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It's A Free Country ®

Unpacking the Un-Surge in Afghanistan

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Military forces are voracious consumers of all kinds of expendables and most of these supplies have to come through Pakistan. The larger the US force, the more leverage Pakistan has.

Robert Haddick, managing editor of Small Wars Journal, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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The Takeaway

Does President Obama Listen to His Generals?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

After many months of speculation and political pressure, President Obama laid out his plans for U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan last night. His plans signal a shift in strategy, with Obama pulling troops out of Afghanistan at a faster pace than top military generals had initially recommended. Some senior officials have said on the record that rapid troop withdrawal will make it difficult for the remaining American forces in Afghanistan to complete their mission. 

 

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Un-Surge in Afghanistan

Thursday, June 23, 2011

President Obama announced that 10,000 troops would return from Afghanistan this year, and the full 33,000 sent in the recent surge would return by next summer. Robert Haddick, managing editor of Small Wars Journal, discusses the Obama administration's shift.

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The Takeaway

Finding Fiction from the Grim Realities of War: Patricia McArdle's 'Farishta'

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Over our nearly decade-long war in Afghanistan, we've become accustomed to hearing stories of death and destruction—loss of life has become the price of this war. Former Foreign Service officer Patricia McArdle has written a story of re-birth and a second chance at life, based on her time in Afghanistan. Her new novel, "Farishta," tells the story of Angela Morgan, whose husband died in the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut in 1983. After mourning for 20 years, Angela is sent to an isolated British Army compound in Afghanistan, and it's there that she is reborn.

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The Takeaway

If U.S. Troops Leave Afghanistan, Who Are Our Enemies?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

President Obama says he’s withdrawing troops from Afghanistan because they have satisfied their mission. So does that also mean we no longer have enemies there- we find out soon, on The Takeaway.

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WNYC News

Read | Obama's Full Speech on Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Good evening. Nearly 10 years ago, America suffered the worst attack on our shores since Pearl Harbor. This mass murder was planned by Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida network in Afghanistan, and signaled a new threat to our security - one in which the targets were no longer soldiers on a battlefield, but innocent men, women and children going about their daily lives.

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It's A Free Country ®

Live: President Obama on Afghanistan Strategy

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tonight at 8, the President addresses the country on the war in Afghanistan. Watch live here, and follow the real-time twitter reaction below.

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The Takeaway

Afghans Speak About Possible US and NATO Troop Withdrawal

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We continue our conversation on President Obama's announcement tonight on his plan for withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan, including how many troops will be returning home and when, and whether or not this will signal the end of the Afghanistan War. The BBC's Paul Wood is in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and has been speaking with Afghans about their opinions on possible U.S. and NATO troop withdrawals. 

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It's A Free Country ®

Obama Details Troop Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

President Barack Obama detailed his plans for beginning troop withdrawals from Afghanistan in a White House address Wednesday night. He said this was made possible because of Osama bin Laden's death, and that information found reveals that Al-Qaeda is under more strain than at any time since 9/11. 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Love Crimes of Kabul

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Director Tanaz Eshaghian talks about her film “Love Crimes of Kabul.” In Kabul, Afghanistan’s central woman’s prison, nearly half of the prisoners are young women imprisoned for the “moral crimes” of premarital sex, adultery, or running away from their husband and home. The film is a portrait of three young Afghan women accused of committing these crimes and follows them from prison to trial, and uncovers the pressures and paradoxes that women in Afghanistan face today. “Love Crimes of Kabul” is playing at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater.

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The Washington Report

President Obama Weighs Options for Afghan Pullout

Monday, June 20, 2011

NYT's David Sanger weighs President Obama's gameplan in Afghanistan and a former ambassador's decision to enter the race for the White House.

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The Takeaway

How Soon Could U.S. Troops Exit Afghanistan?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Over the weekend, Afghan president Hamid Karzai lashed out at coalition forces on state television, suggesting NATO was in his country for "their own purposes." U.S. officials fired back, suggesting that such statements may hasten a withdrawal of troops despite continuing challenges to Afghanistan's government. This rhetorical tit-for-tat illustrates a larger argument that grows even more heated as taste for the war across the country and in Washington lessens. Is it time to get out completely? And if so, how? 

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The Washington Report

Obama Administration Considers Faster Withdrawal from Afghanistan

Monday, June 06, 2011

NYT's David Sanger weighs in on a potential troop reduction in Afghanistan, American interests in Yemen, and the latest unemployment figures.

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The Takeaway

Can Troops Really Leave Afghanistan in July?

Monday, June 06, 2011

The troop drawdown in Afghanistan is scheduled to begin in July, but we don't yet know how many will be taken out of the country. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that a slower drawdown is needed when he spoke from Afghanistan on his farewell visit to troops before his retirement. David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times analyzes the situation. He says we haven't yet heard from the new Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta. It is likely, says Sanger, that President Obama do what he did in Iraq, essentially setting a date for the ultimate drawdown and leave the pace of the withdrawal up to the commanders. 

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The Washington Report

President Chooses Next Joint Chiefs Chairman

Monday, May 30, 2011

David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times, joins Kerry Nolan to discuss President Obama's pick for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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The Takeaway

Aiming for Taliban, NATO Airstrikes Accidentally Kill at Least 9 Civilians

Monday, May 30, 2011

NATO airstrikes on Sunday targeting insurgents in Afghanistan. NATO says that nine people were killed, while Afghan officials put that number at 14. A senior NATO official issued a "heartfelt apology" for the bungled airstrike. Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai lashed at out NATO and the United States, saying this was their "final warning." Peter Galbraith, is a former U.N. Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan. He explores how these recent events will affect the future of what NATO and the United States are trying to accomplish in Afghanistan.

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The Takeaway

At Least 35 Killed in Attack in Afghanistan

Thursday, May 19, 2011

At least 35 construction workers have been shot dead and 20 injured by Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan. The attack took place in a mountainous district on the highway linking Paktia and Khost provinces. The BBC's Quentin Sommerville reports from Kabul.

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The Takeaway

Kati Marton on Afghan War Policy

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kati Marton has made a name for herself as an author and a journalist at ABC and public radio. As the wife of accomplished American Diplomat Richard Holbrooke, a special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan until his death at the end of last year, she also has a unique perspective on the war in Afghanistan and how U.S. policy is playing in the Middle East. Marton explains how Holbrooke's influence has seeped into U.S. policy in Afghanistan the broader Middle East. 

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The Takeaway

Khaled Hosseini on Refugees in Afghanistan and Beyond

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan, thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes, joining the 43 million refugees who are currently displaced around the world. Khaled Hosseini, bestselling author of “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” feels a particular kinship with these refugees. In 1980, when he was a teenager, he and his family were granted asylum in the U.S. when Afghanistan faced a different decade-long war with the Soviets.

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It's A Free Country ®

Afghanistan: Why We Should Stay, Post-Osama

Monday, May 16, 2011

The reason we went in was not simply to get bin Laden; in fact, it was to stabilize Afghanistan so that it can no longer serve as a sanctuary for international terrorists. Most factions of the Taliban were not directly connected to bin Laden to begin with. The demise of bin Laden really, logically, shouldn't affect much in their calculation of whether or not to continue fighting the war.

Fred Kaplan, "War Stories" columnist at Slate and a Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

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