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Afghanistan War

The Leonard Lopate Show

Rajiv Chandrasekaran on the War for Afghanistan

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Washington Post correspondent Rajiv Chandrasekaran discusses America’s troubled war in Afghanistan. His new book Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan is an account of the surge, which he argues was sabotaged not only by Afghan and Pakistani malfeasance but by infighting and incompetence within the American government. Chandrasekaran examines the challenges of U.S. intervention there, and gives an eye-opening look at the complex relationship between America and Afghanistan.

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The Takeaway

NATO Summit Searches for Path Out of Afghanistan

Monday, May 21, 2012

The annual NATO summit opened yesterday afternoon in Chicago, bringing leaders from around the world to President Obama’s former home to confront questions surrounding the future of a post-conflict Afghanistan. As the two-day summit continues today, Western leaders will try to further define their path out of Afghanistan. Hassina Sherjan is the founder and country director of Aid Afghanistan for Education. David Sanger is the chief Washington correspondent for our partner, The New York Times.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Art of Intelligence

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Henry Crumpton discusses leading the CIA's global covert operations against terrorists, including al Qaeda. His book The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA's Clandestine Service, details how the campaign changed the way America wages war.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Democrats and Republicans Both Practice 'Fiscal Child Abuse'

Friday, May 11, 2012

The charlatans in office, Obama and the Romney campaign included, are going out of their ways to make the economic futures of their kids significantly worse.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Inside Story of the Chaotic Struggle for Afghanistan

Monday, April 23, 2012

Journalist and documentary-maker Ben Anderson discusses the war in Afghanistan, and his experience reporting on front lines in Helmand province. His book No Worse Enemy: The Inside Story of the Chaotic Struggle for Afghanistan is based on five years of unrivalled access to the US Marines and UK Forces, often for months at a time and amidst the worst violence the conflict has seen. It details the daily struggles facing U.S. troops in Afghanistan, and raises urgent questions about our strategies in there.

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The Takeaway

Graphic Photos Surface of US Troops with Afghan Bodies

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Los Angeles Times has published graphic photos showing U.S. military personnel posing with the dead bodies of Afghan insurgents. The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan wasted little time condemning the actions in the pictures, saying in a statement that "the incident depicted in the LA Times' photographs represents a serious error in judgment by several soldiers who have acted out of ignorance and unfamiliarity with U.S. Army values." Joining us is Peter Galbraith, former UN Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan.

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The Takeaway

Taliban Stages Coordinated Attacks on Kabul and Afghan Provinces

Monday, April 16, 2012

Over the weekend, Taliban bombers and attackers launched their spring offensive with a series of coordinated attacks on Afghan government offices in Kabul and across three eastern provinces. Dozens of fighters assaulted NATO bases, embassies, the Afghan parliament and other government buildings with suicide attacks, rockets and gunfire. In all, the attack lasted more than five hours. NATO forces called the assault “largely ineffective” — saying it caused only "light casualties" to Afghan units. Still, Peter Galbraith, former UN deputy special representative, for Afghanistan says the Taliban’s onslaught emphasizes just how vulnerable the capital has become — and casts new doubts on NATO’s transition plans.

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The Takeaway

Americans in Afghanistan: The Case of Specialist Dennis Weichel

Monday, April 02, 2012

The story of Specialist Dennis Weichel is deeply tragic but shows a side of U.S. troops in Afghanistan that we haven't heard about recently, with the Koran burnings, drone attacks killing civilians, and the case of Sergeant Robert Bales. Rod Nordland is the foreign correspondent for our partner the New York Times.

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The Takeaway

Suicide Attack Reportedly Averted in Afghanistan

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

According to our partner the BBC, security officials seized 11 suicide bomb jackets and made several arrests inside a security zone around the Ministry of Defense in Afghanistan's capital of Kabul. Bilal Sawary, correspondent for the BBC in Kabul, joins us live.

