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Military

The Takeaway

From the Base: A Military Wife on Fort Hood News

Friday, November 06, 2009

We talk to Amanda Lee, whose husband is stationed at Fort Hood in Texas. She gives us an insider's view on how the story of this tragic shooting is being heard by military families.

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The Takeaway

Profile of the Alleged Fort Hood Shooter

Friday, November 06, 2009

What drives a man, a psychiatrist trained in the stresses specific to military personnel, to pick up a gun and shoot fellow soldiers? We may never know what really drove Major Nidal Hasan to his crimes, but a portrait of the alleged shooter at Fort Hood in Texas is beginning to emerge. The Washington Post has a story which says that Hasan used to pray every day at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, Md. Christian Davenport from The Washington Post joins us with more.

Here's the profile that the Associated Press has put together so far:

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The Takeaway

Military Stress in the Wake of Fort Hood Shootings

Friday, November 06, 2009

Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hasan is in custody in the hospital after allegedly opening fire on the Army base in Fort Hood, Texas. He killed 13 of his fellow soldiers and injured at least 30 others. The reasons behind the attack are still unknown, but the tragedy will undoubtedly have a lasting affect on the families stationed at Fort Hood.

We speak to Olga Peña, managing editor of the Killeen Daily Herald, for local reactions to the shooting. Andrew Pomerantz, associate professor psychiatry at Dartmouth Medical School, who works with soldiers recovering from post-traumatic stress, also joins us, along with Angela Huebner, associate professor in the Department of Human Development's Marriage and Family program at Virginia Tech. The three discuss the psychological effects of stress on military personnel and their families.

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The Takeaway

The Military on the Silver Screen

Friday, November 06, 2009

While the tragic shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, has captured the nation's attention today, the military has long been an interest for Hollywood. We look at two upcoming releases that address loss and life for military families. Newsday film critic Rafer Guzman talks us through "Brothers" and "The Messenger" as well as the recently released film "The Hurt Locker."

Here's the trailer for "Brothers," which features Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhall and Tobey Maguire. Click through for the preview of "The Messenger":

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The Takeaway

The Psychology of Stress

Friday, November 06, 2009

Angela Huebner is an associate professor in the Department of Human Development's Marriage and Family program at Virginia Tech. She just completed a study on multiple deployments and the affect on military families. As an expert on stress in the military, she talks about how stress can affect both families and military psychiatrists.

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The Takeaway

Psychological and Religious Reactions to Fort Hood Shootings

Friday, November 06, 2009

As the nation learns the details of the shooting on the Army base in Fort Hood, Texas, reactions are pouring in. To sort through the reactions we speak with Kate Dailey, health and lifestyle editor for Newsweek.com; our own Ibrahim Abdul-Matin on local Muslim reaction to the shooting allegedly by a Muslim soldier; and Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Here is President Obama's reaction to the tragedy:

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The Takeaway

Update Live From Fort Hood

Friday, November 06, 2009

Chris Haug is the chief of media relations at Fort Hood, Texas. He tells us how the Army base is trying to recover a degree of normalcy after yesterday's tragic shooting. The base will be marking the event with a moment of silence while the details of the tragedy continue to emerge.

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The Takeaway

Press Conference From Fort Hood

Friday, November 06, 2009

A press conference at Fort Hood Army Base in Texas answers some of the questions stemming from yesterday's tragic shooting on the base. Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an army psychiatrist, is suspected of gunning down his colleagues, killing 13 and wounding at least 30. Officials say Hasan walked into a military compound with two guns and opened fire yesterday afternoon. He was shot and is in critical condition. We also speak with Dr. Brian Aldred, the medical director at the Emergency Center at the Seton Hospital near Fort Hood, Texas, about his hospital's response to the tragedy. Finally, we speak with Olga Pena, the managing editor of the Killeen Daily Herald, who has been following this story.

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The Takeaway

Unfolding Details on Fort Hood Shooting

Friday, November 06, 2009

New details are emerging this morning out of Fort Hood, in Texas, where an army psychiatrist has allegedly killed 13 people and injured 31 during a shooting rampage. Major Nidal Malik Hasan is alive but injured after being shot by a civilian officer. We're joined by Ericka Aguilar, KUT reporter in Fort Hood. Matthew Cassese was stationed at Fort Hood in 2007 and 2008. He remembers a base that was safe, but says soldiers were frequently in trouble for drunken driving. We also talk to Detective First Grade Nick Casale, a former director of counterterrorism for New York City's subway system, about what is involved in a complex criminal investigation.

Here is a press conference from yesterday outside of Fort Hood. This clip shows how confusing it can be during a criminal investigation to get the facts straight. Yesterday they thought it was up to three shooters, one of whom died. Today we know it was one shooter, who is alive, but in critical condition:

 

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The Takeaway

American Muslim Reaction to Shooting at Fort Hood

Friday, November 06, 2009

Major Nidal Malik Hasan is the alleged shooter in the rampage at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas; 13 people are dead and 31 injured. The suspected shooter is an American soldier, a psychiatrist and Muslim. He had told relatives that he had been harassed for being a Muslim during his military career. To discuss how the Muslim community is reacting to the news we speak to Ibrahim Hooper, with the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

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The Takeaway

Shooting at Fort Hood Stuns Army, Nation

Friday, November 06, 2009

Thirteen people are dead and 31 injured after a soldier went on a shooting spree at Fort Hood in Texas. The Army base was locked down for much of the afternoon as authorities tried to determine the series of events that lead the suspected shooter, Army psychiatrist Major Nadal Malik Hasan, to open fire on his colleagues. Hasan was injured after being shot by another soldier.

