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Afghanistan War

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 Brian Lehrer Show

Casualty of War

Monday, November 14, 2011

In "Echoes from a Distant Battlefield," Mark Bowden, Vanity Fair contributing editor, and author of Black Hawk Down and Worm: The First Digital World War, dissects the 2008 Battle of Wanat and the shifting blame for the high death toll.

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The Washington Report

Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the GOP Race for President

Monday, October 31, 2011

In this week's Washington Report, David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times, speaks to Kerry Nolan about Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the GOP race for president.

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The Takeaway

US-Pakistan Relations Further Complicated After Afghanistan Attacks

Monday, October 31, 2011

Two attacks over the weekend in Afghanistan drew into even sharper relief the challenges of relations between Pakistan and the U.S. One reason: officials pointed to the first attack, in which a suicide bombing of an armored convoy killed 17 people, as a likely calling card not of the Taliban but the Haqqani terrorist network. The Haqqani network is based largely in Pakistan, and the U.S. has accused that country of supporting them. Now, American officials are in the difficult position of asking Pakistan for help in peace negotiations with the Haqqanis.   

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It's A Free Blog

Opinion: Bush and Boehner Rightly Praise Obama on Afghanistan

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Foreign policy is one of those areas of political thought that doesn't neatly fall along the one dimensional red/blue map of the political spectrum in our country.

-Solomon Kleinsmith, It's A Free Country blogger.

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The Takeaway

Special Forces Major: Afghanistan Can Still Be Won

Friday, October 07, 2011

Todaymarks ten years since the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan began — a milestone many people may not have imagined the U.S. would reach. For soldiers, the anniversary is cause for reflection. Special Forces Major Fernando M. Luján made his reflections public last week, in an op-ed in The New York Times called "This War Can Still Be Won." Luján, who was stationed in Afghanistan for 14 months, and is now a member of the Afghan Hands program, says "the Afghans have the will to win, with or without us."

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The Takeaway

US Invasion of Afghanistan: 10 Years Later

Friday, October 07, 2011

Today marks ten years since U.S. invaded Afghanistan. In many ways, it's a quiet landmark; the White House has no public events planned to mark the occasion. The United States and NATO plan to leave the country by 2014, saving lives and billions of dollars for America. But, as retired Army General Stanley McChrystal said in remarks on Thursday night, many are worried that it will not have established a fully-functioning and secure government and military by the draw-down date. The U.S. and NATO remain "far from reaching their goals," McChrystal said.

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The Takeaway

10 Years and Billions of Dollars Later, Vets Say Afghanistan Not Worth the Cost

Thursday, October 06, 2011

On Wednesday, the Pew Research Center released a poll indicating that only a third of American servicemen and women believe the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been worth the costs. All of these complicated factors weigh on American efforts to withdraw troops from the country. The findings came only two days before the tenth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Afghanistan is now the recipient of the largest amounts of aid in the world, accruing $33 billion over the past decade. But the country is still struggling, facing an unprecedented drought and appealing for food aid for the nearly ten million people who are suffering because of it.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

A Reporter’s Journey through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Edward Girardet looks at the troubled and complex relationship between Afghanistan and the West in the latter half of the 20th century. As a young foreign correspondent, Girardet arrived in Afghanistan just three months prior to the Soviet invasion in 1979. Over the next decades, he encountered key figures who have shaped the nation and its current challenges—from corruption and narcotics trafficking to selfish regional interests. His book Killing the Cranes: A Reporter’s Journey through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan provides crucial insights into why the West's current involvement has been so problematic.

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The Takeaway

August Was Bloodiest Month for Afghanistan War

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sixty-six troops died in Afghanistan this month, making August the bloodiest month for the U.S. military this year. That number includes the helicopter crash on August 6, which claimed the lives of 30 American troops, most of them Navy SEALs. So far this year, 299 Americans have been killed in Afghanistan. Will this have any affect on President Obama's plans to drawdown the additional 33,000 troops he placed in a surge effort? 

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The Leonard Lopate Show

America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Eric Schmitt, terrorism correspondent, and Thom Shanker, Pentagon correspondent, both of The New York Times, talk about the Pentagon's revolutionary new strategy to fight al Qaeda, and how it’s shaping the United States’ efforts to fight terrorism in the Middle East and at home. In Counter Strike: The Untold Story of America’s Secret Campaign Against Al Qaeda, Schmitt and Shanker tell why the strategy to defeat al Qaeda through force wasn’t working, and how successful new counterterrorism strategies are being developed and adopted.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Elite Forces in Afghanistan

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Matthew Irvine, research assistant at the Center for a New American Security and author of the report "Beyond Afghanistan: A Regional Security Strategy for South and Central Asia," discusses the role of special forces in the Afghanistan war and the broader strategic changes involved in troop withdrawal.

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The Takeaway

Helicopter Crash Highlights American Strategy in Afghanistan

Monday, August 08, 2011

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for a helicopter crash on Saturday, which killed 30 American troops in the deadliest day ever for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The attack took place in the Tangi Valley of Wardak Province, to the west of Kabul, and illustrates how the insurgency is growing from its traditional strongholds and edging toward the capital city.

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The Takeaway

The Role of Navy SEALs in Afghanistan

Monday, August 08, 2011

Twenty-two of the 30 Americans killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan on Saturday were elite Navy SEALs, some of whom were members of the same squad that killed Osama bin Laden. The attack represents an irreplaceable loss of talent at a time when American and NATO troops are beginning to pull out of the region. The American forces were providing reinforcement for troops on the ground locked in a firefight.

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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

After The Takeaway: John Hockenberry's Reaction to Today's Show

Thursday, July 07, 2011

We're putting forward a new feature: quick videos with hosts after the show. In today's episode, John Hockenberry reacts to some of the morning's best segments, talking about the importance of language, his idea for an episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and his wish: to retire the use of "lame" in the modern lexicon. 

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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

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 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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