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The Takeaway

Army To File Charges Against Staff Sgt Robert Bales

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Until just a few weeks ago, Staff Sergeant Robert Bales was known simply as a former high school football captain, an American patriot who joined the Army after 9/11, a husband, a son, and a father of two. Now, he’s a prisoner at a detention facility in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, accused of killing 16 civilians in Afghanistan in an incident that’s been called one of the worst war crimes of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. As new facts about Bales' life emerge — including details about foot and head injuries and a mild traumatic brain injury he suffered — it appears that this could shape into a complicated legal case for the Army.

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The Takeaway

New Details About the Psychological State of Alleged Shooter in Afghanistan

Friday, March 16, 2012

Comments by the lawyer for the U.S. soldier who allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians on Sunday has shed new light on the psychological state of the soldier in question. The lawyer, John Henry Browne, says the soldier was reluctant about going on another tour of duty, and was having tensions with his wife about the deployments on the night of the shooting. In addition, a senior U.S. official tells our partner The New York Times that the soldier had been drinking alcohol, a violation of military rules in combat zones. "When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues — he just snapped," the unnamed senior official said.

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The Takeaway

Afghan President Karzai Calls for U.S. Troops Pullback

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Just days after a U.S. soldier allegedly went on a shooting rampage that killed 16 civilians in Afghanistan, this morning Afghan President Hamid Karzai called for a U.S. troop pullback. President Karzai called for NATO-led forces to move out of Afghan villages and rural areas and told visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that Afghan troops should take the lead for nationwide security in 2013, a year earlier than is now scheduled.

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The Takeaway

Panetta Visits Troops, Commanders in Afghanistan

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will meet with troops in Afghanistan today, during a visit that come days after a U.S. soldier allegedly went on a shooting spree in Kandahar that killed 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children and three women. In the trip that has been planned for months, Panetta is not scheduled to go to the district in Kandahar where the killings occurred. The Defense Secretary has stated that Sunday's shootings will not change the administration’s exit strategy from Afghanistan.

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The Takeaway

Afghan Shooting Spree Raises Questions About Stresses of War

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Many details about the 38-year-old American solider who allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians in a shooting spree are still unknown. However, the picture that is emerging is one of a career soldier under tremendous stress. Military sources say the gunman was married with two children. Although this was his first deployment in Afghanistan, he had over 10 years of service, including tours in Iraq. He also is reported to have previously suffered a traumatic brain injury and to have had problems at home after his last deployment. Despite those issues, the soldier — who is based at Fort Lewis in Washington state — was still deemed fit for combat duty.

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Shootings Prompt Same Question: What Are We Doing in Afghanistan?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

In this election, where the economy looms largest, and Iran is puffed up to me the international bogeyman, most candidates have something in common with most Americans: they'd rather not discuss Afghanistan.

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The Takeaway

Rethinking Afghanistan After Civilian Killings

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Information continues to trickle out about the American Army Staff Sergeant who allegedly killed 16 Afghan civilians over the weekend. Who is he?  What were his motives? For some, the killings have prompted very different questions about the longest war in American history. Perhaps most importantly, how much longer should America be engaged in the region at all?

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The Takeaway

Fears After US Sergeant Allegedly Kills 16 Afghans

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday morning's shooting, which killed at least 16 Afghan villagers, including nine children and three women, raises many questions: how much does this imperil the US mission in Afghanistan? And is it time for an earlier troop withdrawal? Michael Semple, former deputy to the EU Special Representative for Afghanistan, and Nick Colgin, a medic stationed in Afghanistan from January 2007 to April 2008, join the show to explain the possible ramifications of Sunday's act of violence. 

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The Takeaway

American Soldier in Custody after Early Morning Attack Kills 16 in Afghanistan

Monday, March 12, 2012

A rogue US Army staff sergeant has been accused of killing 16 villagers in Kandahar, Afghanistan early Sunday morning. The soldier reportedly went from house to house shooting victims which include nine children and three women. The soldier, who acted alone, is in custody at a NATO base in Afghanistan. After weeks of violence due to American soldiers burning the Koran, many fear the repercussions this shooting will have with the position of the Taliban and US-Afghan relations.

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The Takeaway

Two American NATO Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Two American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan during protests at a NATO base in the eastern Nangarhar province. These protests were the latest after the burning of the Koran by U.S. soldiers.

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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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