To help unravel the story, we talk to Olga Peña, managing editor of the Killeen Daily Herald, who has been covering the story. For a soldier's perspective, we speak with Naveed Ali Shah, a public affairs specialist with the U.S. Army who was stationed at Fort Hood from 2008 to 2009, and whose wife and son are still there. Shah is, himself, Muslim; he joined us from Iraq. We also spoke with Andrew Pomerantz, a professor of psychiatry at Dartmouth University, who has worked with veterans with PTSD for 35 years.

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The Takeaway

The Dangers of Historical Comparisons in Afghanistan

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Earlier this week we made a comparison between the Vietnam War and the current U.S. war in Afghanistan. One of our listeners responded with a rebuttal. Jonaid Sharif said we were

"comparing the Taliban — vicious and medieval — to the Viet Cong, who were fighting for progress and national liberation ... The Viet Cong were supported by half of the world ... I have yet to come across anyone who openly endorses the Taliban."

Today we look at Afghanistan from an Afghan perspective. Jonaid Sharif is a professor at Paine College in Augusta, Ga., where he teaches Pashto language. He is himself Afghan-American. We're also joined by Christine Fair, a professor at the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University; and Lyse Doucet, BBC Correspondent in Kabul.

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The Takeaway

Canceled Afghan Election and Echoes of Vietnam

Monday, November 02, 2009

Afghan presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah announced yesterday that he would not participate in a runoff against incumbent president Hamid Karzai, originally scheduled to take place six days from now. This morning, Afghanistan's election commission officially cancelled the election entirely.

This morning we're comparing two conflicts involving electoral politics and counterinsurgency strategies from today and over 40 years ago: Afghanistan and Vietnam. We talk with Gordon Goldstein, author of "Lessons in Disaster: McGeorge Bundy and the Path to War in Vietnam," and Fotini Christia, Afghanistan analyst and professor of Political Science at MIT.

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The Takeaway

Colombia Opens Military Bases to US

Friday, October 30, 2009

Colombia will sign a deal with the United States today to give the American military access to seven of its military bases. The deal has been in the works for months, and it has raised concerns among several South American countries. BBC correspondent Jeremy McDermott joins us from Bogota, Columbia, to talk about the implications of this deal.

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The Takeaway

Report: Brother of Afghan President on C.I.A. Payroll

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The New York Times reports today that Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is on the payroll of the Central Intelligence Agency. The news comes as a surprise because Ahmed Wali Karzai is also allegedly a big player in Afghanistan's illegal drug trade. Times national security correspondent Mark Mazzetti gives us the story.

For more, read Mark Mazzetti's article, Brother of Afghan Leader Is Said to Be on C.I.A. Payroll, in today's New York Times.

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The Takeaway

October Deadliest Month for US Troops in Afghanistan

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Six staff members of the United Nations were killed and another nine wounded in an armed attack on a central Kabul guesthouse this morning. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was the first step in a campaign to prevent the upcoming runoff in the nation's presidential election. This attack comes hard on the heels of yesterday's attacks that killed eight American troops in multiple bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan. The deaths make October the deadliest month for American troops there since the war began in 2001. We speak to BBC correspondent David Loyn, the author of "In Afghanistan: Two Hundred Years of British, Russian and American Occupation," about the state of the international effort in Afghanistan. We're also joined by New York Times White House correspondent Peter Baker, with an update on the president's decision on whether or not to send additional troops to the embattled nation.

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The Takeaway

Two Suicide Bombs Strike Central Baghdad

Monday, October 26, 2009

Two suicide bombs exploded in the heart of central Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 155 people. Analysts say more violence is expected in the run-up to January's general election. We talk with Joost Hiltermann, deputy program director for the Middle East and North Africa with the International Crisis Group, and Jane Arraf, Christian Science Monitor correspondent in Iraq and Middle East editor for GlobalPost.

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The Takeaway

Way Forward in Afghanistan Remains Murky

Friday, October 23, 2009

The war in Afghanistan continues to drag on, and the Obama administration is waiting for the country's presidential election runoff before deciding whether to send additional troops to the region. Former Vice President Dick Cheney called this timetable "dithering" in a speech yesterday. For a military perspective on the matter, we speak to retired Air Force Col. Sam Gardiner. Some of the logistical challenges facing troops on the ground also complicate the ongoing strategy; part of the problem is as basic as knowing who to fight. New York Times reporter Scott Shane writes in today's paper about the two types of Taliban that U.S.-led troops are fighting.

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The Takeaway

Iraqi Election Woes Could Slow Troop Withdrawal

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The United States is ready to pull more troops from Iraq, but part of the equation for troop withdrawal is the need for credible elections. Progress on that front slowed yesterday as the Iraqi parliament announced it had hit a stalemate in their efforts to draft election laws. That could delay the election scheduled for Jan. 16. Rod Nordland, foreign correspondent for The New York Times, joins us from Baghdad.

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The Takeaway

Winter Weather Challenges in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Even before the era of Alexander the Great, winter weather has posed severe challenges for anyone fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now American soldiers are entering their ninth winter in the region. Major General Rashid Qureshi, former spokesman for the Pakistani military and for President Musharraf, says the Pakistani military is hoping to reclaim South Waziristan from militants before the harsh conditions set in. Captain Jared Wilson fought in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and he tells us about the challenges of winter from a U.S serviceman's point of view.

"What the winter months did is it limited our ability to patrol certain regions based on soil conditions and vehicles and we had to be able to get out and dismount into those areas and sometimes the snow would limit that process. But that's an impact on the enemy in the area as well."
—Capt. Jared Wilson, who fought in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, on how the U.S. military gets on during winter months

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