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Afghanistan

The Brian Lehrer Show

Post-Osama Afghanistan Policy

Monday, May 16, 2011

Fred Kaplan, "War Stories" columnist, Slate and a Schwartz Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, discusses how the Obama Administration should handle the war in Afghanistan in a post-Osama world.

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The Takeaway

Afghanistan's Child Recruits Tell Their Story

Friday, May 13, 2011

BBC correspondent Paul Wood visited children in Afghanistan who were tricked into becoming suicide bombers, before they were arrested by coalition authorities. Children as young as eight say that they were told that they wouldn't die if they carried out an attack. We hear their voices.

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It's A Free Country ®

Clinton Diplomacy and the Future of Middle East Policy

Monday, May 09, 2011

Voices from Washington were quite convinced that if only we get to bin Laden, if only we get rid of his senior lieutenants, there will be less reason to stay in Afghanistan and the only reason we're still there is because of him. Presumably he's been killed and now those voices need to come to terms with their own argument.

Marwan Bishara, senior political analyst for Al-Jazeera English and host of Empire, a monthly show about global powers, on The Brian Lehrer Show.

Comments [13]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Force and Futility in Afghanistan

Monday, May 09, 2011

New Yorker staff writer Jon Lee Anderson discusses the ongoing war in Afghanistan and whether it’s time for coalition forces to leave the country. His article “Force and Futility,” in the May 16 issue of The New Yorker, tells what’s changed—and what has remained the same—in the region of Khost, Afghanistan, since the United States first tried to kill Osama bin Laden there in 1998.

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The Takeaway

Nicholas Kristof on the Ripple Effect of Osama Bin Laden's Death

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The ripple effect of Osama bin Laden’s death is already being felt. In Yemen, an al-Qaida stronghold, at least 10 people were killed and more than 20 injured when gunmen believed to be al-Qaida members attacked two security patrols in the southern province of Abyan. But in Afghanistan, analysts believe that Osama bin Laden's death may lead the Taliban to finally sever their ties to al-Qaida — a move the Obama Administration and President Hamid Karzai’s regime have demanded as a condition for opening up negotiations with insurgents.

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WNYC News

Bin Laden: From Millionaire's Son To Most-Wanted

Monday, May 02, 2011

The mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was killed in an operation led by the United States, President Obama said Sunday in a late-night statement at the White House. Details are still emerging about Osama bin Laden's death. But his life ran a fascinating trajectory: from the pampered son of a Saudi millionaire to the world's most-wanted terrorist.

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The Takeaway

Growing Threat: Friendly Fire for Troops in Afghanistan

Thursday, April 28, 2011

For our troops fighting in Afghanistan, there may be a new threat, beyond the constant worry of enemy fire which occurs in the field. This new threat is growing behind friendly lines. According to Stars and Stripes, at least 38 coalition troops have been killed by Afghan Security forces undergoing routine  training. Two weeks ago, 5 NATO troops were killed by a Taliban suicide bomber who enlisted as an Afghan National Army soldier.

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The Takeaway

'Shawshank'-Style Escape for Taliban Fighters

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How did five hundred or more Taliban members pull off one of the biggest prison breaks in recent memory in Kandahar, Afghanistan? If you’re thinking that it was something out of the movies, like say, Shawshank Redemption, you’re actually not far off. Ron Moreau, Newsweek’s Afghanistan and Pakistan correspondent, along with his colleague Sami Yousafzai, spoke to two Taliban members that took part in the escape. Moreau explains how they pulled it off.

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The Takeaway

How Did 500 Escape from Afghan Prison?

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Taliban have claimed that it spent five months digging the tunnel that stretched from Kandahar's main prison, under a highway to a nearby house. Security forces have been criticized and a spokesperson for President Hamid Karzai said the escape was a disaster. However, it is likely that there were bribes and infiltration at high levels for this to have happened, explains Alissa J. Rubin, Kabul bureau chief for The New York Times. She says it was likely a small group who masterminded the escape.

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The Takeaway

Manhunt Underway After Taliban Prison Break

Monday, April 25, 2011

Almost five hundred Taliban militants have escaped from the main prison in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Insurgents say they spent months digging a tunnel into the jail which through which almost a third of the prison population escaped. This includes about a hundred Taliban commanders. One escapee said it took him half an hour to crawl to freedom. Afghan politician and former MP, Daoud Sultanzai says that this "shows the fragile state of affairs of our security apparatus" in Afghanistan.

