Wednesday, April 06, 2011
When America intervened in Libya, we were told we were doing so for humanitarian reasons. President Obama declared “some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refuse to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action.” This sounds like as noble a reason as any to commit the nation to a military engagement; but, is it a realistic one?
Monday, March 28, 2011
With world attention focused on North Africa, the UN says almost one million Ivorians are fleeing their capital. Elizabeth Dickinson, assistant managing editor and blogger at Foreign Policy magazine and Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, West Africa correspondent for NPR, discuss the escalation of post-election violence.
Friday, March 25, 2011
A good government can no more exist without propaganda, said Joseph Goebbles, than good propaganda without good government." We look at how some of the world's spokespeople have tried to spin terrible truths by selling war crimes, stolen elections, and mass murder to a watchful public. Imagine that it was your job to explain to the international community, not to mention your own neighbors, why your boss is going to war against his own people.
Friday, March 25, 2011
International humanitarian agencies are sounding the alarm in Libya, where fighting has cut off access to vulnerable populations. Aid officials say the eastern city of Misurata is facing water and electricity shortages as hospitals struggle to care for those who have been wounded by fighting. There are warnings that food is in short supply in many parts of Libya. "The situation of civilians in and around Ajdabiya, Misurata and other locations where active fighting continues remains of great concern," the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement. "The presence of assistance actors inside Libya remains very limited due to prevailing security conditions."
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
We often look at war in terms of numbers of soldiers deployed, numbers of lost lives, and of dollars spent on battles and reconstruction. But war is about much more; it’s about sounds and sights, and about shared experiences, and though we rarely talk about it, war is also about food. Annia Ciezadlo explores this particular aspect of war in her new book: “Day of Honey: a Memoir of Food, Love, and War.”
Thursday, February 10, 2011
The audience at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington, D.C. usually buys tickets for Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde. But today’s performance — and the audience in line to see it — is completely different. In 2009, London’s Tricycle Theater performed “The Great Game: Afghanistan,” a seven-hour series of twelve plays commissioned by the theater’s director, Nicholas Kent. Last October, the Pentagon requested that Kent bring the play to Washington for two special performances. "The Great Game: Afghanistan" opens today for an audience that includes Pentagon staff, Afghan war veterans and President Obama’s advisers on Afghanistan
Thursday, January 27, 2011
From Germany in World War I to Germany and Japan in World War II, to the Taliban and Al-Qaida today, the faces of America’s enemies have shifted over time. But how we define our enemies defines our nation in turn. We assume to be what they are not. How has this pattern affected the way nations see themselves and each other?
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Military wife Siobhan Fallon has a new collection of loosely connected short stories that’s been getting rave reviews. It’s called “You Know When The Men Are Gone.” She explains the truth behind living as a military spouse. Her husband Major K.C. Evans is a graduate of West Point, he’s been married to Siobhan for seven years, and has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan three times during their marriage.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Today is the 50th anniversary of President Eisenhower’s farewell speech in which he warned, "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarrented influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex." But what was the military industrial complex initially? And what has it become over time?
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Almost all of the four million voters in Southern Sudan casting their votes on whether or not to secede from the North have been affected by decades of bloodshed and civil war in that country. Takeaway producer Noel King has been reporting from the ground in Southern Sudan during the preparation for the vote as well as the referendum itself. Noel shares with us the stories she's heard from people of all different generations, and how all the violence has affected their lives.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Stephen L. Carter, Professor of Law at Yale, discusses President Barack Obama's views on war and what they mean for America and its role in military conflicts. The Violence of Peace: America’s Wars in the Age of Obama looks at the implications of the military philosophy Obama has adopted during his first two years in office. It also explores how the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are shaping Pres. Obama’s views of the country's role in conflict and peace.
Friday, January 07, 2011
Listen to this New Sounds for some cross-cultural music, including a brand-new collaboration between violinist Joshua Bell and Anoushka Shankar called "Variant Moods." We'll also dig into the WNYC Archives for a work from 1967 concert at the U.N., featuring Anoushka's father, Ravi Shankar, performing a sitar and violin duet with the late classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin, accompanied by the late tabla master Ustad Alla Rakha.
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
There are iconic moments in every war. Remember the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein? How did this media event become became a symbol of victory?
Monday, December 27, 2010
President Obama announced the end of U.S. combat operations in Iraq last August, but 2010 was still a tumultuous year in the region. How will Iraqis remember 2010? And what do they hope for in the year to come? Dr. Lubna Naji, a recent graduate of Baghdad Medical School, joins us to reflect on the past year and to share what she looks forward to in 2011.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Erik D. Prince, founder of private security firm Xe Services — formerly Blackwater Worldwide — has reached a deal to sell his company to a small group of investors in California. Blackwater became the center of a debate about using private security firms in foreign wars after an alleged skirmish between insurgents and Blackwater personnel in 2007 left 17 Iraqi civilians dead. In the wake of the controversy, the company lost a large State Department contract to protect the U.S. embassy in Iraq, but formed over 30 separate "shell companies" in order to continue to receive millions of dollars in other government contracts. What's next for the private security firm?
Friday, December 17, 2010
The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that 60 percent of Americans say the Afghanistan war is "not worth fighting." This is a record low in public support of the war. Mary Galeti, the wife of Afghanistan veteran First Lieutenant Russell Galeti, and Gideon Rose, editor of Foreign Affairs and author of "How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle," describe their observations of public opinion, and what it might mean for the Obama administration's efforts in Afghanistan going forward.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
In the early 60s, Robert Axelrod was a math major messing around with refrigerator-sized computers. Then a dramatic global crisis made him wonder about the space between a rock and a hard place, and whether being good may be a good strategy. With help from Andrew Zolli and Steve Strogatz, ...
Thursday, December 02, 2010
A review of the Afghanistan strategy is due to be released sometime in early December, one year after President Obama announced a surge of 30,000 troops. The review will give the nation and the White House an assessment of how the war is going, and indicate if we're on pace to start pulling troops out of Afghanistan by July 2011, as the President announced back in December 2009.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
As the U.S. and NATO forces approach a decade of war in Afghanistan, there are chances for reflection. As occupiers, what have we learned about strategy in that country?