Taking on the Taliban

Taking on the Taliban

"The very same strategy that Obama thought he had properly resourced in the winter turns out in McChrystal’s eyes to need 30-40,000 more."
– Michael O’Hanlon, Director of Research and Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, 21st Century Defense Initiative The Sydney Stein, Jr. Chair, Brookings Institution

Eight years into the war in Afghanistan, U.S. General Stanley McChrystal and other military experts say the situation is deteriorating, and fast. The Taliban is on a roll, and a lot more troops are needed, he says, in order to stave off defeat in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, Vice President Biden and others say that if America’s real concern is Al-Qaeda, then the answer is not more troops, but more drones hovering above Pakistan’s terrorist-infested tribal areas. In the eye of the storm, President Obama is weighing how much more blood and treasure to spend and just what it might buy.

Executive Producer: Aaron Lobel / AAM Producers: Monica Bushman, Sean Carberry, Matt Ozug, Monica Villavicencio and Chris Williams / Interns: Colleen Castle, Isabella Schwiermann and Annika Witzel / Photo Credit: Sean Carberry /Hosts: Ray Suarez and Elizabeth Arnold 

Field Report from Afghanistan 2009

Sean Carberry embeds with the military in Paktya and Khost Provinces in southeastern Afghanistan to see how General McChrystal's counterinsurgency campaign is playing out near Afghanistan’s lawless border with Pakistan.
Guests include Stephen Biddle, Senior Fellow for Defense Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations; Michael O’Hanlon, Director of Research and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution; Lieutenant Colonel Rob Campbell, 1-40 Cavalry, Paktia Province; Staff Sergeant Carnahan, an Embedded Training Team member at Combat Outpost Herrera; First Lieutenant Kevin Jewell, 3rd Platoon, Apache Troop in Jaji District; and Sergeant First Class Wojinzski, from the force protection security platoon in Khost province.

A Look Back at US Policy Toward Afghanistan and Pakistan

Elizabeth Arnold takes a look back at US policy towards Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1980s and 90s, from the fight against the Soviets to American disengagement, and the dangerous instability that followed.
Guests include: Ambassador Teresita Schaffer, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia; former US Congressman Charlie Wilson; Milton Bearden, former CIA station chief in Pakistan; Edmund McWilliams, a former Foreign Service officer in Afghanistan; Robert Oakley, former Ambassador to Pakistan; Ambassador Robin Raphel, Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia during the Clinton Administration.

Field Report from Pakistan 2009

Matt Ozug travels to Pakistan to explore the country's struggle to confront extremist groups threatening its security and survival.
Guests include Aitzaz Ahsn, head of the Lawyer's Movement of Pakistan; retired General Mahmoud Durrani; Imran Khan, head of Pakistan’s Movement for Justice; Professor Shireen Mazari, former Director General of the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad; and Shatar Khan and Noor Hakim, residents of a refugee camp outside Peshawar.