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The Takeaway

Afghanistan Reacts to 'Three Cups' Author's Accounts of School Building

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CBS "60 Minutes" is not widely broadcast inside Afghanistan or Pakistan, but you wouldn't know it from the reactions from a story over the weekend. In a take down of the  famous book, "Three Cups of Tea," CBS disputed the veracity of Greg Mortenson's his charity work. CBS also took issue with the finances of his work in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The BBC's Bilal Sawary reports from Kabul.

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The Takeaway

'Three Cups of Tea' Author Under Fire

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Following a CBS "60 Minutes" report that found factual errors in the best-selling book, "Three Cups of Tea," author Greg Mortenson and his charitable work in Afghanistan and Pakistan have come under fire. In the book, Mortenson writes about stumbling into a tiny village in northeastern Pakistan and coming across a group of schoolchildren doing their lessons with sticks and dirt. It was then, he writes, that he discovered his passion to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But "60 Minutes'" producers found factual errors in the book and suggest that Mortenson's charity may be spending money poorly and exaggerating their accomplishments. Mortenson is denying the allegations.

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The Takeaway

Taliban Claims Responsibility for Attack on Afghanistan Defense Ministry

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for an attack on Afghanistan's heavily fortified Defense Ministry, which killed two and wounded seven others. The attacker was reportedly killed by bodyguards just outside the Defense Minster's office. This is the beginning of what the Taliban has called their "spring offensive." Ray Rivera, foreign correspondent for The New York Times reports from Kabul.

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The Takeaway

Woman Among Warlords: Afghan Activist Malalai Joya

Friday, April 15, 2011

In 2005, at the age of 27, Malalai Joya became the youngest person ever elected to Afghanistan's National Assembly. In 2007, she was booted from the Parliament after publicly criticizing Afghan warlords. Now, Joya is an activist for women and democracy, and she remains a fierce critic of both Hamid Karzai's government and the presence of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Joya shares her story and explains why she has been called "the bravest woman in Afghanistan." 

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Weight Of War: Soldiers' Heavy Gear Packs On Pain

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chronic lower-back pain and degenerative arthritis of the spine are affecting more and more soldiers fighting in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The military has had to devise new ways to treat and manage these injuries, which is an emerging field of trial and error.

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The Takeaway

Violent Protests in Afghanistan, Blame Karzai?

Monday, April 04, 2011

The U.S. media disregarded the March 21st Quran burning at Terry Jones' Florida church. However, on March 24th, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai released a press statement calling for the pastor to come to justice. This statement set off a wave of violent protests in Afghanistan, which have killed dozens of people. Christine Fair, assistant professor at Georgetown's Center for Peace and Security Studies contextualizes Karzai's actions and the resulting violence. 

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The Takeaway

Response to Quran Burning in Florida: Protest and Dozens Dead in Afghanistan

Monday, April 04, 2011

The burning of a Quran at a Florida church has set off a wave of violence in Afghanistan. Thousands of protesters mobbed the United Nations building in Mazar-i-Sharif on Friday. Seven U.N. workers were murdered, and protests against the United States raged in Kandahar over the weekend, killing dozens. President Obama and General David Petraeus condemned the Florida pastor’s actions. Including the U.N. workers, 24 people have died since protests began last Friday.

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The Takeaway

Religious Extremism: The Same on All Sides?

Monday, April 04, 2011

The Quran burning by Florida Pastor Terry Jones' church group has incited deadly protests in Afghanistan. These events show the perils of religious extremism. Daisy Khan, from the American Society of Muslim Advancement and Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe of the World Evangelical Alliance both condemn the burning of the Quran and the subsequent violence.

Comments [5]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Kim Barker's Taliban Shuffle

Monday, March 28, 2011

Longtime foreign correspondent Kim Barker gives an insider’s account of the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan since 2003, and captures the absurdities and tragedies of life in a war zone.  The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan talks about her evolution from an awkward newbie in Afghanistan to seasoned reporter with serious concerns about our ability to win hearts and minds in the region.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bing West, Marine combat veteran and assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration, looks at the conflict in Afghanistan, and explains what he sees as a practical way out. The Wrong War: Grit, Strategy, and the Way Out of Afghanistan, gives an account of events on the battlefield and argues that idealistic theories about counterinsurgency have bogged us down for a decade. He builds the case for changing course.

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