Kandahar. As provincial council chairman of Kandahar, Karzai was thought of as a stongman leader, and perhaps the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan. He was also a deeply controversial figure, believed to be involved in Afghanistan's drug trade and central to the corruption that has marred the Afghan government by American military commanders.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Wars on Afghanistan

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Peter Tomsen, an Ambassador and Special Envoy on the wars in Afghanistan from 1989 to 1992, discusses America’s involvement in the long and continuing war in Afghanistan. In The Wars on Afghanistan: Messianic Terrorism, Tribal Conflicts, and the Failures of Great Powers, he offers a deeply informed perspective on how Afghanistan’s history as a “shatter zone” for foreign invaders and its tribal society has shaped the country, and  he shows how the U.S. and the coalition can assist the region back to peace and stability.

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The Takeaway

Ahmed Wali Karzai Assassinated in Kandahar

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the powerful half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was shot dead in Kandahar this morning, reportedly by a long-trusted member of his security detail. Karzai was the provincial chairman of Kandahar, making him the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan. For some time, American military officials believed Karzai to be involved in the Afghan drug trade and government corruption. In 2009, it was revealed that the C.I.A. had been paying Karzai for services including recruiting a paramilitary force for the previous eight years. Bilal Sawary, correspondent for the BBC, has the latest from Kabul.

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The Takeaway

Top of the Hour: Afghan President's Half-Brother Assassinated, Morning Headlines

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ahmed Wali Karzai, the powerful half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, was reportedly assassinated by his own bodyguard this morning in Kandahar. Freelance journalist Matthieu Aikens has the latest on the story.

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The Takeaway

Top of the Hour: Details Emerge on Karzai Killing, Morning Headlines

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Freelance journalist Matthew Aikens has the latest details on Sardar Mohammed, the trusted member of Ahmed Wali Karzai's inner circle who killed him earlier this morning.

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The Takeaway

What Ahmed Wali Karzai's Death Means For Afghanistan

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One of the most powerful men in Afghanistan was assassinated this morning when Ahmed Wali Karzai, half-brother of President Hamid Karzai and provincial council chairman of Kandahar, was shot dead in his home by a police commander who was a close family associate. The assassin, Sardar Mohammed was killed by Karzai's security detail. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the death almost immediately, though those claims could not be verified.

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The Takeaway

New Details on Karzai Assassination

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Details continue to come in after Ahmed Wali Karzai was shot and killed by a trusted friend and member of his security detail in Kandahar this morning. Karzai was the half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The BBC's Bilal Sawary, who has met Ahmed Wali Karzai before, has the latest details of this developing story.

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The Takeaway

Top of the Hour: The Latest on the Karzai Assassination, Morning Headlines

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Freelance journalist Matthieu Aikens joins the program again with the latest on the assassination of Ahmed Wali Karzai, half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

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The Takeaway

Afghanistan: 10 Things You May Not Know

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Plans for the troop drawdown in Afghanistan are underway. The Defense Department announced that the first regiments to head home will be finishing their tours of duty this month, and won’t be replaced. But after nearly a decade of combat there, how much do we really know about Afghanistan and what this will mean for the country? 

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The Takeaway

A Military Family Awaits the Afghanistan Drawdown

Monday, July 04, 2011

The Afghanistan drawdown is scheduled to begin this month. But we still don’t know which generals will be choosing which enlisted men and women to come home. Meanwhile, military families across the country wait. Marilyn Greaves is among them. Her 20-year-old son Daniel is three months into his one year tour of Afghanistan. She’s also a member of Military Moms and Wives of Brazoria County, which assembles and ships care packages for the military. Darrin Greaves is Daniel’s older brother and Marilyn’s son. A marine and veteran of Iraq, he chose not to go on a tour of Afghanistan, in order to spare his mother the pain of having two sons off at war at the same time.

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The Takeaway

Terrorist Attack on Kabul Hotel

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Hotel Interncontinental in Kabul, Afghanistan was attacked by gunmen and suicide bombers yesterday. Gun fire was exchanged between the terrorists and police force for many hours, and ended with NATO helicopters shooting and killing three militants on the hotel's roof. The identity of the terrorists has not been confirmed yet, but many believe the Taliban are responsible.

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The Takeaway

At Least 21 Dead After Intercontinental Hotel Attack in Afghanistan

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Last night, at least nine suicide bombers stormed into the Intercontinental Hotel—one of the most premier hotels in Kabul, Afghanistan—in a six-hour attack that early reports say left at least 21 people dead. NATO forces ended the attack by killing three of the bombers. Alissa J. Rubin, a reporter for the New York Times, told us the attackers were anti-government insurgents.

The Takeaway spoke with freelance journalist Bette Dam, who was at the Intercontinental Hotel and spoke of the situation on the ground (her audio above and below). We also spoke with journalist Matthieu Aikins.  

Freelance journalist Matthieu Aikins reports from Kabul: 

Freelance journalist Bette Dam reports on the scene at the Intercontinental Hotel: 

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The Takeaway

Should We Invest $10 billion ‘Peace Dividend’ in Education?

Monday, June 27, 2011

As President Obama announced the draw-down of 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by September 2012, he said it was time for our country to focus on nation-building here at home. The troop reduction could save $10 billion next year, so we asked our listeners: what should we do with that windfall? Many of you told us to invest in education.

 

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Afghanistan, Debt, Republicans

Monday, June 27, 2011

Robert Gates will step down as Secretary of Defense this week, with Leon Panetta taking over. Panetta will have a lot on his plate, starting with the start of U.S. troops withdrawing from Afghanistan later this week. Noel King, managing producer for The Takeaway, looks at what obstacles are in store for Panetta as he begins his reign as Defense Secretary. 

President Obama will meet with Congressional leaders to try and come to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling, or face going into default. Charlie Herman, business and economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC, looks at the economic effects this on-going debate could have if a conclusion is not reached soon. 

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The Takeaway

Nation Building at Home: Adding Up the Numbers

Friday, June 24, 2011

President Obama is selling his plan to pull troops out of Afghanistan by describing it as an opportunity to refocus on the domestic health of America. His term, "nation building at home" recalls the great American eras like the industrial and gilded ages. They eventually led to new railroads and highways, the infrastructure that powered us into the boom time of the 1950s.

 

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The Takeaway

Reaction to Obama's Afghanistan Pullout Strategy

Thursday, June 23, 2011

After many months of speculation and political pressure, President Obama layed out his plans for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last night. In a prime-time address from the White House, the president said 10,000 American would be home by year's end and 33,000 by next summer. Perhaps the most significant moment was when the president said American involvement in Afghanistan will end in 2014, when American forces turn over full security control to the Afghans. Analysts are questioning what this means for the Afghan government. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Backstory: Detainees at Bagram

Thursday, June 23, 2011

According to a new report put out by Human Rights First, the number of detainees held in the U.S. Prison at Bagram has nearly tripled, to 1,700 since 2008. Daphne Eviatar, an attorney at Human Rights First, examines what this means as the President announced his troop drawdown plan for Afghanistan.

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